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Thread: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)








    The US government, with assistance from major telecommunications carriers including AT&T, has engaged in a massive program of illegal dragnet surveillance of domestic communications and communications records of millions of ordinary Americans since at least 2001.


    News reports in December 2005 first revealed that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been intercepting Americans’ phone calls and Internet communications. Those news reports, combined with a USA Today story in May 2006 and the statements of several members of Congress, revealed that the NSA is also receiving wholesale copies of American's telephone and other communications records. All of these surveillance activities are in violation of the privacy safeguards established by Congress and the US Constitution.


    The evidence also shows that the government did not act alone. EFF has obtained whistleblower evidence [PDF] from former AT&T technician Mark Klein showing that AT&T is cooperating with the illegal surveillance. The undisputed documents show that AT&T installed a fiberoptic splitter at its facility at 611 Folsom Street in San Francisco that makes copies of all emails web browsing and other Internet traffic to and from AT&T customers and provides those copies to the NSA. This copying includes both domestic and international Internet activities of AT&T customers. As one expert observed “this isn’t a wiretap, it’s a country-tap.”


    EFF is fighting these illegal activities in the courts. Currently, EFF is representing victims of the illegal surveillance program in Jewel v. NSA, a lawsuit filed in September 2008 seeking to stop the warrantless wiretapping and hold the government and government officials officials behind the program accountable.


    Previously, in Hepting v. AT&T, EFF filed the first case against a cooperating telecom for violating its customers' privacy. After Congress expressly intervened in the FISA Amendments Act to allow the Executive to require dismissal of the case, the case was ultimately dismissed by the US Supreme Court.


    Other ongoing cases arising from the warrantless wiretapping are:


    Al Haramain v. Obama
    Amnesty International v. Clapper
    Center for Constitutional Rights v. Bush
    Shubert v. Obama
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  2. #102
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Did NSA already use its massive surveillance apparatus to hijack the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare?

    Tuesday, June 11, 2013
    by Mike Adams,

    (NaturalNews) "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere... I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President..." - NSA spy grid whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    And so it begins: the power to tap the private phone calls of a federal judge or even the President. All at the fingertips of young NSA analysts who sift through masses of private data collected through the government's back doors into the servers of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Skype, AOL and others. (Here's the proof.)

    But if a 29-year-old working for the NSA could wiretap a federal judge, he could also wiretap a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Anything he found that was embarrassing or even incriminating could be used in a simple blackmail threat to force that justice to change his or her decision on a key issue...

    ... like Obamacare.

    What we've learned today forces us to re-examine events of 2012

    Back in July of 2012, news headlines were ablaze with the revelation that Supreme Court Justice John Roberts suddenly and unexpectedly changed his decision on Obamacare, siding with big government instead of protecting individual liberties. Many facts surrounding this sudden change of decision raise huge red flags when viewed in the context of the NSA being able to wiretap anyone's emails, phone calls and private files -- including a Supreme Court justice.

    As CBS news reported in 2012, "Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court's four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama's health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations. Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said."

    Regardless of the strength of the supporting evidence brought to Roberts during his time of consideration for the decision, nothing caused him to budge. Roberts was inexplicably immovable, even though he was now siding against nearly everything he had argued and decided in previous court cases.

    No one could satisfactorily explain the decision... until the NSA PRISM scandal erupted. Now, we all of a sudden have a viable explanation for what really goes on behind the public headlines.

    Consider this: If a group of men had the power to peek into the private conversations of ALL Americans -- including the most powerful and influential decision makers in the nation -- why would they waste their time looking for so-called "terrorists" in the first place? There's a far more valuable use for this "omniscient" technology: collecting huge payoffs to blackmail important members of Congress, the Obama administration or the Supreme Court.

    How easy would it be to blackmail a Supreme Court Justice?



    Blackmailing a U.S. Supreme Court justice is probably easier than you might think. These justices are, of course, human, which means they all have secrets they'd rather not be made public. With its highly intrusive surveillance technology, the NSA could easily gather the usernames, passwords, emails, voice calls, text chats, photos and files of every member of the Supreme Court (and Congress, for that matter), then threaten to leak certain details to the press if they don't do what they're told.

    We don't know, of course, whether this actually happened with Roberts. His decision to flip on Obamacare could have been motivated by some other bizarre influence, but this NSA spy grid blackmail theory is the first realistic theory I've run across that would explain the sudden and inexplicable shift in his opinion.

    Think about it: The health insurance companies -- which are largely owned by globalist banks and investors -- stand to make trillions of dollars from the forced buying of insurance via the "individual mandate" that was being decided by the Court. Because the Court was almost evenly divided on the issue, the changing of the opinion of just one justice could tilt the decision in favor of the insurance industry and lock in enormous profits for years to come. So if the NSA approached the insurance globalists and said something like, "Pay us $500 million and we'll hand you the Obamacare decision," the answer would obviously be, "to where do we transfer the money?" It's a cheap investment for a windfall of long-term profits. And health insurance companies -- like any large corporations -- don't "play fair." They play to win.

    The NSA is now the most powerful organization in the world

    I hope you're beginning to fully grasp the power that is now concentrated in the hands of the NSA. An organization that has the power to covertly pry into the private lives of everyone also has the power to control everyone. There is no greater currency in Washington, of course, than to have real dirt on the people you'd like to control.

    The NSA spy grid "PRISM" program is like a Dirt Devil. It's the Dyson vortex vacuum of politics... on steroids. If there's dirt to be found on anyone, the NSA can find it. That dirt can then be used as "insurance" -- mob-style -- to make sure the people you're targeting behave in the way you want them to behave. This would include, of course, voting the correct way on key legislation or court decisions.

    Right this very minute, the NSA almost certainly has a full dossier on every member of Congress, federal judge, State Dept. employee and high-powered corporate CEO in the country. And because the creepiest people tend to rise to the top in politics, there's no doubt these files contain all sorts of graphic details on prostitutes, under-age sex, secret homosexual relationships, cheating on husbands and wives, substance abuse problems, medical problems and much more. Do you know which members of Congress have smoked pot or snorted coke? The NSA probably does. How about which members of the Obama administration have ever engaged in "experimental" gay sex in college? The NSA knows all that too, no doubt.

    This knowledge is far more valuable than any hunt for terrorists. There is no question in my mind that the NSA has already figured this out and has been using this spy grid behemoth for nefarious purposes to pull the strings of key decision makers across our society. This may be the explanation behind all sorts of inexplicable votes and bizarre decisions in Washington. The NSA might even be the puppet pulling Obama's strings, as they no doubt have all sorts of dirt on Obama's history which we already know to be largely fabricated. (Real birth certificates don't have a dozen layers stitched together in Photoshop.)

    The power to spy is the power to control

    You gotta hand it to whoever built this spy grid from the ground up. It's a brilliant covert tactic of dominant control. With all the slimebags rising to positions of power in Washington, can you imagine the absolute treasure chest of low-hanging blackmail fruit that would be easily uncovered by sifting through the private emails and phone calls of lawmakers and bureaucrats?

    Take DHS as the tip of the iceberg. Last year, several male DHS employees sued the agency, claiming they were forced to perform deviant sex acts on their female bosses. There's no question that DHS is staffed up with total perverts and sexual predators, which is why we frequently hear stories of the TSA molesting little children (the TSA is part of DHS).

    Can you imagine what the private emails and phone calls of Janet Napolitano look like? (Shield my eyes! I don't even wanna know!)

    Or Anthony Weiner, the congressman who sexted a bunch of half-nude pictures of himself to young women?

    Usually the more power hungry these people are, the more deviant and perverse they behave when they think no one is looking. That makes them all incredibly easy to be compromised by the NSA -- the techno-mob with the ultimate power to control through intimidation.

    And if the NSA can really control all these people -- or at least some of them -- it begs the question: What are the NSA's aims? Who are the people calling the shots and where do their loyalties lie?

    Ever further down the rabbit hole is this question: Are these also the same people running global terrorist networks in order to justify their own existence? Or if that's too nefarious to believe, would you believe these people might willfully look the other way with certain terror groups in order to make sure they keep operating?

    Perhaps the NSA is actually in the business of NOT catching terrorists in order to make sure its own power and financial budgets keep growing. And perhaps the NSA's real business is shaking down corporate interests that pay huge dollars to have key decisions in Washington hijacked via blackmail.

    This is far more believable that the utter nonsense explanation we're told by the media which says the NSA is "catching terrorists." Really? Show me one! In reality, there's no evidence whatsoever that the NSA has stopped even a single act of genuine terrorism that targeted Americans.

    Remember: Enormous power coupled with a complete abandonment of ethics can only lead in the direction of corruption and evil. Without checks and balances, the NSA will become a rogue criminal mafia that terrorizes everyone... and can be stopped by no one.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Glenn Greenwald Gets 'Testy' With 'Morning Joe's' Mika Brzezinski

    Brett LoGiurato Jun. 10, 2013, 7:59 AM



    "Morning Joe" co-host Mike Brzezinski sparred Monday morning with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has broken a series of stories detailing a broad swath of government surveillance by the National Security Agency. Brzezinski repeatedly challenged Greenwald on whether the programs his reporting has detailed — including NSA data-mining and phone surveillance programs — were really "shocking."

    In one heated moment, Brzezinski asked Greenwald if the Obama administration was doing anything illegal.

    "Quickly, I just want an answer, yes or no, isn't it the case that reviewing of emails or any wiretapping cannot take place without an additional warrant from a judge and a review?" Brzezinski said. "I mean, it's not like there’s haphazard probing into all of our personal emails. Can we put this into context so we understand exactly what's going on?"

    Greenwald accused her of using "White House talking points."

    "Yeah, I'll put it into context for you," he said. "The White House talking points that you're using are completely misleading and false."

    The only time the government needs a warrant for surveillance, Greenwald said, is when the person is inside the United States.

    "Under that law, the U.S. government and the NSA have the power and exercise the power to listen in on telephone conversations and read emails involving all kinds of American citizens. ... So, those talking points that you're reading are false —"

    "Hey, Glenn, no," Brzezinski said, interjecting. "I'm not reading talking points. Glenn, I'd like to ask a question, is this legal or illegal? Or Richard Haass, can you help me out here, since Glenn doesn't want to answer the question. Is the law being broken here?

    "I questioned the law. I questioned all the issues that this raises. I'm personally concerned as well. But I'd like to put this in perspective. Is the law being broken?"

    Later, Brzezinski and co-host Joe Scarborough said Greenwald got "testy" with her, which Scarborough said in jest "shocked and stunned" him.
    Watch the clip below, via MSNBC (Greenwald's interview starts about two minutes in):


    Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    Thanks Rick, very interesting!!!

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
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    “You Americans are so gullible.
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Guardian Reporter Glenn Greenwald Blasts Calls for Leak Prosecutions

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    By Imtiyaz Delawala

    Jun 9, 2013 1:34pm




    Glenn Greenwald, the reporter for The Guardian who broke stories last week on the National Security Agency’s phone and internet surveillance programs, blasted calls for the prosecution of his sources for leaking classified information, saying they “deserve our praise and gratitude and not imprisonment and prosecution.”

    “What they did was they risked their careers and their lives and their liberty because what they were seeing being done in secret inside the United States government is so alarming and so pernicious that they simply want one thing, and that is for the American people at least to learn about what this massive spying apparatus is, and what the capabilities are, so that we can have an open, honest debate about whether that’s the kind of country that we want to live in,” Greenwald said on “This Week” Sunday.

    “Unfortunately, since the government hides virtually everything that they do at the threat of criminal prosecution, the only way for us to learn about them is through these courageous whistle-blowers who deserve our praise and gratitude and not imprisonment and prosecution,” Greenwald added.

    Sunday on “This Week,’ House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., called for the prosecution of the individuals who leaked classified information on the NSA’s phone and internet surveillance programs revealed in reports in The Guardian and The Washington Post last week.

    “I absolutely believe that someone did not have authorization to release this information,” House Intelligence Committee Chair Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., told “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

    “Taking a very sensitive classified program that targets foreign person on foreign lands, and putting just enough out there to be dangerous, is dangerous to us, it’s dangerous to our national security and it violates the oath of which that person took,” Rogers added. “I absolutely think they should be prosecuted.”

    Rogers also criticized Greenwald’s knowledge of the NSA programs, saying, “he doesn’t have a clue how this thing works.”

    “Greenwald, says that he’s got it all and now is an expert on the program,” Rogers said. “He doesn’t have a clue how this thing works. Neither did the person who released just enough information to literally be dangerous.”

    Greenwald responded on Twitter to Rogers’ comments, saying, “That’s why transparency’s needed.”


    ABC

    Greenwald – who said he plans to report more revelations – said he has not been contacted by the FBI or other law enforcement officials regarding his sources, but said the “attempt to intimidate journalists and sources with these constant threats of investigation aren’t going to work.”

    “Any time they would like to speak to me, I would be more than happy to speak to them, and I will tell them that there is this thing called the Constitution, and the very first amendment of which guarantees a free press,” Greenwald said on “This Week.” “As an American citizen, I have every right and even the obligation as a journalist to tell my fellow citizens and our readers what it is that the government is doing, that they don’t want people in the United States to know about.”

    He also rejected criticism from the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who called his reporting “reckless” and filled with inaccuracies.

    “They attack the media as the messenger and they are trying to discredit the story,” Greenwald responded. “This has been going back decades, ever since the Pentagon papers were released by The New York Times, and political officials said you are endangering national security. The only thing we’ve endangered is the reputation of the people in power who are building this massive spying apparatus without any accountability who are trying to hide from the American people what it is that they are doing.”

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  7. #107
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/n...fired/2411231/

    Saw this coming.... Think I'll apply. I have significantly more experience, education and "time in service". I could use a 122k a year.

    Contractor fires Snowden from $122,000 per year job

    John Bacon, USA TODAY 10:55 a.m. EDT June 11, 2013

    Booz Allen says Edward Snowden was fired for "violation of the firm's code of ethics."


    The consulting firm Booz Allen issued a statement Tuesday confirming that Edward Snowden, 29, was an employee of the firm for less than 3 months, assigned to a team in Hawaii.


    The statement says Snowden had a salary rate of $122,000 -- and was terminated Monday "for violations of the firm's code of ethics and firm policy."


    Snowden, a former technical analyst for the CIA, revealed Sunday that he was the source of leaks detailing surveillance efforts involving National Security Agency collection of phone and Internet data. He has said he is hiding in Hong Kong.


    In an interview with The Guardian last week, Snowden described a comfortable lifestyle and $200,000 salary from Booz Allen, of McLean, Va., and a home in Hawaii that he shared with a girlfriend. He told the paper his main fear was the U.S. government would come after his family, his friends and his partner.


    "I can't in good conscience allow the U.S. government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building," Snowden told the Guardian.


    The Booz Allen statement also says:


    "News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm. We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter."
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  8. #108
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    saw this coming too:

    Russia considering asylum offer to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden

    Alexei Pushkov, Russia's chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Duma, was one of the first to publicly express support for the ‘human rights activist,’ who has not made any known requests to the country so far.

    By Nina Golgowski / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Tuesday, June 11, 2013, 10:17 AM

    NO SALES  NO ARCHIVE  ONE TIME USE ONLY  MANDATORY CREDIT   AP PROVIDES ACCESS TO THIS HANDOUT PHOTO TO BE USED SOLELY TO ILLUSTRATE NEWS REPORTING OR COMMENTARY ON THE FACTS OR EVENTS DEPICTED IN THIS IMAGE. Ewan MacAskill/AP

    In the first consideration of its kind, Russia has said it would consider offering American whistle-blower Edward Snowden asylum while one public official refered to him a human rights activist.




    Mother Russia may be willing to embrace American whistle-blower Edward Snowden.


    A government official says it will consider an asylum request by Snowden, who's being hailed a human rights activist.


    Snowden, who's currently believed to be hiding in Hong Kong after leaking top-secret documents by the National Security Agency to the Guardian last week, has not made any known requests to any country so far.


    "If such an appeal is given, it will be considered. We'll act according to facts," Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told Russian newspaper Kommersant on Tuesday.
    The 29-year-old IT contractor and former CIA employee previously voiced a desire of asylum in Iceland, telling the Guardian, "My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values."


    RELATED: NSA LEAKER EDWARD SNOWDEN LEFT BEAUTIFUL DANCER GIRLFRIEND BEHIND
    Russia until now has shown little reaction to Snowden's alleged security crimes in the U.S. with the Kremlin's intelligence agencies already known for conducting domestic surveillance of their own.


    Other European countries, notably Germany, have voiced public uproar and discontent with the U.S.' deemed heavily intrusive surveillance operations revealed by Snowden's series of leaks.


    WiNG via Wikipedia

    Snowden's whereabouts are currently unknown after checking out of this Hong Kong hotel on Monday afternoon.

    Snowden's reports showed Verizon was transmitting call data on its networks to the government on an ongoing basis. Other phone carriers were found doing the same while adding the information to a massive government database.


    Alexei Pushkov, Russia's chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee in Duma, was one of the first to publicly express support for Snowden whom he referred to as a “human rights activist” on Tuesday.


    "By promising asylum to Snowden, Moscow has taken upon itself the protection of those persecuted for political reasons. There will be hysterics in the US. They only recognise this right for themselves," he posted to Twitter.


    RELATED: WHISTLE-BLOWER BEHIND NSA LEAKS CHECKS OUT OF HOTEL
    "Listening to telephones and tracking the internet, the US special services broke the laws of their country. In this case, Snowden, like Assange, is a human rights activist."
    On Monday afternoon Snowden checked out of a Hong Kong hotel leaving his current whereabouts unknown.


    Some have argued his decision to flee to Hong Kong was a mistake with a 1996 extradition treaty between it and the U.S. promising to surrender any individual wanted for prosecution by the other.


    Snowden has instead expressed his belief that the people would protect him.


    "Hong Kong has a reputation for freedom in spite of the People's Republic of China. It has a strong tradition of free speech," he told the Guardian on Sunday.


    Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/worl...#ixzz2Vv7ARPN9
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Obviously, if they don't know the extent of damage they can't call this guy a traitor yet.

    The Constitution is VERY clear on what constitutes treason.

    U.S. government weighs security damage from NSA disclosures



    By Mark Hosenball
    WASHINGTON | Tue Jun 11, 2013 10:55am EDT




    (Reuters) - The Obama administration has launched an internal review to assess damage to U.S. national security from last week's leak of top-secret details of National Security Agency surveillance programs, a senior U.S. intelligence official said.


    The review is separate from an initial criminal investigation into the leak opened by the Justice Department, the official told Reuters.


    The administration's review will examine the extent of damage to national security programs from the disclosures by Edward Snowden of details of NSA's collection of phone call and email data, the official said.


    It will be coordinated by the National Counterintelligence Executive (NCIX), a branch of the Director of National Intelligence's office, the official said.


    Snowden, who had been working at the NSA as an employee of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, went public in a video released on Sunday by Britain's Guardian newspaper.


    In the interview, he described being disturbed by the NSA's broad monitoring of phone call and Internet data from large companies such as Google and Facebook.


    The company said on Tuesday that it had terminated Snowden's employment on Monday for violations of its code of ethics and policies. It said he had been an employee for less than three months and had a salary of $122,000.


    Snowden's revelations have prompted a broad national debate about the balance of American's privacy rights and national security measures, especially as they have developed since the September 11, 2001, attacks in the United States.


    A team of national security, law enforcement and intelligence officials was scheduled to brief House of Representatives members later on Tuesday about the NSA's surveillance programs. The Senate will be briefed on Thursday.


    BOEHNER SAYS SNOWDEN "A TRAITOR"


    House Speaker John Boehner defended the NSA programs and their congressional oversight, saying he had been briefed on the programs and that Americans were not "snooped on" unless they communicated with a terrorist in another country. (RD: That's certainly what he was told. I personally don't believe the government.)


    "He's a traitor," Boehner said of Snowden in an interview with ABC News. "The disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk, it shows our adversaries what our capabilities are, and it's a giant violation of the law."


    Many other lawmakers, both Democrats and Republicans, have also called for swift punishment.


    But Senator Rand Paul, a Republican popular with the Tea Party movement that campaigns against intrusive government, said he was reserving judgment on Snowden. He said such civil disobedience happened when people felt like they had no other options.


    "I think most Americans don't want this surveillance," Paul said on CBS' "This Morning" program.


    (Reporting by Mark Hosenball; additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Karey Van Hall and David Storey)
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Wyden cites contradiction in eavesdropping answer

    Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 9:17 am | Updated: 10:02 am, Tue Jun 11, 2013.

    Associated Press | 1 comment

    Sen. Ron Wyden says Director of National Intelligence James Clapper had a day to prepare his answer to Congress that there was no widespread collection of Americans' phone records.

    Clapper, in answer to Wyden's questions in March testimony, denied that any intentional and massive sweep of Americans phone records as part of counterterror surveillance was occurring. It was revealed in the last week that two such programs do exist and were recently renewed.

    In a statement to The Associated Press, Wyden said when NSA Director Keith Alexander didn't provide a full answer to questions about the programs, Wyden gave Clapper a day's notice that he would be asked the question at the hearing. Afterwards, he said, he gave Clapper's office another chance to amend his answer, but Clapper declined.

    A spokesman for Clapper's office could not immediately be reached.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

    The Obama administration is weighing whether to charge a government contractor with leaking classified government secrets while it defends a much-criticized National Security Agency surveillance program as an indispensable tool for protecting Americans from terrorists.

    Facing a global uproar over the programs that track phone and Internet messages around the world, the Justice Department continued to investigate whether the disclosures of Edward Snowden, 29, an employee of government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, were criminal.

    Meanwhile, the European Parliament planned to debate the spy programs Tuesday and whether they have violated local privacy protections. EU officials in Brussels pledged to seek answers from U.S. diplomats at a trans-Atlantic ministerial meeting in Dublin later this week.

    The global scrutiny comes after revelations from Snowden, who has chosen to reveal his identity. Snowden has fled to Hong Kong in hopes of escaping criminal charges as lawmakers including Senate intelligence chairwoman Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California accuse him of committing an "act of treason" that should be prosecuted.

    Officials in Germany and the European Union issued calm but firm complaints Monday over two National Security Agency programs that target suspicious foreign messages _ potentially including phone numbers, email, images, video and other online communications transmitted through U.S. providers. The chief British diplomat felt it necessary to try to assure Parliament that the spy programs do not encroach on U.K. privacy laws.

    And in Washington, members of Congress said they would take a new look at potential ways to keep the U.S. safe from terror attacks without giving up privacy protections that critics charge are at risk with the government's current authority to broadly sweep up personal communications.

    "There's very little trust in the government, and that's for good reason," said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who sits on the House Intelligence Committee. "We're our own worst enemy."

    House Speaker John Boehner, however, said he believes President Barack Obama has fully explained why the program is needed. He told ABC's "Good Morning America" Tuesday that "the disclosure of this information puts Americans at risk. It shows our adversaries what our capabilities are and it's a giant violation of the law." He called Snowden a "traitor."

    A senior U.S. intelligence official on Monday said there were no plans to scrap the programs that, despite the backlash, continue to receive widespread if cautious support within Congress. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive security issue.

    The programs were revealed last week by The Guardian and The Washington Post newspapers. National Intelligence Director James Clapper has taken the unusual step of declassifying some of the previously top-secret details to help the administration mount a public defense of the surveillance as a necessary step to protect Americans.

    Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was considering how Congress could limit the amount of data spy agencies seize from telephone and Internet companies _ including restricting the information to be released only on an as-needed basis.

    "It's a little unsettling to have this massive data in the government's possession," King said.

    One of the NSA programs gathers hundreds of millions of U.S. phone records to search for possible links to known terrorist targets abroad. The other allows the government to tap into nine U.S. Internet companies and gather all communications to detect suspicious behavior that begins overseas.

    Snowden is a former CIA employee who later worked as a contractor for the NSA on behalf of Booz Allen, where he gained access to the surveillance. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine said, it was "absolutely shocking" that a 29-year-old with limited experience would have access to this material.

    FBI agents on Monday visited the home of Snowden's father, Lonnie Snowden, in Upper Macungie Township, Pa. The FBI in Philadelphia declined to comment.

    The first explosive document Snowden revealed was a top secret court order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that granted a three-month renewal for a massive collection of American phone records. That order was signed April 25. The Guardian's first story on the court order was published June 5.

    In a statement issued Sunday, Booz Allen said Snowden had been an employee for fewer than three months, so it's possible he was working as an NSA contractor when the order was issued.

    Snowden also gave the Post and the Guardian a PowerPoint presentation on another secret program that collects online usage by the nine Internet providers. The U.S. government says it uses that information only to track foreigners' use overseas.

    Believing his role would soon be exposed, Snowden fled last month to Hong Kong, a Chinese territory that enjoys relative autonomy from Beijing. His exact whereabouts were unknown Monday.

    "All of the options, as he put it, are bad options," Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who first reported the phone-tracking program and interviewed Snowden extensively, told The Associated Press on Monday. He said Snowden decided to release details of the programs out of shock and anger over the sheer scope of the government's privacy invasions.

    "It was his choice to publicly unveil himself," Greenwald told the AP in Hong Kong. "He recognized that even if he hadn't publicly unveiled himself, it was only a matter of time before the U.S. government discovered that it was he who had been responsible for these disclosures, and he made peace with that. ... He's very steadfast and resolute about the fact that he did the right thing."

    Greenwald told the AP that he had more documents from Snowden and expected "more significant revelations" about NSA.

    Although Hong Kong has an extradition treaty with the U.S., the document has some exceptions, including for crimes deemed political. Any negotiations about his possible handover will involve Beijing, but some analysts believe China is unlikely to want to jeopardize its relationship with Washington over someone it would consider of little political interest.

    Snowden also told The Guardian that he may seek asylum in Iceland, which has strong free-speech protections and a tradition of providing a haven for the outspoken and the outcast.

    The Justice Department is investigating whether his disclosures were a criminal offense _ a matter that's not always clear-cut under U.S. federal law.

    A second senior intelligence official said Snowden would have had to have signed a non-disclosure agreement to gain access to the top secret data. That suggests he could be prosecuted for violating that agreement. Penalties could range from a few years to life in prison. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the process of accessing classified materials more frankly.

    The leak came to light as Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was being tried in military court under federal espionage and computer fraud laws for releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other items. The most serious charge against him was aiding the enemy, which carries a potential life sentence. But the military operates under a different legal system.

    If Snowden is forced to return to the United States to face charges, whistle-blower advocates said Monday that they would raise money for his legal defense.

    Clapper has ordered an internal review to assess how much damage the disclosures created. Intelligence experts say terrorist suspects and others seeking to attack the U.S. all but certainly will find alternate ways to communicate instead of relying on systems that now are widely known to be under surveillance.

    The Obama administration also now must deal with the political and diplomatic fallout of the disclosures. Privacy laws across much of Western Europe are stricter than they are in the United States.

    "It would be unacceptable and would need swift action from the EU if indeed the U.S. National Security Agency were processing European data without permission," said Guy Verhofstadt, a Belgian member of the European parliament and a leader in the Alde group of liberal parties.

    Additionally, German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters Monday that Chancellor Angela Merkel would question President Barack Obama about the NSA program when he's in Berlin on June 18 for his first visit to the German capital as president. In Germany, privacy regulations are especially strict, and the NSA programs could tarnish a visit that both sides had hoped would reaffirm strong German-American ties.

    In London, British Foreign Secretary William Hague was forced to deny allegations that the U.K. government had used information provided by the Americans to circumvent British laws. "We want the British people to have confidence in the work of our intelligence agencies and in their adherence to the law and democratic values," Hague told Parliament.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama was open for a discussion about the spy programs, both with allies and in Congress. His administration has aggressively defended the two programs and credited them with helping stop at least two terrorist attacks, including one in New York City.

    Privacy rights advocates say Obama has gone too far. The American Civil Liberties Union and Yale Law School filed legal action Monday to force a secret U.S. court to make public its opinions justifying the scope of some of the surveillance, calling the programs "shockingly broad." And conservative lawyer Larry Klayman filed a separate lawsuit against the Obama administration, claiming he and others have been harmed by the government's collection of as many as 3 billion phone numbers each day.

    Army records indicate Snowden enlisted in the Army around May 2004 and was discharged that September.

    "He attempted to qualify to become a Special Forces soldier but did not complete the requisite training and was administratively discharged from the Army," Col. David H. Patterson Jr., an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, said in a statement late Monday.

    ___

    Associated Press writers Donna Cassata, Frederic Frommer and Matt Apuzzo in Washington, Robert H. Reid in Berlin and Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong contributed to this report.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Why Expanded Government Spying Doesn’t Mean Better Security Against Terrorism

    Posted on
    By Barry Rubin:
    What is most important to understand about the revelations of massive message interception by the U.S. government is this: in counterterrorist terms, it is a farce.
    There is a fallacy behind the current intelligence strategy of the United States, behind this collection of up to three billion phone calls a day, of emails, and even of credit card expenditures, not to mention the government spying on the mass media. It is this:
    The more quantity of intelligence, the better it is for preventing terrorism.
    In the real, practical world this is untrue, though it might seem counterintuitive. You don’t need — to put it in an exaggerated way — an atomic bomb against a flea. Basically the NSA, as one of my readers suggested, is the digital equivalent of the TSA strip-searching an 80 year-old Minnesota grandmothers rather than profiling and focusing on the likely terrorists.


    Isn’t it absurd that the United States — which can’t finish a simple border fence to keep out potential terrorists; can’t stop a would-be terrorist in the U.S. Army who gives a PowerPoint presentation on why he is about to shoot people (Major Nidal Hasan); can’t follow up on Russian intelligence warnings about Chechen terrorist contacts (the Boston bombing); or a dozen similar incidents — must now collect every telephone call in the country?


    Isn’t it absurd that under this system, a photo-shop clerk has to stop an attack on Fort Dix by overcoming his fear of appearing “racist” to report a cell of terrorists?


    That it was left to brave passengers to jump a would-be “underpants bomber” from Nigeria, because his own father’s warning that he was a terrorist was insufficient?


    Isn’t it absurd that terrorists and terrorist supporters visit the White House, hang out with the FBI, and advise the U.S. government on counter-terrorist policy, even while — as CAIR does — advising Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement? And that they are admiringly quoted in the media?


    Meanwhile, a documented, detailed revelation of this behavior in MERIA Journal by Patrick Poole – ”Blind to Terror: The U.S. Government’s Disastrous Muslim Outreach Efforts and the Impact on U.S. Middle East Policy” — a report which rationally should bring down the government, does not get covered by a single mass media outlet?
    Imagine this scene:
    “Sir, we have a telephone call about a potential terrorist attack!”


    “Not now, Smithers, I’m giving a tour of our facility to some supporters of Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.”
    How about the time when the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem had a (previously jailed) Hamas agent working in their motor pool with direct access to the vehicles and itineraries of all visiting U.S. dignitaries and senior officials?


    Instead of this kind of nonsense, the two key elements of counterterrorism are as follows:


    First, it is not the quantity of material that counts, but the need to locate and correctly understand the most vital material. This requires your security forces to understand the ideological, psychological, and organizational nature of the threat. Second, it is necessary to be ready to act on this information not only in strategic terms but in political terms.

    For example: suppose the U.S. ambassador to Libya warns that the American compound there may be attacked. No response.


    Then he tells the deputy chief of mission that he is under attack. No response.


    Then, the U.S. military is not allowed to respond.


    Then, the president goes to sleep without making a decision about doing anything because of a communications breakdown between the secretaries of Defense and State, and the president goes to sleep because he has a very important fundraiser the next day.


    But don’t worry — because three billion telephone calls by Americans are daily being intercepted and supposedly analyzed.


    In other words, you have a massive counterterrorist project costing $1 trillion, but when it comes down to it, the thing repeatedly fails.


    To quote the former secretary of State: “What difference does it make?”


    If one looks at the great intelligence failures of the past, these two points quickly become obvious. Take for example the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941: U.S. naval intelligence had broken Japanese codes — they had the information needed to conclude the attack would take place. Yet a focus on the key to the problem was not achieved. The important messages were not read and interpreted; the strategic mindset of the leadership was not in place.


    Or, in another situation: the plans of Nazi Germany to invade the USSR in 1941, and the time and place of the Allied invasion of Normandy in 1944, were not assessed properly, with devastating results. Of course the techniques were more primitive then, but so were the means of concealment. For instance, the Czech intelligence services — using railroad workers as informants — knew about a big build-up for a German offensive against the USSR. Soviet leader Joseph Stalin overrode the warnings. Soviet analysts predicting a Nazi invasion were punished.


    Nothing would have changed if more material was collected.


    So what needs to be in place, again, is a focus on the highest-priority material, on analyzing correctly what is available, on having leaders accept it and act upon it. If the U.S. government can’t even figure out what the Muslim Brotherhood is like, or the dangers of supporting Islamists to take over Syria, or the fact that the Turkish regime is an American enemy, or if they can’t even teach military officers who the enemy is … what’s it going to do with scores of billions of telephone calls?
    Read more at PJ Media
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Saw this and had to bring it here.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    this. http://www.cnn.com/2013/06/11/politi...html?hpt=hp_t1

    >snip<

    More revelations coming
    Glenn Greenwald, one of the Guardian journalists who broke the NSA story, says the newspaper is not finished revealing NSA secrets.
    "There are extremely invasive spying programs that the public still does not know about that the NSA regularly engages in or other capabilities that they're developing," he said in an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
    "We are working on stories right at this moment that we think are very valuable for the public to know that don't in any way harm national security but that shine a light on this extremely secretive though momentous agency," he said.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    27 Quotes From Edward Snowden…..



    If these don’t scare you…You are on the side of Obama.


    #1 "The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate."

    #2 "…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents."

    #3 "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to."

    #4 "…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building."

    #5 "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything."

    #6 "With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards."

    #7 "Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…"

    #8 "To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so."

    #9 "I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."

    #10 "…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them."

    #11 "Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life."

    #12 "Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest."

    #13 "Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state."

    #14 "I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

    #15 "I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."

    #16 "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."

    #17 "I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act."

    #18 "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."

    #19 "The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The
    NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny."

    #20 "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

    #21 "You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk."

    #22 "I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me."

    #23 "We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

    #24 "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end."

    #25 "There’s no saving me."

    #26 "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night."

    #27 "I do not expect to see home again."

    - See more at: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/a....f9OYglKY.dpuf
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    This basically is another "Science Fiction" novel coming true.

    I fully expect, within a couple years to start seeing JobsUSA carrying positions for PsychoAgents or some such name. People who have studied computer sciences, data aggregation, psychology and have the skills to examine charts, graphs and data and make a decision based on that information on when and where to arrest you because you're "thinking of committing a crime".

    Even if that "crime" is merely fudging on paying a bill, a small tax (say on the order of pennies or a couple of dollars) or donating something and taking a bigger deduction than you donated.

    Folks this is the stuff science fiction novels are based on. Outlandish tools and abilities that can't possibly exist in our space-time continuum and yet they do now.

    The only thing the Obama's "New World Order" is missing are the third world nation uniforms, replete with medals, ribbons, ropes and brass.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    It’s Probably Much Worse Than You Think




    June 10, 2013

    There is something fishy about the recent disclosures of the National Security Agency’s (NSA) “metadata” monitoring of telephone calls, Internet traffic, and credit card transactions of innocent U.S. citizens. Start with the press. The Guardian, a London newspaper that bills itself as “the world’s leading liberal voice,” first disclosed that Verizon had turned over, pursuant to an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, millions of phone records to the NSA. The source of its gift-wrapped scoop was Edward Snowden, an apparently idealistic 29-year-old American, formerly a technical assistant for the CIA and currently employed by defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. The Guardian and the Washington Post then broke the story of Prism, an NSA program that accesses the servers of nine leading U.S. Internet service providers (ISPs) and gathers data on audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs. Within a day, The New York Times had published an editorial damning the surveillance, stating that, “The administration has now lost all credibility on this issue.”



    It is curious that Snowden would give his information and documents to The Guardian. Why not a U.S. newspaper, and why wasn’t Snowden worried that “the world’s leading liberal voice” might squelch a story that reflects so badly on President Obama? It is also curious that the Washington Post would be so quick to publish the ISP part of the story, and that the New York Times would be so quick to condemn the administration. Since Bill Clinton’s ascendency, those two leading papers have been lapdogs rather than watchdogs concerning possible moral and legal transgressions by Democrats. A compilation of their investigative scoops and editorial condemnations of such matters would be a thin book indeed. It generally runs the other way; they often serve as Democratic mouthpieces and spinmeisters.



    Now take a look at various reactions. Nobody denied the surveillance programs’ existence. Instead, typified by a Wall Street Journal editorial and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s public statements, they were justified on the usual grounds of preventing terrorism and other misdeeds, with condemnations of the disclosers for compromising these useful programs. Surely the bad guys never suspected that their telephone and computers might be monitored, and will now resort to smoke signals and messenger pigeons to communicate, thwarting the good guys. Why the surveillance required information about billions of communications by innocent parties has not been answered, except for mumbles about “data-mining,” “pattern recognition,” and “if we told you more, we’d have to kill you.” Vacuous arguments were advanced about all three branches of the government signing off on the program, as if that were somehow a comfort. The ISPs issued masterfully legalistic denials that instilled no confidence they had not cooperated and would not continue to cooperate with the government. President Obama said that nobody’s phone conversations had been listened to or e-mails opened, but after the IRS’s harassment of conservative groups and the Justice Department’s surveillance of AP reporters and Fox News reporter James Rosen, not everybody was convinced. All in all, efforts to deny, defend, denigrate, and defuse have fallen well short of standard Washington damage control.



    Why? Consider the seemingly far fetched idea that the government wanted the NSA programs disclosed in this way. There will be further revelations, controversy, expressions of outrage from opinion makers, politicians, and ordinary citizens, investigations, and perhaps new regulations and legislation. Leakers may wind up in jail, but probably not anyone in the government. Ostensibly, it may become harder for the NSA to do what it has done. But what if all that is beside the point?



    When memories of the particulars of this affair have faded, one well founded fear will remain indelibly in the collective consciousness: that the government can find out everything you say on your phone, everywhere you go from your electronic gadgets, every website you visit, every word you post on social media, and everything you buy with credit cards. Those who frequently express their love for the government and have led exemplary, flawless lives may have no reason to cower, but for the other 99.9999999 percent, that fear is profoundly disturbing and will undoubtedly affect behavior.



    Libertarians cheered social media’s role in undermining authoritarian regimes during the Arab spring. The NSA revelations have made it clear that the technologies celebrated as tools of liberation can rather easily become tools of oppression. But what good is Big Brother if nobody knows he’s watching? Are you more or less likely to criticize a politician over the phone, lambast the IRS on Facebook, criticize Wall Street-Washington crony capitalism in a blog post, or attend a rally protesting our foreign policy if you suspect government surveillance? For the government, the details of individual lives revealed by their telephone calls, Internet usage, and movements will be, for the most part, unimportant. What is important is engendering a widespread fear that it can obtain such information and use it to harass, embarrass, blackmail, intimidate, arrest, or otherwise persecute anyone who says or does something the government does not like.



    With this masterstroke the government will cow much of the population. We know whose interests are served―aspiring totalitarians. The government’s economic policy amounts to issuing debt to the central bank while piling additional tax, regulatory, and medical insurance obligations on business. A policy so fundamentally flawed must eventually fail, leading to social chaos. The government’s war on terrorism has been a foil for the further erosion of our civil liberties. We may be one financial market crash, series of bank runs, curtailment of welfare state benefits, or large scale “terrorist” attack from the imposition of “temporary” emergency measures―martial law, suspension of the Bill of Rights and free elections, confiscation of firearms, and mass detention and arrests. How convenient for our masters if the main modes of communication for the potential opposition are known to be under the government’s control. It could stop an “American spring” in its tracks.



    If the NSA revelations are part of a blueprint for the imposition of a police state, then those responsible for those revelations are nothing more than useful idiots and denunciations nothing more than useful camouflage. This may all sound like paranoia, but after recent disclosures, a little paranoia is in order. Print this essay, file it away somewhere safe, and reread it in two or three years. Hopefully you’ll be able to crumple it up and throw it the trashcan―the demented ravings of a paranoid lunatic. Print it, because if that is not the case, Straight Line Logic and many other worthwhile websites and blogs will no longer be available on the Internet.



    Robert Gore, straightlinelogic.com, robertgore1@me.com



    Please forward this article or the link to anybody who might enjoy it, and especially to those who won’t.
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    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Inside the NSA’s secret Utah data center

    By John Brandon

    Published June 11, 2013

    FoxNews.com

    http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/06/...h-data-center/


    As Americans demand answers about the government's wholesale electronic snooping on its citizens, the primary snooper -- the National Security Agency (NSA) -- is building a monstrous digital datacenter in a remote corner of Utah capable of sorting through and storing every e-mail, voicemail, and social media communication it can get its hands on.

    This top-secret data warehouse could hold as many as 1.25 million 4-terabyte hard drives, built into some 5,000 servers to store the trillions upon trillions of ones and zeroes that make up your digital fingerprint.

    But that's just one way to catalog people, said Charles King, principal analyst at data center consulting firm Pund-IT.

    "The NSA -- like any large organization -- is using numerous kinds of storage systems," King told FoxNews.com, including "innovative SSD and in-memory systems for high performance applications like real time analytics."

    Some reports have suggested the data center could hold as much as 5 zetabytes, an astronomical sum equivalent to 62 billion stacked iPhone 5s. King called that number "difficult, if not impossible to conceive.”

    “That would mean deploying about 5 million storage systems running roughly 1.25 billion, 4-terabyte hard drives,” he said.

    The agency will neither confirm nor deny specific details about the 100,000 square foot center, which comprises four separate data halls. But industry experts reached by FoxNews.com painted a detailed picture of how such a facility would work.

    'I wouldn’t think for a second that [the NSA] uses commercially available servers and storage.'

    - Jim Knotts, a solutions architect at networking company Black Box

    The NSA likely uses open-source UNIX operating systems rather than the Microsoft software common in business. And the storage and servers are probably custom-made, due to the scale of the operation, explained Jim Knotts, a solutions architect at networking company Black Box.

    “I wouldn’t think for a second that [the NSA] uses commercially available servers and storage for the simple fact that if someone were to physically breach the facility, they would be able to have determined beforehand how to get past any security measures,” Knotts told FoxNews.com.

    There’s a precedent for secretive organizations making their own hardware. In March, Wired reported that Google makes its own data center equipment as a way to keep operations secret and tamper-proof.

    “The company is apparently so paranoid about competitors catching a glimpse of its gear, it’s been known to keep its server cages in complete darkness, outfitting its technical staff like miners and sending them spelunking into the cages with lights on their heads,” Wired’s Cade Metz wrote.

    Located just outside of Bluffdale, the NSA center is powered by 65 megawatts of electricity and has a series of back-up battery sites, according to U.S. Army Corp of Engineers documentation.

    King says the Utah data center is likely designed to analyze what he calls “unstructured data” -- the bits and fragments collected from chats and social nets that run through high-speed servers for analysis.

    “The place is probably equipped with pretty much every kind of traditional enterprise-class database/data mining platform and tool,” he told FoxNews.com.

    At the same time, Knotts says the firewall and security gear is likely commercially available -- from companies like Cisco, Checkpoint, and Dell SonicWALL. (Each of these companies declined to comment or did not respond to a Fox News inquiry.)

    Even if some of the security software is U.S. made, he says the NSA likely has customized many of the IT security measures and uses its own custom-made back-up software.

    And what about Microsoft? The operating systems are likely UNIX, but there’s a good chance NSA agents use Microsoft productivity software. (Microsoft declined to comment on its involvement in the Utah data center.)

    According to the NSA, the Utah facility will cost $1.2B and is the Department of Defense’s largest ongoing construction project in the continental U.S. The exterior of the building was completed on May 30. There will be about 150-200 employees.

    In April, Vanee Vines, a public information officer for the NSA, told Fox News that the Utah Data Center will be "a state-of-the-art facility designed to support the Intelligence Community’s efforts to further strengthen and protect the nation.”

    Recent images released by the Associated Press show the facility is almost complete. There’s an entrance, concrete-walled buildings, and massive power generators.

    Is the NSA planning to use the Utah facility for spying? Experts say no.

    "The National Security Agency is not spying on our U.S. citizens -- and the thought is not only illegal, it’s ludicrous,” said James C. Foster, CEO and Founder of Riskive.

    Vines told FoxNews.com a similar story, reiterating a statement about how the facility will be used: “One of the biggest misconceptions about NSA is that we are unlawfully listening in on, or reading e-mails of, U.S. citizens. This is simply not the case.”

    “NSA is unwavering in its respect for U.S. laws and Americans' civil liberties.”

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2013/06/...#ixzz2VwFEtUWV
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Breaking.

    ACLU files a lawsuit against Gov/NSA for spying on American people.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    ACLU Files Lawsuit Challenging Constitutionality of NSA Phone Spying Program

    The ACLU, a Verizon Customer, Says Government Data Collection Violates Its First and Fourth Amendment Rights
    June 11, 2013
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    CONTACT: 212-549-2666, media@aclu.org



    NEW YORK – The American Civil Liberties Union and the New York Civil Liberties Union today filed a constitutional challenge to a surveillance program under which the National Security Agency vacuums up information about every phone call placed within, from, or to the United States. The lawsuit argues that the program violates the First Amendment rights of free speech and association as well as the right of privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment. The complaint also charges that the dragnet program exceeds the authority that Congress provided through the Patriot Act.


    "This dragnet program is surely one of the largest surveillance efforts ever launched by a democratic government against its own citizens," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU deputy legal director. "It is the equivalent of requiring every American to file a daily report with the government of every location they visited, every person they talked to on the phone, the time of each call, and the length of every conversation. The program goes far beyond even the permissive limits set by the Patriot Act and represents a gross infringement of the freedom of association and the right to privacy."


    The ACLU is a customer of Verizon Business Network Services, which was the recipient of a secret FISA Court order published by The Guardian last week. The order required the company to "turn over on 'an ongoing daily basis' phone call details" such as who calls are placed to and from, and when those calls are made. The lawsuit argues that the government's blanket seizure of and ability to search the ACLU's phone records compromises sensitive information about its work, undermining the organization's ability to engage in legitimate communications with clients, journalists, advocacy partners, and others.


    "The crux of the government's justification for the program is the chilling logic that it can collect everyone's data now and ask questions later," said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney for the ACLU's National Security Project. "The Constitution does not permit the suspicionless surveillance of every person in the country."


    The ACLU's 2008 lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the FISA Amendments Act, which authorized the so-called "warrantless wiretapping program," was dismissed 5–4 by the Supreme Court in February on the grounds that the plaintiffs could not prove that they had been monitored. ACLU attorneys working on today's complaint said they do not expect the issue of standing to be a problem in this case because of the FISA Court order revealed last week.


    Yesterday, the ACLU and Yale Law School's Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic filed a motion with the FISA Court, requesting that it to publish its opinions on the meaning, scope, and constitutionality of Patriot Act Section 215. The ACLU is also currently litigating a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, filed in October 2011, demanding that the Justice Department release information about the government's use and interpretation of Section 215.


    "There needs to be a bright line on where intelligence gathering stops," said NYCLU executive director Donna Lieberman. "If we don't say this is too far, when is too far?"
    Attorneys on the case are Jaffer and Abdo along with Brett Max Kaufman and Patrick Toomey of the ACLU, and Arthur N. Eisenberg and Christopher T. Dunn of the NYCLU.
    An interactive graphic examining the secret FISA Court order revealed last week is available here.
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