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Thread: Obama Administration NSA Spying on Americans

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Videos at the link, lotsa information:

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/p...table/2428809/

    I'm not editing this for clarity. It's pretty damned long. Click the link if you want to see the neatened up copy. lol

    3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

    Three former NSA whistle-blowers discuss the Edward Snowden case with USA TODAY reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler.
    Peter Eisler and Susan Page, USA TODAY 8:01 p.m. EDT June 16, 2013

    In a roundtable discussion, a trio of former National Security Agency whistle-blowers tell USA TODAY that Edward Snowden succeeded where they failed.



    When a National Security Agency contractor revealed top-secret details this month on the government's collection of Americans' phone and Internet records, one select group of intelligence veterans breathed a sigh of relief.
    Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way.
    For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens. They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data-collection systems they say have been turned against Americans. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.
    To the intelligence community, the trio are villains who compromised what the government classifies as some of its most secret, crucial and successful initiatives. They have been investigated as criminals and forced to give up careers, reputations and friendships built over a lifetime.
    Today, they feel vindicated.
    They say the documents leaked by Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old former NSA contractor who worked as a systems administrator, proves their claims of sweeping government surveillance of millions of Americans not suspected of any wrongdoing. They say those revelations only hint at the programs' reach.
    On Friday, USA TODAY brought Drake, Binney and Wiebe together for the first time since the story broke to discuss the NSA revelations. With their lawyer, Jesselyn Radack of the Government Accountability Project, they weighed their implications and their repercussions. They disputed the administration's claim of the impact of the disclosures on national security and President Obama's argument that Congress and the courts are providing effective oversight.
    And they have warnings for Snowden on what he should expect next.
    Three former NSA whistleblowers discuss what they were able to learn from the leaked document in the Edward Snowden case.
    Q: Did Edward Snowden do the right thing in going public?
    William Binney: We tried to stay for the better part of seven years inside the government trying to get the government to recognize the unconstitutional, illegal activity that they were doing and openly admit that and devise certain ways that would be constitutionally and legally acceptable to achieve the ends they were really after. And that just failed totally because no one in Congress or we couldn't get anybody in the courts, and certainly the Department of Justice and inspector general's office didn't pay any attention to it. And all of the efforts we made just produced no change whatsoever. All it did was continue to get worse and expand.
    Q: So Snowden did the right thing?
    Binney: Yes, I think he did.
    Q: You three wouldn't criticize him for going public from the start?
    J. Kirk Wiebe: Correct.
    Binney: In fact, I think he saw and read about what our experience was, and that was part of his decision-making.
    Wiebe: We failed, yes.
    Jesselyn Radack: Not only did they go through multiple and all the proper internal channels and they failed, but more than that, it was turned against them. ... The inspector general was the one who gave their names to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act. And they were all targets of a federal criminal investigation, and Tom ended up being prosecuted and it was for blowing the whistle.
    Q: There's a question being debated whether Snowden is a hero or a traitor.
    Binney: Certainly he performed a really great public service to begin with by exposing these programs and making the government in a sense publicly accountable for what they're doing. At least now they are going to have some kind of open discussion like that.
    But now he is starting to talk about things like the government hacking into China and all this kind of thing. He is going a little bit too far. I don't think he had access to that program. But somebody talked to him about it, and so he said, from what I have read, anyway, he said that somebody, a reliable source, told him that the U.S. government is hacking into all these countries. But that's not a public service, and now he is going a little beyond public service.
    So he is transitioning from whistle-blower to a traitor.
    Thomas Drake: He's an American who has been exposed to some incredible information regarding the deepest secrets of the United States government. And we are seeing the initial outlines and contours of a very systemic, very broad, a Leviathan surveillance state and much of it is in violation of the fundamental basis for our own country in fact, the very reason we even had our own American Revolution. And the Fourth Amendment for all intents and purposes was revoked after 9/11. ...
    He is by all definitions a classic whistle-blower and by all definitions he exposed information in the public interest. We're now finally having the debate that we've never had since 9/11.
    Radack: "Hero or traitor?" was the original question. I don't like these labels, and they are putting people into categories of two extremes, villain or saint. ... By law, he fits the legal definition of a whistle-blower. He is someone who exposed broad waste, abuse and in his case illegality. ... And he also said he was making the disclosures for the public good and because he wanted to have a debate.
    Q: James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said Snowden's disclosures caused "huge, grave damage" to the United States. Do you agree?
    Wiebe: No, I do not. I do not. You know, I've asked people: Do you generally believe there's government authorities collecting information about you on the Net or your phone? "Oh, of course." No one is surprised.
    There's very little specificity in the slides that he made available (describing the PRISM surveillance program). There is far more specificity in the FISA court order that is bothersome.
    Q: Did foreign governments, terrorist organizations, get information they didn't have already?
    Binney: Ever since ... 1997-1998 ... those terrorists have known that we've been monitoring all of these communications all along. So they have already adjusted to the fact that we are doing that. So the fact that it is published in the U.S. news that we're doing that, has no effect on them whatsoever. They have already adjusted to that.
    Radack: This comes up every time there's a leak. ... In Tom's case, Tom was accused of literally the blood of soldiers would be on his hands because he created damage. I think the exact words were, "When the NSA goes dark, soldiers die." And that had nothing to do with Tom's disclosure at all, but it was part of the fear mongering that generally goes with why we should keep these things secret.
    Q: What did you learn from the document the Verizon warrant issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that Snowden leaked?
    Drake: It's an extraordinary order. I mean, it's the first time we've publicly seen an actual, secret, surveillance-court order. I don't really want to call it "foreign intelligence" (court) anymore, because I think it's just become a surveillance court, OK? And we are all foreigners now. By virtue of that order, every single phone record that Verizon has is turned over each and every day to NSA.
    There is no probable cause. There is no indication of any kind of counterterrorism investigation or operation. It's simply: "Give us the data." ...
    There's really two other factors here in the order that you could get at. One is that the FBI requesting the data. And two, the order directs Verizon to pass all that data to NSA, not the FBI.
    Binney: What it is really saying is the NSA becomes a processing service for the FBI to use to interrogate information directly. ... The implications are that everybody's privacy is violated, and it can retroactively analyze the activity of anybody in the country back almost 12 years.
    Now, the other point that is important about that is the serial number of the order: 13-dash-80. That means it's the 80th order of the court in 2013. ... Those orders are issued every quarter, and this is the second quarter, so you have to divide 80 by two and you get 40.
    If you make the assumption that all those orders have to deal with companies and the turnover of material by those companies to the government, then there are at least 40 companies involved in that transfer of information. However, if Verizon, which is Order No. 80, and the first quarter got order No. 1 then there can be as many as 79 companies involved.
    So somewhere between 40 and 79 is the number of companies, Internet and telecom companies, that are participating in this data transfer in the NSA.
    Radack: I consider this to be an unlawful order. While I am glad that we finally have something tangible to look at, this order came from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court. They have no jurisdiction to authorize domestic-to-domestic surveillance.
    Binney: Not surprised, but it's documentation that can't be refuted.
    Wiebe: It's formal proof of our suspicions.
    Q: Even given the senior positions that you all were in, you had never actually seen one of these?
    Drake: They're incredibly secret. It's a very close hold. ... It's a secret court with a secret appeals court. They are just not widely distributed, even in the government.
    Q: What was your first reaction when you saw it?
    Binney: Mine was that it's documentary evidence of what we have been saying all along, so they couldn't deny it.
    Drake: For me, it was material evidence of an institutional crime that we now claim is criminal.
    Binney: Which is still criminal.
    Wiebe: It's criminal.
    Q: Thomas Drake, you worked as a contractor for the NSA for about a decade before you went on staff there. Were you surprised that a 29-year-old contractor based in Hawaii was able to get access to the sort of information that he released?
    Drake: It has nothing to do with being 29. It's just that we are in the Internet age and this is the digital age. So, so much of what we do both in private and in public goes across the Internet. Whether it's the public Internet or whether it's the dark side of the Internet today, it's all affected the same in terms of technology. ...
    One of the critical roles in the systems is the system administrator. Someone has to maintain it. Someone has to keep it running. Someone has to maintain the contracts.
    Binney: Part of his job as the system administrator, he was to maintain the system. Keep the databases running. Keep the communications working. Keep the programs that were interrogating them operating. So that meant he was like a super-user. He could go on the network or go into any file or any system and change it or add to it or whatever, just to make sure because he would be responsible to get it back up and running if, in fact, it failed.
    So that meant he had access to go in and put anything. That's why he said, I think, "I can even target the president or a judge." If he knew their phone numbers or attributes, he could insert them into the target list which would be distributed worldwide. And then it would be collected, yeah, that's right. As a super-user, he could do that.
    Three former whistle-blowers discuss whether Edward Snowden could tap the president's phone and about what it means to be a "super-user" with USA TODAY reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler.
    Q: As he said, he could tap the president's phone?
    Binney: As a super-user and manager of data in the data system, yes, they could go in and change anything.
    Q: At a Senate hearing in March, Oregon Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden asked the director of national intelligence, James Clapper, if there was mass data collection of Americans. He said "no." Was that a lie?
    Drake: This is incredible dissembling. We're talking about the oversight committee, unable to get a straight answer because if the straight answer was given it would reveal the perfidy that's actually going on inside the secret side of the government.
    Q: What should Clapper have said?
    Binney: He should have said, "I can't comment in an open forum."
    Wiebe:Yeah, that's right.
    Q: Does Congress provide effective oversight for these programs?
    Radack: Congress has been a rubber stamp, basically, and the judicial branch has been basically shut down from hearing these lawsuits because every time they do they are told that the people who are challenging these programs either have no standing or (are covered by) the state secrets privilege, and the government says that they can't go forward. So the idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth.
    Binney: But the way it's set up now, it's a joke. I mean, it can't work the way it is because they have no real way of seeing into what these agencies are doing. They are totally dependent on the agencies briefing them on programs, telling them what they are doing. And as long as the agencies tell them, they will know. If they don't tell them, they don't know. And that's what's been going on here.
    And the only way they really could correct that is to create billets on these committees and integrate people in these agencies so they can go around every day and watch what is happening and then feed back the truth as to what's going on, instead of the story that they get from the NSA or other agencies. ...
    Even take the FISA court, for example. The judges signed that order. I mean, I am sure they (the FBI) swore on an affidavit to the judge, "These are the reasons why," but the judge has no foundation to challenge anything that they present to him. What information does the judge have to make a decision against them? I mean, he has absolutely nothing. So that's really not an oversight.
    Radack: The proof is in the pudding. Last year alone, in 2012, they approved 1,856 applications and they denied none. And that is typical from everything that has happened in previous years. ... I know the government has been asserting that all of this is kosher and legitimate because the FISA court signed off on it. The FISA court is a secret court operates in secret. There is only one side and has rarely disapproved anything.
    Three former NSA whistle-blowers discuss whether there is effective oversight on intelligence-gathering with USA TODAY reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler.
    Q: Do you think President Obama fully knows and understands what the NSA is doing?
    Binney: No. I mean, it's obvious. I mean, the Congress doesn't either. I mean, they are all being told what I call techno-babble ... and they (lawmakers) don't really don't understand what the NSA does and how it operates. Even when they get briefings, they still don't understand.
    Radack: Even for people in the know, I feel like Congress is being misled.
    Binney: Bamboozled.
    Radack: I call it perjury.
    Q: What should Edward Snowden expect now?
    Binney: Well, first of all, I think he should expect to be treated just like Bradley Manning (an Army private now being court-martialed for leaking documents to WikiLeaks). The U.S. government gets ahold of him, that's exactly the way he will be treated.
    Q: He'll be prosecuted?
    Binney: First tortured, then maybe even rendered and tortured and then incarcerated and then tried and incarcerated or even executed.
    Wiebe: Now there is another possibility, that a few of the good people on Capitol Hill the ones who say the threat is much greater than what we thought it was will step forward and say give this man an honest day's hearing. You know what I mean. Let's get him up here. Ask him to verify, because if he is right and all pointers are that he was all he did was point to law-breaking. What is the crime of that?
    Drake: But see, I am Exhibit No. 1. ...You know, I was charged with 10 felony counts. I was facing 35 years in prison. This is how far the state will go to punish you out of retaliation and reprisal and retribution. ... My life has been changed. It's been turned inside, upside down. I lived on the blunt end of the surveillance bubble. ... When you are faced essentially with the rest of your life in prison, you really begin to understand and appreciate more so than I ever have in terms of four times I took the oath to support the Constitution what those rights and freedoms really mean. ...
    Believe me, they are going to put everything they have got to get him. I think there really is a risk. There is a risk he will eventually be pulled off the street.
    Three former NSA whistle-blowers discuss what Snowden should expect, and what they would say to him with USA TODAY reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler.
    Q: What do you mean?
    Drake: Well, fear of rendition. There is going to be a team sent in.
    Radack: We have already unleashed the full force of the entire executive branch against him and are now doing a worldwide manhunt to bring him in something more akin to what we would do for Osama bin Laden. And I know for a fact, if we do get him, he would definitely face Espionage Act charges, as other people have who have exposed information of government wrongdoing. And I heard a number of people in Congress (say) he would also be charged with treason.
    These are obviously the most serious offenses that can be leveled against an American. And the people who so far have faced them and have never intended to harm the U.S. or benefit the foreign nations have always wanted to go public. And they face severe consequences as a defector. That's why I understand why he is seeking asylum. I think he has a valid fear.
    Wiebe: We are going to find out what kind of country we are, what have we become, what do we want to be.
    Q: What would you say to him?
    Binney: I would tell him to steer away from anything that isn't a public service like talking about the ability of the U.S. government to hack into other countries or other people is not a public service. So that's kind of compromising capabilities and sources and methods, basically. That's getting away from the public service that he did initially. And those would be the acts that people would charge him with as clearly treason.
    Drake: Well, I feel extraordinary kinship with him, given what I experienced at the hands of the government. And I would just tell him to ensure that he's got a support network that I hope is there for him and that he's got the lawyers necessary across the world who will defend him to the maximum extent possible and that he has a support-structure network in place. I will tell you, when you exit the surveillance-state system, it's a pretty lonely place because it had its own form of security and your job and family and your social network. And all of a sudden, you are on the outside now in a significant way, and you have that laser beam of the surveillance state turning itself inside out to find and learn everything they can about you.
    Wiebe: I think your savior in all of this is being able to honestly relate to the principles embedded in the Constitution that are guiding your behavior. That's where really rubber meets the road, at that point.
    Radack: I would thank him for taking such a huge personal risk and giving up so much of his life and possibly facing the loss of his life or spending it in jail. Thank him for doing that to try to help our country save it from itself in terms of exposing dark, illegal, unethical, unconstitutional conduct that is being done against millions and millions of people.
    Drake: I actually salute him. I will say it right here. I actually salute him, given my experience over many, many years both inside and outside the system. Remember, I saw what he saw. I want to re-emphasize that. What he did was a magnificent act of civil disobedience. He's exposing the inner workings of the surveillance state. And it's in the public interest. It truly is.
    Wiebe: Well, I don't want anyone to think that he had an alternative. No one should (think that). There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done. There is none. It's a toss of the coin, and the odds are you are going to be hammered.
    Three former NSA whistle-blowers discuss whether there is a better way to gather intelligence with USA TODAY reporters Susan Page and Peter Eisler.
    Q: Is there a way to collect this data that is consistent with the Fourth Amendment, the constitutional protection against unreasonable search and seizure?
    Binney: Two basic principles you have to use. ... One is what I call the two-degree principle. If you have a terrorist talking to somebody in the United States that's the first degree away from the terrorist. And that could apply to any country in the world. And then the second degree would be who that person in the United States talked to. So that becomes your zone of suspicion.
    And the other one (principle) is you watch all the jihadi sites on the Web and who's visiting those jihadi sites, who has an interest in the philosophy being expressed there. And then you add those to your zone of suspicion.
    Everybody else is innocent I mean, you know, of terrorism, anyway.
    Wiebe: Until they're somehow connected to this activity.
    Binney: You pull in all the contents involving (that) zone of suspicion and you throw all the rest of it away. You can keep the attributes of all the communicants in the other parts of the world, the rest of the 7 billion people, right? And you can then encrypt it so that nobody can interrogate that base randomly.
    That's the way of preventing this kind of random access by a contractor or by the FBI or any other DHS (Department of Homeland Security) or any other department of government. They couldn't go in and find anybody. You couldn't target your next-door neighbor. If you went in with his attributes, they're encrypted. ... So unless they are in the zone of suspicion, you won't see any content on anybody and you won't see any attributes in the clear. ...
    It's all within our capabilities.
    Drake: It's been within our capabilities for well over 12 years.
    Wiebe: Bill and I worked on a government contract for a contractor not too far from here. And when we showed him the concept of how this privacy mechanism that Bill just described to you the two degrees, the encryption and hiding of identities of innocent people he said, "Nobody cares about that." I said, "What do you mean?"
    This man was in a position to know a lot of government people in the contracting and buying of capabilities. He said. "Nobody cares about that."
    Drake: This (kind of surveillance) is all unnecessary. It is important to note that the very best of American ingenuity and inventiveness, creativity, had solved the major challenge problem the NSA faced: How do you make sense of vast amounts of data, provide the information you need to protect the nation, while also protecting the fundamental rights that are enshrined in the Constitution?
    The government in secret decided willfully and deliberately that that was no longer necessary after 9/11. So they said, you know what, hey, for the sake of security we are going to draw that line way, way over. And if it means eroding the liberties and freedoms of Americans and others, hey, so be it because that's what's most important. But this was done without the knowledge of the American people.
    Q: Would it make a difference if contractors weren't used?
    Wiebe: I don't think so. They are human beings. You know, look at what's going on with the IRS and the Tea Party. You know, there (are) human beings involved. We are all human beings contractors, NSA government employees. We are all human beings. We undergo clearance checks, background investigations that are extensive and we are all colors, ages and religions. I mean this is part of the American fabric.
    Binney: But when it comes to these data, the massive data information collecting on U.S. citizens and everything in the world they can, I guess the real problem comes with trust. That's really the issue. The government is asking for us to trust them.
    It's not just the trust that you have to have in the government. It's the trust you have to have in the government employees, (that) they won't go in the database they can see if their wife is cheating with the neighbor or something like that. You have to have all the trust of all the contractors who are parts of a contracting company who are looking at maybe other competitive bids or other competitors outside their in their same area of business. And they might want to use that data for industrial intelligence gathering and use that against other companies in other countries even. So they can even go into a base and do some industrial espionage. So there is a lot of trust all around and the government, most importantly, the government has no way to check anything that those people are doing.
    Q: So Snowden's ability to access information wasn't an exception?
    Binney: And they didn't know he was doing (it). ... That's the point, right? ...They should be doing that automatically with code, so the instant when anyone goes into that base with a query that they are not supposed to be doing, they should be flagged immediately and denied access. And that could be done with code.
    But the government is not doing that. So that's the greatest threat in this whole affair.
    Wiebe: And the polygraph that is typically given to all people, government employees and contractors, never asks about integrity. Did you give an honest day's work for your pay? Do you feel like you are doing important and proper work? Those things never come up. It's always, "Do you have any association with a terrorist?" Well, everybody can pass those kinds of questions. But, unfortunately, we have a society that is quite willing to cheat.
    Editor's note: Excerpts have been edited for length and clarity.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Edward Snowden calls U.S. intelligence 'aggressively criminal'



    By Shashank Bengali

    June 17, 2013, 11:06 a.m.




    WASHINGTON -- Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government contractor who leaked secret details of official surveillance programs, pledged Monday to release more information about U.S. intelligence-gathering methods that he described as “nakedly, aggressively criminal.”


    “All I can say right now is the U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me,” Snowden wrote in an online chat hosted by Britain’s Guardian newspaper. “Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped.”


    Writing from an undisclosed location believed to be in Hong Kong, the former CIA and National Security Agency systems administrator vigorously defended his disclosures about the breadth of U.S. surveillance, including programs that sweep up data about Americans’ telephone calls, emails and Internet use.




    U.S. officials have said that under laws governing the surveillance programs, including the Patriot Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, U.S. citizens are not the targets of the surveillance and their information is “minimized,” or set aside, unless it becomes relevant to a national security investigation.


    But Snowden alleged that intelligence agencies keep the information on government computers “for a very long time” and are available for analysts to view as long as they produce a “rubber stamp” warrant.


    “The reality is that due to the FISA Amendments Act and its section 702 authorities, Americans’ communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant,” Snowden said. “They excuse this as 'incidental' collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications.”


    Snowden has been in hiding in Hong Kong since last month, when he left his $122,000-a-year job with federal contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, which had assigned him to a team working for the NSA in Hawaii. He checked out of a hotel in Kowloon last Monday, hours after identifying himself as the source of the leaked material published in the Guardian and the Washington Post.


    Snowden said he traveled to Hong Kong last month “with no advance booking” because NSA employees’ movements are monitored and he feared being detained en route. He said he considered traveling to Iceland instead but worried that the Obama administration would have put pressure on the government in Reykjavik to surrender him.


    Hong Kong, which China has administered as a self-rule territory since 1997, provided “the cultural and legal framework to allow me to work without being immediately detained,” Snowden said.


    He rejected speculation that he intended to defect to China and spill U.S. government secrets in exchange for asylum.


    “Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing?” Snowden said. “I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now.”
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    From VOA:

    Report: NSA Leaker Denies Contact with Chinese Government




    Tom Grundy, an activist, blogger and co-organizer supporting Edward Snowden's campaign, browses the live chat with Snowden on the Guardian website in his house in Hong Kong, June 17, 2013.



    VOA News
    June 17, 2013



    The British newspaper The Guardian says a former U.S. intelligence contractor who recently exposed some U.S. surveillance operations has denied he had any contact with the Chinese government.

    The newspaper said Edward Snowden made the comment Monday in a live question and answer session with Internet users, hosted on The Guardian website. Snowden has been hiding in the autonomous Chinese territory of Hong Kong since leaking U.S. intelligence documents to several newspapers earlier this month.

    Former U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney denounced Snowden as a "traitor" in a Sunday television interview, warning that the former National Security Agency contractor could provide classified U.S. information to Chinese authorities.

    In Monday's online interview, Snowden is quoted as calling Cheney's assertion a "predictable smear" and saying that being labeled a "traitor" by the former vice president "is the highest honor you can give an American."

    Snowden's comments could not be independently verified.

    Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying also denied that Snowden has spied for China, calling the suggestion "complete nonsense."

    In her Monday briefing, Hua urged U.S. authorities to pay attention to international concerns about their surveillance operations and provide what she called a "necessary explanation." It was the first comment by a Chinese official on the NSA leaks.

    In another part of the online interview, The Guardian quoted Snowden as saying U.S. intelligence analysts have the ability to view the content of U.S. citizen phone and e-mail communications without a warrant, provided that they label such data collection as "incidental" to the search for suspected terrorists.

    Snowden also criticized other U.S. political figures including President Barack Obama, senior members of Congress and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. He accused them of colluding to expand a "suspicion-less surveillance" operation that he described as an abuse of human rights.

    The former NSA contractor did not mention any specific cases of U.S. intelligence operatives viewing private communications of Americans and did not give any examples of alleged rights abuses by those operatives.

    Some U.S. officials and lawmakers have accused Snowden of damaging national security by tipping off U.S. enemies about previously-secret surveillance programs and enabling them to change tactics. Snowden rejected that charge, saying "I did not reveal any U.S. operations against legitimate military targets."

    Snowden fled to Hong Kong last month and has vowed to use its British-rooted legal system to fight any attempt to extradite him to the United States. The U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation has said Snowden is under criminal investigation but it has not filed any charges against him or asked for his extradition.

    In an earlier report Monday, The Guardian said documents leaked by Snowden show that Britain spied on diplomats attending the 2009 Group of 20 summit in London.

    The newspaper said Britain's eavesdropping agency, the General Communications Headquarters or GCHQ, hacked into the phones and computers of Turkish and South African delegates at the summit. It said the GCHQ also tricked some G-20 delegates into using Internet cafes that it secretly modified to intercept diplomatic communications.

    The Guardian published redacted versions of some of the documents, but their authenticity could not be immediately confirmed. Their release coincided with Britain hosting the first day of a Group of Eight industrialized nations summit in Northern Ireland.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    He doesn't like Obama or Cheney. lol

    Snowden claims online Obama expanded 'abusive' security programs

    By Tom Cohen, CNN
    updated 2:18 PM EDT, Mon June 17, 2013


    NSA whistleblower: Hero or traitor?


    STORY HIGHLIGHTS

    • NEW: Person said to be Edward Snowden offers few new details about surveillance
    • Purported Snowden blog post says any possibility of a fair trial has been destroyed
    • Another post says President Obama "deepened and expanded" abusive security programs
    • A new Snowden leak discloses British surveillance of a 2009 economic summit




    Washington (CNN)
    -- A series of blog posts on Monday purportedly by Edward Snowden said he leaked classified details about U.S. surveillance programs because President Barack Obama worsened "abusive" practices instead of curtailing them as he promised as a candidate.


    In 90 minutes of live online chatting, the person identified as Snowden by Britain's Guardian newspaper and website insisted that U.S. authorities have access to phone calls, e-mails and other communications far beyond constitutional bounds.


    While he said legal restrictions can be easily skirted by analysts at the National Security Agency, FBI and CIA, Snowden stopped short of accusing authorities of violating specific laws.


    Instead, he said toothless regulations and policies were to blame for what he called "suspicionless surveillance," and he warned that policies can be changed to allow further abuses.


    Asked Monday if the NSA was following the online chat, the agency's press office provided a non-response, saying: "We have your question and we will get back to you with any updates."


    Obama, top legislators and national security officials defend the surveillance programs as necessary to combat terrorism, arguing that some privacy must be sacrificed in a balanced approach.


    They say the law allows collection of metadata, such as the time and numbers of phone calls, and that a special federal court must approve accessing the content -- listening to the call itself.


    In the blog posts on Monday, the writer identified as Snowden contended the government's overbroad collection of information violated rights of innocent Americans who have no links to suspicious activity.


    Referring to a program that permits broader access to foreign communications than is allowed for domestic monitoring, the writer said authorities sidestep regulations. For example, a phone call from overseas can mean automatic inclusion of a U.S. number in the record-keeping, according to the writer.


    "The reality is that ... Americans' communications are collected and viewed on a daily basis on the certification of an analyst rather than a warrant," one blog post said. "They excuse this as 'incidental' collection, but at the end of the day, someone at NSA still has the content of your communications."


    Another post warned that restrictions against unauthorized access to the content of communications -- such as listening to phone calls or reading e-mails -- were based on policy rather than technology and therefore "can change at any time."


    The writer said he leaked details of the surveillance programs because Obama campaigned for the presidency on a platform of ending abuses.


    However, Obama "closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge," a blog post said.


    The Snowden post also said that he had to get out of the United States before the leaks were published by the Guardian and Washington Post to avoid being targeted by the government.


    Now, it said, the U.S. government "predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home" by "openly declaring me guilty of treason."


    Snowden, who is believed to be in Hong Kong, also purportedly wrote that the truth about surveillance programs he disclosed will come out, and "the U.S. government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me."


    Details on NSA-thwarted plots coming, lawmaker says
    The blog post rejected accusations that he had or might provide classified information to China, saying he only leaked to journalists and calling such a charge a smear tactic intended to turn public opinion against his effort to provide Americans with full information about how their government monitors them.


    A CNN/ORC International poll released Monday showed 54% of respondents didn't approve of Snowden's admitted actions, while 44% backed the leaks.


    Snowden's father told Fox News that he hoped and prayed his son "will not release any secrets that could constitute treason."


    The father, Lon Snowden, also said he wanted his son to return to the United States "and face this," adding "I love my son."

    Spying on G-20 delegates?
    Rep.: NSA isn't listening to your calls
    Hong Kong rallies to support NSA leaker



    Snowden, 29, worked for the NSA through a private contractor firm until May, when he decamped to Hong Kong. He went public earlier this month as the source of articles by the newspapers, saying the agency's efforts pose "an existential threat to democracy."


    The revelations about the NSA's collection of millions of records from U.S. telecommunications and technology firms have led to a furious debate within the United States about the scale and scope of surveillance programs that date from the days after the 2001 al Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington.


    Defenders say the programs -- approved by Congress after a warrantless surveillance effort under the Bush administration was revealed in 2005 -- have protected American lives by helping agents break up terrorism plots.
    Bigger threat: Snowden or NSA?
    Critics call the programs an unconstitutional overreach of authority under the Patriot Act, the law that authorized increased government surveillance in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.


    In a new development, the Guardian reported Sunday that Britain's electronic intelligence agency monitored delegates' phones and tried to capture their passwords during an economic summit held there in 2009.


    Targets included British allies such as Turkey and South Africa, the newspaper reported. The Guardian cited documents provided by Snowden.


    According to the newspaper, the documents show that the British "signals intelligence" agency GCHQ used "ground-breaking intelligence capabilities" to intercept calls made by members of the G-20 conference delegations at meetings in London.


    Facebook, Microsoft disclose information on user data requests
    Analysts received round-the-clock summaries of calls that were being made, and GCHQ set up Internet cafes for delegates in hopes of intercepting e-mails and capturing keystrokes, the Guardian reported.


    One briefing slide explained the intercepts would give intelligence agencies the ability to read delegates' e-mails "before/as they do," providing "sustained intelligence options against them even after (the) conference has finished."


    GCHQ is Britain's equivalent of the secretive NSA in the United States.


    The Guardian reported that the NSA had attempted to eavesdrop on then-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev during the conference as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow and briefed its British counterparts on the effects.


    The latest report was published on the eve of a smaller economic summit hosted by the British government -- the Group of Eight gathering in Northern Ireland.
    Shawn Turner, a spokesman for the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence, said Sunday he was aware of the Guardian's latest report but declined to comment on it.


    "What we should be focused on is how irresponsible and egregious these recent leaks are," he told CNN. "It's impossible to know exactly how much damage is being done by these disclosures, but they will have an effect on our counterterrorism efforts."


    Cheney defends NSA, calls Obama's credibility 'nonexistent'
    Retired Gen. Michael Hayden, a former NSA director, said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" that what the agency collects are "essentially billing records" that detail the time, duration and phone numbers involved in a call.


    The records are added to a database that agents can query in cases involving a terror investigation overseas, and agents can't eavesdrop on Americans' calls without an order from a secret court that handles intelligence matters, he said.


    If a phone number related to an investigation has links to a domestic phone number, "We've got to go back to the court," he said.


    GOP tries to keep focus on IRS targeting scandal
    However, critics such as Sen. Mark Udall, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, had raised questions about the scale of the program even before Snowden's leak.
    Udall said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday that he doesn't believe the program is making Americans any safer, "and I think it's ultimately, perhaps, a violation of the Fourth Amendment."


    "I think we owe it to the American people to have a fulsome debate in the open about the extent of these programs," said Udall, a Colorado Democrat. "You have a law that's been interpreted secretly by a secret court that then issues secret orders to generate a secret program. I just don't think this is an American approach to a world in which we have great threats."


    Obama does not feel that he has violated the privacy of any American, his chief of staff, Denis McDonough, said on the CBS program "Face the Nation."


    McDonough said the president will be discussing the need to "find the right balance, especially in this new situation where we find ourselves with all of us reliant on Internet, on e-mail, on texting."


    Hong Kong rallies in the rain for Edward Snowden
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Leaker vows details on NSA access to tech servers

    3:13 PM, Jun 17, 2013 |





    Edward Snowden leaked to the Guardian a trove of classified documents related to U.S. spy programs. / AP

    by Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY



    NSA leaker Edward Snowden, answering questions Monday in a live blog on his revelations about the top-secret agency, denied charges he was spying for China and vowed to release more details on the NSA's "direct access" to the tech companies' servers


    "Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped," Snowden said, according to The Guardian, which held the "live chat" on its website.


    He said the U.S. government "is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me."


    Snowden, a former NSA contractor who fled the United States after revealing top-secret details on the government's collection of Americans' phone and Internet records, has said he "does not expect to see home again."


    Snowden, who took immediate refuge in Hong Kong, also denied any plans to give information to China in exchange for asylum.


    Former vice president Dick Cheney told Fox News Sunday that he thinks Snowden is a "traitor" and warned that the analyst may be spying for the Chinese government.


    "Being called a traitor by Dick Cheney is the highest honor you can give an American," Snowden responded, "and the more panicked talk we hear from people like him, (Sen. Dianne) Feinstein, and (Rep. Peter) King, the better off we all are."


    He called Cheney "a man who gave us the warrantless wiretapping scheme as a kind of atrocity warm-up" for the war in Iraq.


    " Ask yourself: if I were a Chinese spy, why wouldn't I have flown directly into Beijing? I could be living in a palace petting a phoenix by now," he said.


    Snowden did not elaborate on when he would reveal more information, but said, "the reality is this: if an NSA, FBI, CIA, DIA, etc., analyst has access to query raw SIGINT databases, they can enter and get results for anything they want. Phone number, email, user id, cell phone handset id (IMEI), and so on -- it's all the same."


    SIGINT refers to "Signals Intelligence," or the collected communciations data.


    He said the restrictions to getting such data is "policy-based, not technically based, and can change at any time."


    In response to a question as to why he fled to Hong Kong, Snowden said the U.S. government "immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home" and declared him guilty of treason.


    "That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he wrote.


    He also suggested that it was easier to go to Hong Kong rather than risk being intercepted and arrested on the way to Iceland, another potential safe haven.


    On other issues:


    Snowden insisted that he did not reveal any U.S.operations against military targets.


    "I pointed out where the NSA has hacked civilian infrastructure such as universities, hospitals, and private businesses because it is dangerous," he wrote. "These nakedly, aggressively criminal acts are wrong no matter the target."


    He said he was initially "very encouraged" by the public response to the leaked information. "Unfortunately, the mainstream media now seems far more interested in what I said when I was 17 or what my girlfriend looks like rather than, say, the largest program of suspicionless surveillance in human history."


    He said he did not release the NSA documents during the prior administration because then-candidate Barack Obama's campaign promises and election "gave me faith that he would lead us toward fixing the problems he outlined in his quest for votes."


    "Unfortunately, shortly after assuming power, he closed the door on investigating systemic violations of law, deepened and expanded several abusive programs, and refused to spend the political capital to end the kind of human rights violations like we see in Guantanamo, where men still sit without charge."


    He said Google, Facebook and other tech companies had been "misleading" in their denials of a giant government surveillance program called PRISM.


    "They are legally compelled to comply and maintain their silence in regard to specifics of the program, but that does not comply them from ethical obligation," he said. "If for example Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple refused to provide this cooperation with the Intelligence Community, what do you think the government would do? Shut them down?"


    The British newspaper had asked readers to post their questions to Snowden and recommend their favorites.


    The blog was monitored by reporter Glenn Greenwald, who broke the NSA story two weeks ago based on Snowden leaks.


    Underscoring Snowden's delicate situation in taking on the NSA, the newspaper included what it called "an important caveat":


    "(The) live chat is subject to Snowden's security concerns and also his access to a secure internet connection. It is possible that he will appear and disappear intermittently, so if it takes him a while to get through the questions, please be patient."
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Allegedly this guy Snowden has been in contact with the guy Assange (Wikileaks). I wouldn't be too surprised if all this goes there or something at some point.

    I mean.... who knows? Either that or he's got contacts all over who will 'release' a certain amount at a time or something:

    Snowden: truth coming, cannot be stopped

    By: AAP, | International News | Tuesday June 18 2013 6:55




    Rogue intelligence technician Edward Snowden says the US Government will not be able to halt his revelations about its secret surveillance programs.


    "All I can say right now is the US Government is not going to be able to cover this up by jailing or murdering me. Truth is coming, and it cannot be stopped," Snowden said in an online interview hosted by the Guardian newspaper on Monday.


    Responding to questions posted by Guardian readers and reporters, the 29-year-old leaker said he had fled to Hong Kong before exposing the programs because he did not feel he would get a fair hearing in the United States.


    "The US government, just as they did with other whistleblowers, immediately and predictably destroyed any possibility of a fair trial at home, openly declaring me guilty of treason," he said.


    "That's not justice, and it would be foolish to volunteer yourself to it if you can do more good outside of prison than in it," he said.


    Some in Washington have suggested Snowden chose Hong Kong because he was working with US rival China, but he said he had picked his destination as somewhere the government could withstand US diplomatic pressure.


    Snowden was employed by a private contractor, Booz Allen Hamilton, to help maintain the NSA's secret computer networks in Hawaii, and left with what he says was large quantity of classified documents related to its surveillance programs.


    In Hong Kong, he gave an interview to the Guardian and passed on evidence that the agency gathers telephone data from millions of US citizens and scoops up vast amounts of data on private internet traffic around the world.


    US authorities have condemned the leak but so far have made no formal extradition request.

    (RD: You know, he actually has a point here. Declaring someone "guilty" of anything really isn't right, it isn't the way we're supposed to do stuff here in the USA. We ARE entitled to "remain innocent until proved guilty". For some reason that does not work any more. Zimmerman has been declared guilty by many. Etc)
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    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    You know, NSA and Obama have both openly admitted these programs exist. Why are some news and government spokeheads saying its not so? There is some serious social engineering going on here to sway from stated facts.

    Now add Google. They want to disclose the official requests, but that is not the issue here. The issue is more akin to packet sniffing of traffic en route to where it goes.

    Why the huge data center in Utah? A massive clearing house for random datasets to be assembled with like datasets. It is doable with enough resources and they have that. The other reason for Utah is very simple. Recall in 1996 when the whole west coast went dark from some fried squirrel in Oregon? I think that was the cause or close to it anyway. Well, only a few pockets of places had power. My home in Orange County did due to the power plant in Long Beach, or maybe it was San Onofre, but that day I drove north and suddenly no stop lights. We had power in a pocket area. The anomaly was out of all the western states, Utah had full power. It was not on the grid. It was self contained. This enables NSA to have one less worry.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    This is easy.

    They want to collect and collate data, aggregate everything they can. This way they will be able to "go back in time" and predict the future. Seriously, that's what this is all about.

    I've been involved in this in a very tiny way. Let me explain. In 1982 I started a BBS and became a "Sysop" (System Operator). The system was called AppleVenture in DC. Back in those days Sysops pretty much stuck together because there were a bunch of hackers that started hacking our systems. Over time when they couldn't hack us, they started threatening us.

    In particular one night at 2 AM I got a phone call. There were a bunch of kids on the phone who used my real name and told me they were "holding a trial" for me. At first I hung up, then they called back and said a lot of shit that really pissed me off so I listened to get as much information as I could.

    They called themselves the "Midwest Pirates Guild" or something like that and they wanted "accounts" on all the Apple systems around the country "or else".

    I contacted other sysops and told them about it, they too had been threatened (some weren't Apple systems and at least one, Info*Share was the name I worked with as well helping them set it up). So we collaborated on information. We all had names on our systems that were trying to get access. Aliases of course, and with the "real names" requirement we had fake real names (you know what I mean, like Daffy Duck, Mickey Mouse, etc)

    In those days we didn't shadow passwords except what was visual on the screen. We could look in files and get the passwords so we compiled lists at each site of aliases, names (real or imagined) and passwords - the passwords is what cracked the case.

    Most of the names were the same password (what are the odds of that?)

    A few days later *I* broke into THEIR system... using their password, set up my own accounts and then we turned all the information over to the US Secret Service because we found credit card information and some other stuff. They broke the case wide open on television a couple of days later.

    These kids (they were like 15ish) had stolen hundreds of credit cards and had thousands of dollars worth of computer gear. Remember this was back in the days when we had dumb terminals, Apple Computers and the Mac was brand new. Mostly they had stuff like IBM minicomputers and shit like that.

    Now, how is this connected?

    We collected names, numbers, aliases, passwords. Using that we were able to not only FIND some of these kids (they used their REAL names in some places!) but we were able to figure out passwords, and we figured out things like what kind of aliases they would use. One guy used disney characters. Another used names from star trek. Another used names from some science fiction trilogy (I don't remember which one now).

    Passwords were things like 133+0u3 ("Leetone", or "elite one" in hacker writing) lol

    Ok... this was a bunch of system operators running old eight bit, dial up, 1200/2400 baud systems usually running a form of BASIC as the language in the background and storing data on 8" floppy drives. If we could do that way back in 1982-1983, think what the NSA can do TODAY with supercomputers.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Yahoo reveals US surveillance requests

    Company follows Facebook, Microsoft and Apple in publishing details of data requests from law enforcement agencies






    Yahoo chief executive, Marissa Mayer, said the tech firm did not take for granted the trust of users. Photograph: Peter Kramer/AP



    Yahoo has joined the increasing number of technology companies publishing details of how many requests US law enforcement agencies have made for data on their users.
    The company gave more details of its dealings with US authorities as it sought to reassure customers in the wake of the scandal surrounding the National Security Agency's Prism surveillance programme.


    A blogpost co-signed by Yahoo's chief executive, Marissa Mayer, and general counsel, Ron Bell covers the same period as Apple's disclosure earlier in the week: 1 December 2012 to 31 May 2013.


    "During that time period, we received between 12,000 and 13,000 requests, inclusive of criminal, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and other requests," they wrote. "The most common of these requests concerned fraud, homicides, kidnappings, and other criminal investigations."


    Mayer and Bell stated that they were legally unable to publish details of request numbers under the FISA. "We strongly urge the federal government to reconsider its stance on this issue," they wrote, before outlining plans for more transparency about the data Yahoo shares with law enforcement agencies.


    "Democracy demands accountability. Recognising the important role that Yahoo! can play in ensuring accountability, we will issue later this summer our first global law enforcement transparency report, which will cover the first half of the year. We will refresh this report with current statistics twice a year."


    Yahoo's disclosure of US requests between 1 December 2012 and 31 May 2013 can be compared directly with that of Apple, which said on Monday that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests from federal, state and local authorities in that time period.


    Facebook and Microsoft's disclosures covered a different period: the second half of 2012. Facebook said it received between 9,000 and 10,000 requests in that six-month period, while Microsoft said it received between 6,000 and 7,000.


    All the companies are fighting hard to regain any trust lost with their users since the Guardian broke the news of the NSA's Prism programme. Their initial public responses focused on denying all knowledge of any programme giving the NSA direct access to their servers.


    In recent days, their strategy has shifted to espousing transparency by publishing their US request figures, while seeking to stress that they push back against requests they see as inappropriate.


    When Facebook's published its requests data, the general counsel, Ted Ullyot, wrote: "We aggressively protect our users' data when confronted with such requests: we frequently reject such requests outright, or require the government to substantially scale down its requests, or simply give the government much less data than it has requested".


    Apple's statement said: "Regardless of the circumstances, our legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities. In fact, from time to time when we see inconsistencies or inaccuracies in a request, we will refuse to fulfill it."


    Yahoo's statement falls into that pattern too. "As always, we will continually evaluate whether further actions can be taken to protect the privacy of our users and our ability to defend it," write Mayer and Bell. "We appreciate – and do not take for granted – the trust you place in us."
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Looks like the head of NSA is going to release some information this morning.

    Claiming 10 terrorist plans were stopped based on spying on everyone.....
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Ex-NSA Expert: Common Security Camera Systems Can be Easily Hacked to Spy on You

    Jun. 18, 2013 8:40am Liz Klimas

    (Photo: Shutterstock.com)



    Like a scene from an action film, a former NSA software developer is saying he has identified how major camera systems could be hacked to freeze a frame and allow nefarious activity to take place without being seen on the feed.


    Craig Heffner, who now works with Tactical Network Solutions in Maryland, is planning to demonstrate how the camera systems in many sensitive facilities — prisons, banks, military bases, etc. — are vulnerable to hacking, according to Reuters.


    The digital video systems that could be compromised include those by big names like Cisco Systems Inc, D-Link Corp and TRENDnet. The hack is done through the public Internet and is one where the perpetrator would be able to keep the frame on a certain image or could spy through it.


    “It’s a significant threat,” he told Reuters. “Somebody could potentially access a camera and view it. Or they could also use it as a pivot point, an initial foothold, to get into the network and start attacking internal systems.”


    Heffner will present his findings at the Black Hat hacker conference, which begins July 31 in Las Vegas and has Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of the NSA, as its keynote speaker. He said he doesn’t plan on revealing the vulnerabilities to the companies ahead of the conference, but all the companies have expressed that they’ll stay tuned to make any necessary fixes.


    In addition to camera hacks that could be tricking security crews into missing what’s really going on by skewing the feed, TheBlaze has previously reported on hackers being able to peer into homes and businesses with unsecured cameras. TRENDnet had a coding issue that was posting a video feed on the Internet in 2012, which it then released firmware update to fix.


    Laptop cameras are also vulnerable to hacking as well through a technique using RATs (remote administration tools), which give hackers complete control of your computer, including turning cameras on and off to spy on users.
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  12. #152
    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    NSA head says 50 attacks have been prevented since 9-11. The focus is STILL on the authorized use of the Patriot Act under section 702. It does not address the other means of gathering claimed and not actually disputed. This is serious spin. Even the NSA head said Snowden's release supports what he is saying and that is not untrue, but incomplete.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    My issue is and will remain the vacuum cleaner collection, storage of data and the FUTURE POSSIBLE ABUSE by ANY Administration. I don't want ANYONE abusing it.

    And when you have all three branches of the government who are all acting in unison, ignoring the rights of the PEOPLE of this country it could happen no matter who is in charge.

    Damn it.
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    "We won't know for eight months if the leaks affected things....."

    Wow.
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    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    The vacuum is my issue as well. They are not addressing that so much as the "702 authority" thing.

    It was a long time ago I became fully aware of the trade of Freedom for Security and champion freedoms over security as there can be a reasonable balance. Having this vacuum did not prevent Boston or Fort Hood. That was an example I heard on the radio today, but then I thought about it. These are examples of Muslim related attacks when the executive branch says Muslims are not the enemy. Perhaps not every Muslim, but it seems very clear the radical element to that faith is indeed all out to kill us all.

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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    When the Patriot Act was created... most of us were still naive enough to think we should "trust the government". They wouldn't do anything to undermine the CONSTITUTION, right?

    Wrong.

    They did. They have. They are going ahead with it.

    It has to stop someplace.

    The fact is we should NOT trust the government, even if we work IN IT, (especially if) because they will do everything they can (Congress, Presidents, the SCOTUS) to undermine our rights guaranteed (NOT GRANTED) by the Constitution.

    Many people wrongly believe that the Constitution GRANTS us rights. It doesn't. It merely AFFIRMS those rights as ours, and NOT the Government's!

    This shit has to stop.

    The excuse that they will lose some tool is just that, a BS excuse because they could do without that by using what they had before.

    Collecting 5 years of data is more bullshit. I KNOW better. I WORK in the field. I KNOW we keep crap MORE than the required TWO years (Two years in mandated on most things, and the NSA/CIA whomever gets FIVE YEARS? More obfuscation and bullshit).
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    Phil, I think ALL Muslims are a problem.

    Sorry, call me racist or bigotted, or a White Mofo... I don't care. ALL OF them are a problem if they are studying the same bloody book that calls for killing "Infidels".

    If a religion, regardless of whose religion it is calls for the deaths of "non believers" in that religion, then it's time to take them apart piece by piece. They want to be called the religion of peace when they are really the religion of pieces.
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  18. #158
    Super Moderator and PHILanthropist Extraordinaire Phil Fiord's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    The only reason I make an exception is there are some who do not take what the koran says as literal as others. One of my managers is from Indonesia and pretty much does what some Catholics do. For her, she may sin but pray about it later. For some Catholics, they may sin and go to confession. I am very careful about blanket labeling but understand the desire.

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    Expatriate American Patriot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    NORMALLY I would be too. I've seen too many things lately, and heard too many people lately who are die hards and think that all of us are Infidels because we don't believe THEIR way. I'm not going to, either. So they can kiss my ass. If they get in my face, I'll get right back.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Obama Administration Spying on Americans (NSA)

    N.S.A. Chief Says Surveillance Has Stopped Dozens of Plots




    Christopher Gregory/The New York Times
    N.S.A. Chief Testfies on Surveillance: At a House Intelligence Committee hearing on Tuesday, Gen. Keith B. Alexander described how American surveillance programs helped thwart dozens of terror plots.


    By CHARLIE SAVAGE

    Published: June 18, 2013

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    WASHINGTON — Gen. Keith B. Alexander, the head of the National Security Agency, said on Tuesday that American surveillance had helped prevent “potential terrorist events over 50 times since 9/11,” including at least 10 “homeland-based threats.” But he said that a vast majority must remain secret to avoid disclosing sources and methods.

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    Christopher Gregory/The New York Times

    Gen. Keith B. Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, testified before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence on Tuesday.




    “These programs are immensely valuable for protecting our nation and securing the security of our allies,” General Alexander said at a rare public oversight hearing by the House Intelligence Committee.


    In addition, the deputy director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sean Joyce, listed two newly disclosed cases that have now been declassified in an effort to respond to the leaking of classified information about surveillance by Edward J. Snowden, a former N.S.A. contractor.


    Mr. Joyce described a plot to blow up the New York Stock Exchange by a Kansas City man, whom the agency was able to identify because he was in contact with “an extremist” in Yemen who was under surveillance. Mr. Joyce also talked about a San Diego man who planned to send financial support to a terrorist group in Somalia, and who was identified because the N.S.A. flagged his phone number as suspicious through its database of all domestic phone call logs, which was brought to light by Mr. Snowden’s disclosures.


    “As Americans, we value our privacy and our civil liberties,” General Alexander said. “As Americans, we also value our security and our safety. In the 12 years since the attacks on Sept. 11, we have lived in relative safety and security as a nation. That security is a direct result of the intelligence community’s quiet efforts to better connect the dots and learn from the mistakes that permitted those attacks to occur in 9/11.”


    The nonadversarial tone of the oversight hearing was captured by its title: How Disclosed N.S.A. Programs Protect Americans, and Why Disclosure Aids Our Adversaries. Both the top Republican and the top Democrat on the committee, Representatives Mike Rogers of Michigan and C. A. Dutch Ruppersburger of Maryland, offered a robust defense of the surveillance programs revealed by Mr. Snowden and expressed anger over the leaks, and all five witnesses were executive branch officials who supported the surveillance activities.


    In an apparent reference to Mr. Snowden, for example, Mr. Rogers criticized his actions as “selectively leaking incomplete information” that “paints an inaccurate picture and fosters distrust in our government.” He added, “It is at times like these where our enemies within become almost as damaging as our enemies on the outside.”
    There was no way to independently verify the claims made by the officials during the hearing.


    The director of national intelligence, James R. Clapper Jr., testified at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing in March that the N.S.A. did not collect records on hundreds of millions of Americans. Since the revelation of the phone log database, he has explained that his testimony was the “least untruthful” statement he could make about a classified program.


    The testimony on Tuesday focused on two programs: the collection of the content of e-mails and phone calls of noncitizens abroad who were targeted by the agency without individual court orders under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, and the maintenance of a huge database of domestic phone logs that has been compiled under Section 215 of the Patriot Act.


    Both programs are used to try to identify any co-conspirators of terrorism suspects. In recent days, intelligence officials and lawmakers have been disclosing details about safeguards built into the systems, including that the phone logs are destroyed after five years and that fewer than 300 terrorism-related numbers were approved for searching in 2012.


    The witnesses clarified other details on Tuesday. James M. Cole, the deputy attorney general, said that while the 702 program can capture the contents of e-mails and phone calls when an overseas target communicates with people in the United States, if officials then want to eavesdrop on purely domestic phone calls or e-mails by anyone in the ring of acquaintances of the overseas target, they must get an individualized warrant from a court.


    “If they make a call to inside the United States, that can be collected, but it’s only because the target of that call outside the United States initiated that call and went there,” he said. “If the calls are wholly within the United States, we cannot collect them. If you’re targeting a person who is outside of the United States and you find that they come into the United States, we have to stop the targeting right away.”


    In addition, General Alexander said that every query to the domestic phone log database was audited by supervisors, and that so far there had been no willful abuses or discipline carried out. And his deputy, John C. Inglis, said that under court orders, “only 20 analysts at N.S.A. and their two managers, for a total of 22 people, are authorized to approve numbers that may be used to query this database.”


    In a rare note of skepticism, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat of California, pressed General Alexander about why the F.B.I. could not use subpoenas to get the necessary domestic phone logs surrounding a suspicious number without the government’s obtaining logs of everyone’s calls. General Alexander said he was open to discussion, but added, “The concern is speed in a crisis.”
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