11 Articles NSA’s PRISM Spy Grid and Whistleblower Ed Snowden | Unconstitutional Data Mining

NSA spy grid whistleblower Ed Snowden steps forward in mind-blowing video interview with Glenn Greenwald

Mike Adams

Natural News
June 10, 2013

The NSA spy scandal has just exploded beyond the worst fears of the highly-secretive U.S. government. The whistleblower behind the leaked PRISM slides has just stepped forward, offering a mind-blowing interview to investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke this story in The Guardian. (Wow, actual journalism is making a comeback! This is legendary stuff!)

We have copied the video from The Guardian and placed it on TV.naturalnews.com to make sure it’s safely archived on a network that can’t be censored by Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, YouTube, etc. — all the top companies who conspired with the NSA to turn over private user data (emails, phone calls, videos, etc.) to government spooks.

The link to that video is:
http://tv.naturalnews.com/v.asp?v=9988C0C07C1CF71E9ADE598760F70DA2

“Turnkey tyranny” – highlights of the interview with Edward Snowden

A (nearly) full transcript of this historical interview is offered below. I’ve compiled what I consider to be the most explosive quotes from both the video and the related Q&A page posted on the Guardian (link below). Read them here:

(All quotes by Edward Snowden, NSA infrastructure analyst)

“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…”

“We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”

“When you are subverting the power of government, that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.”

“You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful adversaries, that no one can meaningfully oppose them.”

“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

“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.”

“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.”

See partial transcript below.

The NSA routinely lies to Congress

In addition to the video interview, Ed Snowden also went on the record with some Q&A with Glenn Greenwald. This exchange is published by The Guardian and it reveals yet more astonishing information — EXPLOSIVE information that makes Watergate look like a Boy Scout field trip…

Q: What do the leaked documents reveal?

A: “That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. 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.”

Q: Is it possible to put security in place to protect against state surveillance?

A: “You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place.”

Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

A: “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”

“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things … 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.”

See more at:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-…

(Nearly) full transcript

What follows is a (nearly) full transcript of the interview between Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden. The original webpage location of this video interview is:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/edward-snowden-nsa-whistl…

My name is Ed Snowden. I am 29 years old, I worked for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii. I’ve been a systems engineer, systems administration, senior advisor for the CIA, solutions consultant, and a telecommunications information systems officer.

1:05
When you’re in positions of priveleged access, like a systems administrator for these sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale than the average employee. And because of that, you see things that may be disturbing, but over the course of a normal person’s career, you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything, you see them on a more frequent basis, and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. … Over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up, and you feel compelled to talk about it, and the more you talk about it, the more you’re ignore, the more you’re told it’s not a problem. Until eventually you realize these things need to be determined by the public, not by somebody who is simply hired by the government.

2:13
NSA and the intelligence community in general is focused on getting intelligence wherever it can by any means possible. It believes on the grounds of sort of a self certification that they serve the national interests. Originally we saw that focus very narrowly tailored to foreign intelligence gathered overseas, now increasingly we see that it’s happening domestically.

2:40
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.

3:14
Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere. Where those communications will be picked up depends on the range of the sensor networks and the authorities that analyst is empowered with. Not all analysts have the ability to target everything. But 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 if I had a personal email.

4:02
I think that the public is owed an explanation of the motivations behind the people who make these disclosures that are outside of the democratic model. When you are subverting the power of government, that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy… and if you do that in secret, consistently, as the government does when it wants to benefit from a secret action that it took, it will kind of give its officials a mandate to go hey, tell the press about this thing and that thing, so the public is on our side. But they rarely if ever do that when an abuse occurs. That falls to individual citizens.

But [whistleblowers] are typically maligned. It becomes a thing of, these people are against the country, they’re against the government. But I’m not. I’m no different from anybody else, I don’t have special skills, I’m just another guy who sits there day to day in the office and watches what happens and goes, this is something that’s not our place to decide. The public needs to decide whether these programs and policies are right or wrong. And I’m willing to go on the record to defend the authenticity of them… this is the truth, this is what’s happening, you should decide whether we need to be doing this.

Glenn Greenwald: Have you given thought to… what they might try to do to you?

5:32
Yeah, I could be rendered by the CIA, I could have their people come after me, or any of their third party partners, they work closely with a number of other nations, or they could pay off the triads, or any of their agents or assets. We’ve got a CIA station just up the road at the consulate here in Hong Kong. I’m sure they’re gonna be very busy for the next week.

6:00
That’s a fear I’ll live under for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be. You can’t come forward against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and be completely free from risk, because they’re such powerful adversaries, that no one can meaningfully oppose them. If they wanna get you, they’ll get you in time. But at the same time you have to make a determination about what it is that’s important to you. And if living unfreely but comfortably is something you’re willing to accept, and I think many of us are, you can get up every day, you can go to work, you can collect your large paycheck for relatively little work against the public interest, and go to sleep at night after watching your shows, but if you realize that’s the world that you helped create, and it’s going to get worse with the next generation, and the next generation, who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression, you realize that you might be willing to accept any risk, and it doesn’t matter what the outcome is, so long as the public gets to make their decisions about how that’s applied.

7:11
Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. The storage capability of these systems increases every year, consistently, by orders of magnitude, to where 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 and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.

10:46
The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. People will see in the media all of these disclosures, they’ll know the lengths that government is going to to grant themselves powers, unilaterally, to create greater control over American society and global society. But they won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things, to force their representatives to actually take a stand in their interests. And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. Until eventually there will be a time where policies will change because the only thing that restricts the activities of the surveillance state are policy. They’ll 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.

This article was posted: Monday, June 10, 2013 at 7:42 am

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Top Spying Experts Explain Why You Should Oppose Spying … Even Though You’ve Done Nothing Wrong

Washington’s Blog
June 10, 2013

Top NSA whistleblower William Binney – the former head of the National Security Agency’s global digital data gathering program – has repeatedly explained that just because you “haven’t done anything wrong” doesn’t mean you can’t be severely harmed by spying:

The problem is, if they think they’re not doing anything that’s wrong, they don’t get to define that. The central government does.

Binney explains that the government is storing everything, and creating a searchable database … to be used whenever it wants, for any purpose it wants (even just going after someone it doesn’t like).

And he notes that the government will go after anyone who is on its enemies list:

If you ever get on their enemies list, like Petraeus did, then you can be drawn into that surveillance.

Binney recently held his thumb and forefinger close together, and said:

We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state

Similarly, in response to the question, “why should people care about surveillance?”, the whistleblower source of the Guardian’s disclosures on phone and Internet spying – Edward Snowden – said:

Because even if you’re not doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. And the storage capability of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude … to where 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 to derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer.

[If people don’t oppose the surveillance state now] it will be turnkey tyranny.

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Government Secrets and the Need for Whistle-blowers

Bruce Schneier
June 10, 2013

Yesterday, we learned that the NSA received all calling records from Verizon customers for a three-month period starting in April. That’s everything except the voice content: who called who, where they were, how long the call lasted — for millions of people, both Americans and foreigners. This “metadata” allows the government to track the movements of everyone during that period, and a build a detailed picture of who talks to whom. It’s exactly the same data the Justice Department collected about AP journalists.

The Guardian delivered this revelation after receiving a copy of a secret memo about this — presumably from a whistle-blower. We don’t know if the other phone companies handed data to the NSA too. We don’t know if this was a one-off demand or a continuously renewed demand; the order started a few days after the Boston bombers were captured by police.

We don’t know a lot about how the government spies on us, but we know some things. We know the FBI has issued tens of thousands of ultra-secret National Security Letters to collect all sorts of data on people — we believe on millions of people — and has been abusing them to spy on cloud-computer users. We know it can collect a wide array of personal data from the Internet without a warrant. We also know that the FBI hasbeen intercepting cell-phone data, all but voice content, for the past 20 years without a warrant, and can usethe microphone on some powered-off cell phones as a room bug — presumably only with a warrant.

We know that the NSA has many domestic-surveillance and data-mining programs with codenames likeTrailblazerStellar Windand Ragtime — deliberately using different codenames for similar programs to stymie oversight and conceal what’s really going on. We know that the NSA is building an enormous computer facility in Utah to store all this data, as well as faster computer networks to process it all. We know the U.S. Cyber Command employs 4,000 people.

We know that the DHS is also collecting a massive amount of data on people, and that local police departments are running “fusion centers” to collect and analyze this data, and covering up its failures. This is all part of the militarization of the police.

Remember in 2003, when Congress defunded the decidedly creepy Total Information Awarenessprogram? It didn’t die; it just changed names and split into many smaller programs. We know that corporations are doing an enormous amount of spying on behalf of the government: all parts.

We know all of this not because the government is honest and forthcoming, but mostly through three backchannels — inadvertent hints or outright admissions by government officials in hearings and court cases, information gleaned from government documents received under FOIA, and government whistle-blowers.

There’s much more we don’t know, and often what we know is obsolete. We know quite a bit about the NSA’s ECHELON program from a 2000 European investigation, and about the DHS’s plans for Total Information Awareness from 2002, but much less about how these programs have evolved. We can make inferences about the NSA’s Utah facility based on the theoretical amount of data from various sources, the cost of computation, and the power requirements from the facility, but those are rough guesses at best. For a lot of this, we’re completely in the dark.

And that’s wrong.

The U.S. government is on a secrecy binge. Itoverclassifies more information than ever. And we learn, again and again, that our government regularly classifies things not because they need to be secret, but because their release would be embarrassing.

Knowing how the government spies on us is important. Not only because so much of it is illegal — or, to be as charitable as possible, based on novel interpretations of the law — but because we have a right to know. Democracy requires an informed citizenry in order to function properly, andtransparency and accountabilityare essential parts of that. That means knowing what our government is doing to us, in our name. That means knowing that the government is operating within the constraints of the law. Otherwise, we’re living in a police state.

We need whistle-blowers.

Leaking information without getting caught is difficult. It’s almost impossible to maintain privacy in the Internet Age. The WikiLeaks platform seems to have been secure — Bradley Manning was caught not because of a technological flaw, but because someone he trusted betrayed him — but the U.S. government seems to have successfully destroyed it as a platform. None of the spin-offs have risen to become viable yet. The New Yorker recently unveiled its Strongbox platform forleaking material, which is still new but looksgood. This link contains the best advice on how to leak information to the press via phone, email, or the post office. The National Whistleblowers Center has a page on national-security whistle-blowers and their rights.

Leaking information is also very dangerous. The Obama Administration has embarked on a war onwhistle-blowers, pursuing them — both legally and through intimidation — further than any previous administration has done. Mark Klein, Thomas Drake, and William Binney have all been persecuted for exposing technical details of our surveillance state. Bradley Manning has been treated cruelly and inhumanly — and possibly tortured — for his more-indiscriminate leaking of State Department secrets.

The Obama Administration’s actions against the Associated Press, its persecution of Julian Assange, and its unprecedented prosecution of Manning on charges of “aiding the enemy” demonstrate how far it’s willing to go to intimidate whistle-blowers — as well as the journalists who talk to them.

But whistle-blowing is vital, even more broadly than in government spying. It’s necessary for good government, and to protect us from abuse of power.

We need details on the full extent of the FBI’s spying capabilities. We don’t know what information it routinely collects on American citizens, what extra information it collects on those on various watch lists, and what legal justifications it invokes for its actions. We don’t know its plans for future data collection. We don’t know what scandals and illegal actions — either past or present — are currently being covered up.

We also need information about what data the NSA gathers, either domestically or internationally. We don’t know how much it collects surreptitiously, and how much it relies on arrangements with various companies. We don’t know how much it uses password cracking to get at encrypted data, and how much it exploits existing system vulnerabilities. We don’t know whether it deliberately inserts backdoors into systems it wants to monitor, either with or without the permission of the communications-system vendors.

And we need details about the sorts of analysis the organizations perform. We don’t know what they quickly cull at the point of collection, and what they store for later analysis — and how long they store it. We don’t know what sort of database profiling they do, how extensive their CCTV and surveillance-drone analysis is, how much they perform behavioral analysis, or how extensively they trace friends of people on their watch lists.

We don’t know how big the U.S. surveillance apparatus is today, either in terms of money and people or in terms of how many people are monitored or how much data is collected. Modern technology makes it possible to monitor vastly more people — yesterday’s NSA revelations demonstrate that they could easily surveil everyone — than could ever be done manually.

Whistle-blowing is the moral response to immoral activity by those in power. What’s important here are government programs and methods, not data about individuals. I understand I am asking for people to engage in illegal and dangerous behavior. Do it carefully and do it safely, but — and I am talking directly to you, person working on one of these secret and probably illegal programs — do it.

If you see something, say something. There are many people in the U.S. that will appreciate and admire you.

For the rest of us, we can help by protesting this war on whistle-blowers. We need to force our politicians not to punish them — to investigate the abuses and not the messengers — and to ensure that those unjustly persecuted can obtain redress.

Our government is putting its own self-interest ahead of the interests of the country. That needs to change.

This essay originally appeared on the Atlantic.

EDITED TO ADD (6/10): It’s not just phone records. Another secret program, PRISM, gave the NSA access to e-mails and private messages at Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, Skype, AOL, and others. And in a separate leak, we now know about the Boundless Informant NSA data mining system.

The leaker for at least some of this is Edward Snowden. I consider him an American hero.

EFF has a great timeline of NSA spying. And this and this contain some excellent speculation about what PRISM could be.

Someone needs to write an essay parsing all of the precisely worded denials. Apple has never heard the word “PRISM,” but could have known of the program under a different name. Google maintained that there is no government “back door,” but left open the possibility that the data could have been just handed over. Obama said that the government isn’t “listening to your telephone calls,” ignoring 1) the meta-data, 2) the fact that computers could be doing all of the listening, and 3) that text-to-speech results in phone calls being read and not listened to. And so on and on and on.

Here are people defending the programs. And here’s someone criticizing my essay.

Four more good essays.

I’m sure there are lots more things out there that should be read. Please include the links in comments. Not only essays I would agree with; intelligent opinions from the other sides are just as important.

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Pentagon Papers’ Ellsberg Says Snowden Saves Us From The “United Stasi Of America”

Zero Hedge
June 10, 2013

It is perhaps too early to judge the impact of Edward Snowden’s confirmation of conspiracy fact, but in Pentagon Papers’ Daniel Ellsberg opinion in today’s Guardianthere has not been a more important leak in American history. The “executive coup” against the US constitution that has, at first sercretly but increasingly openly, been under way since 9/11 could finally be stalled by the Whistleblower’s efforts. Ellsberg notes Senator Frank Church’s 1975 comments on the NSA warning of the dangerous prospect that America’s intelligence gathering capability “at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left,” noting ‘that has now happened’. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of.

Via The Guardian,

Snowden’s whistleblowing gives us the possibility to roll back a key part of what has amounted to an “executive coup” against the US constitution.

Since 9/11, there has been, at first secretly but increasingly openly, a revocation of the bill of rights for which this country fought over 200 years ago. In particular, the fourth and fifth amendments of the US constitution, which safeguard citizens from unwarranted intrusion by the government into their private lives, have been virtually suspended.

The fact that congressional leaders were “briefed” on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

..

In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

“I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return.”

The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America’s intelligence gathering capability “at any time could be turned around on the American peopleand no American would have any privacy left.”

That has now happened. That is what Snowden has exposed, with official, secret documents. The NSA, FBI and CIA have, with the new digital technology, surveillance powers over our own citizens that the Stasi – the secret police in the former “democratic republic” of East Germany – could scarcely have dreamed of. Snowden reveals that the so-called intelligence community has become the United Stasi of America.

So we have fallen into Senator Church’s abyss.

Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA’s surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans’ and foreign citizens’ privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we’re trying to protect.

Read more at The Guardian…

Related posts:

  1. Icelandic Legislator: I’m Ready To Help NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seek Asylum
  2. Pentagon Papers Whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg Says that the Government Has ORDERED the Media Not to Cover 9/11
  3. NSA spy grid whistleblower Ed Snowden steps forward in mind-blowing video interview with Glenn Greenwald
  4. The man with no name relives horrors of Stasi
  5. Jacqui Smith’s ‘Stasi’: Now even more council jobsworths can demand your details and issue fines

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Icelandic Legislator: I’m Ready To Help NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Seek Asylum

Andy Greenberg
Forbes
June 10, 2013

When WikiLeaks burst onto the international stage in 2010, the small Nordic nation of Iceland offered it a safe haven. Now American whistleblower Edward Snowden may be seeking that country’s protection, and at least one member of its parliament says she’s ready to help.

On Sunday evening Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jonsdottir and Smari McCarthy, executive director of the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, issued a statement of support for Snowden, the Booz Allen Hamilton staffer who identified himself to theGuardian newspaper as the source of a series of top secret documents outlining the NSA’s massive surveillance of foreigners and Americans.

“Whereas IMMI is based in Iceland, and has worked on protections of privacy, furtherance of government transparency, and the protection of whistleblowers, we feel it is our duty to offer to assist and advise Mr. Snowden to the greatest of our ability,” their statement reads. “We are already working on detailing the legal protocols required to apply for asylum, and will over the course of the week be seeking a meeting with the newly appointed interior minister of Iceland, Mrs. Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, to discuss whether an asylum request can be processed in a swift manner, should such an application be made.”

It’s not yet clear whether Snowden has officially applied for asylum in Iceland. A press contact for the Icelandic Ministry of Interior, which handles asylum requests, said that he hadn’t yet seen an application from Snowden and that the ministry couldn’t comment until one was received.

Full article here

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Has the US become the type of nation from which you have to seek asylum?

Timothy B. Lee
Washington Post
June 10, 2013

The whistleblower who disclosed classified documents regarding NSA surveillance to The Washington Post and the Guardian has gone public. He is Edward Snowden, 29, an employee of defense contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

Rather than face charges in the United States, Snowden has fled to Hong Kong. He plans to seek asylum in a nation with a strong civil liberties record, such as Iceland.

Americans are familiar with stories of dissidents fleeing repressive regimes such as those in China or Iran and seeking asylum in the United States. Snowden is in the opposite position. He’s an American leaving the land of his birth because he fears persecution.

Four decades ago, Daniel Ellsberg surrendered to federal authorities to face charges of violating the Espionage Act. During his trial, he was allowed to go free on bail, giving him a chance to explain his actions to the media. His case was eventually thrown out after it was revealed that the government had wiretapped him illegally.

Bradley Manning, a soldier who released classified documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, has had a very different experience. Manning was held for three years without trial, including 11 months when he was held in de facto solitary confinement. During some of this period, he was forced to sleep naked at night, allegedly as a way to prevent him from committing suicide. The United Nations’ special rapporteur on torture hascondemned this as “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment in violation of Article 16 of the convention against torture.”

Full article here

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The NSA’s “Boundless Informant” Collects 3 Billion Intelligence Pieces From Networks In One Month

June 9th, 2013

(ZeroHedge) – There’s one reason why the administration, James Clapper and the NSA should just keep their mouths shut as the PRISM-gate fallout escalates: with every incremental attempt to refute some previously unknown facet of the US Big Brother state, a new piece of previously unleaked information from the same intelligence organization now scrambling for damage control, emerges and exposes the brand new narrative as yet another lie, forcing even more lies, more retribution against sources, more journalist persecution and so on.

The latest piece of news once again comes from the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald who this time exposes the NSA’s datamining tool “Boundless Informant” which according to leaked documents collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide in March 2013 alone, and “3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period.”

This is summarized in the chart below which shows that only the middle east has more active NSA-espionage than the US. Also, Obama may not want to show Xi the activity heatmap for China, or else the whole “China is hacking us” script may promptly fall apart.

Using simple, non-AES 256 breaking math, 3 billion per month amounts to some 100 million intrusions into the US per day, or looked at from another perspective, just a little more than the “zero” which James Clapper vouched announced earlier today is the applicable number of US citizens falling under the NSA’s espionage mandate: “Section 702 cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, or any other U.S. person, or to intentionally target any person known to be in the United States.” Oops.

But it gets worse for the NSA. As the Guardian reports, “Emmel, the NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian: “Current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication (for example, it may be possible to say with certainty that a communication traversed a particular path within the internet. It is harder to know the ultimate source or destination, or more particularly the identity of the person represented by the TO:, FROM: or CC: field of an e-mail address or the abstraction of an IP address). Thus, we apply rigorous training and technological advancements to combine both our automated and manual (human) processes to characterize communications – ensuring protection of the privacy rights of the American people. This is not just our judgment, but that of the relevant inspectors general, who have also reported this.”

In other words, Americans are absolutely the target of billions of monthly intrusions, but said data “mining” is exempted because it is difficult to identify in advance if a US citizen is implicated in any metadata chain.

Only it isn’t as it is the whole premise behind Boundless Informant.

An NSA factsheet about the program, acquired by the Guardian, says: “The tool allows users to select a country on a map and view the metadata volume and select details about the collections against that country.”

The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.

The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, “What type of coverage do we have on country X” in “near real-time by asking the SIGINT [signals intelligence] infrastructure.

Under the heading “Sample use cases”, the factsheet also states the tool shows information including: “How many records (and what type) are collected against a particular country.”

A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA “global heat map” seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.

Iran was the country where the largest amount of intelligence was gathered, with more than 14bn reports in that period, followed by 13.5bn from Pakistan. Jordan, one of America’s closest Arab allies, came third with 12.7bn, Egypt fourth with 7.6bn and India fifth with 6.3bn. 

Next up: more NSA lies of course.

The disclosure of the internal Boundless Informant system comes amid a struggle between the NSA and its overseers in the Senate over whether it can track the intelligence it collects on American communications. The NSA’s position is that it is not technologically feasible to do so.

At a hearing of the Senate intelligence committee In March this year, Democratic senator Ron Wyden asked James Clapper, the director of national intelligence: “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

“No sir,” replied Clapper.

Judith Emmel, an NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian in a response to the latest disclosures: “NSA has consistently reported – including to Congress – that we do not have the ability to determine with certainty the identity or location of all communicants within a given communication. That remains the case.”

Other documents seen by the Guardian further demonstrate that the NSA does in fact break down its surveillance intercepts which could allow the agency to determine how many of them are from the US. The level of detail includes individual IP addresses.

IP address is not a perfect proxy for someone’s physical location but it is rather close, said Chris Soghoian, the principal technologist with the Speech Privacy and Technology Project of the American Civil Liberties Union. “If you don’t take steps to hide it, the IP address provided by your internet provider will certainly tell you what country, state and, typically, city you are in,” Soghoian said.

At a congressional hearing in March last year, Alexander denied point-blank that the agency had the figures on how many Americans had their electronic communications collected or reviewed. Asked if he had the capability to get them, Alexander said: “No. No. We do not have the technical insights in the United States.” He added that “nor do we do have the equipment in the United States to actually collect that kind of information”.

Turns out they do, and that perjury in the US is now merely another facet of the “New Normal.” Plus what difference does it make that yet another member of the most transparent administration perjured themselves. Then again, when the head of the Department of Justice is being investigated for lying to Congress under oath, one can only laugh.

That laughter risks becoming an imbecilic cackle when reading the following veiled threat to the Guardian from the NSA’s Judith Emmel: “The continued publication of these allegations about highly classified issues, and other information taken out of context, makes it impossible to conduct a reasonable discussion on the merits of these programs.

In other words, the best discussion is one that would simply not take place as reporters should promptly stop actually reporting, and fall back to their New Normal role of being access journalists to important people (see Andrew Ross Sorkin’s rise to fame on… nothing) with zero critical insight or investigative effort. Or else…

Source: zerohedge.com

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Are Political Dissidents the Real Target of NSA’s PRISM?

(Truthstream Media.com) Big brother really is watching us. While Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Donald Graham was busy attending the 2013 Bilderberg meeting where the agenda included big data, the Washington Post itself released National Security Agency (NSA) slides showing that the government has been…

Big brother really is watching us.

While Washington Post Company Chairman and CEO Donald Graham was busy attending the 2013 Bilderberg meeting where the agenda included big data, the Washington Post itself released National Security Agency (NSA) slides showing that the government has been tapping into servers filled with customer information from nine major Internet companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and SKYPE.

Among collected communications were emails, videos, photos, voice chats, file transfers and more. The secret warrantless domestic surveillance program is code-named PRISM.

Well, you didn’t think the government paid $2 billion for a data hub out in the middle of Utah for nothing, did you?

While Facebook and Google have denied giving the government backdoor access to users’ private data, that doesn’t exactly instill any confidence that the government wouldn’t just come in and take it anyway, with or without permission.

This leak followed one earlier in the week where The Guardian was sent a top secret NSA court order from Aprilrequesting millions of Verizon cell phone calls. Even one of the authors of the Patriot Act came forward to say this is un-American.

How sad is that?

Even the IRS is going out of its way to specifically target conservative groups. Is there even anyone left who still believes in the fairy tale that the government blatantly walking all over our Fourth Amendment rights is somehow supposedly keeping Americans safe from terrorism?

Meanwhile, headlines flooded the internet about the government spy grab, including TruNews’ article: “Whistleblower Was ‘Horrified’ That Government Could ‘Literally Watch Your Ideas Form As You Type Them’.”

Those are the kind of headlines we are actually seeing in our news now. This is the reality we live in.

This latest scandal just adds credence to Doug Hagmann’s report yesterday that his Department of Homeland Security (DHS) insider source claims the government is going after political dissidents and anyone who disagrees with the current administration:

“‘This administration is collecting names of sources, whistle blowers and their families, names of media sources and everybody they talk to and have talked to, and they already have a huge list. If you’re not working for MSNBC or CNN, you’re probably on that list. If you are a website owner with a brisk readership and a conservative bent, you’re on that list. It’s a political dissident list, not an enemy threat list,’ he stated.”

When Hagmann asked what it meant to be on the government’s political dissident list, the source continued:

“‘It means that there will be censorship under the color of authority of anyone in the U.S. who is attempting to expose what’s going on in our name. It’s about controlling any damning information from reaching epidemic proportions. It’s damage control to the extreme. It’s about the upcoming censorship of the internet in the name of national security. The plans are already in place. These latest reports about ‘spying eyes’ have turned this administration and others connected to it into something very, very dangerous. They feel cornered and threatened, and I’m hearing about some plans they have to shut down the flow of information that is implicating them of wrongdoing. Time is short.’”

Guess it goes without saying but if such a list exists, Truthstream Media is probably — and proudly — on it. Abusing our Fourth Amendment is not going to keep us from using our First Amendment.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

CISPA Will Legalize PRISM Spy Program

Eric Blair
Activist Post

Give them an inch and they will take a mile. That is how power-hungry tyrants interpret any law.

The PATRIOT Act and the FISA court led to the blanket wiretapping of every American citizen and a PRISM lens into all Internet activity for the NSA.

Now we are supposed to trust this Peeping Tom government by giving them more authority for “cybersecurity” with the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA)?

As George W. Bush once eloquently said with his patented deer-in-the-headlights conviction “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again, see.”

Oh, I bet the American people will get fooled again. But it’s not their fault. When authority figures tell bald-faced lies to the public, most people instinctively want to believe them because the majority of people are honest and perceive others to be honest.

Obama won the presidency promising to overturn Bush’s draconian destruction of civil liberties in the name of fighting terror. The majority of Americans took Obama at his word and gave him the benefit of the doubt. Until now.

Reuters reports today that the NSA spying scandal may “complicate” Obama’s agenda for cybersecurity:

Renewed concerns about the spy agency’s domestic surveillance programs could also hamper efforts to give it a broader role in defending the country’s infrastructure, and put pressure on lawmakers to update laws protecting online privacy, say congressional aides and defense and security experts.

“They’re going to make it harder to do the work that is now going on,” said former chief Pentagon weapons buyer Mike Wynne, who also served as Air Force secretary from 2005 to 2008.

Wynne said growing unease about domestic surveillance could have a chilling effect on proposed cyber legislation that calls for greater information-sharing between government and industry.

But this is laughable. The U.S. government already has been illegally using the authority in CISPAprior to it being codified into law. At least everything Hitler did was “legal” before he did it.

PRISM reportedly forces Internet companies to hand over information to the NSA and FBI. Some even allow a backdoor to their servers. This program has been in place for several years according to reports.

The only difference between the secretive PRISM project and CISPA is that under CISPA personal data will be given to the civilian Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon by communications companies instead of the NSA. Like that matters.

But even this is just window dressing for public consumption because Obama already has authorized these moves with the secret Presidential Policy Directive 20 and an Executive Order.

Presidential Directive 20 shows that the government is drawing up a target list for offensive cyber strikes overseas, and the Executive Order outlines the flow of illegally obtained data of online activity to the DHS, NSA, and other agencies.

Yes, the Pentagon already assumed the role of engaging in cyber war as part of their “operational domain” for “offensive operations”, again prior to any legal authority. In July 2011, the Pentagon announced “The United States reserves the right, under the laws of armed conflict, to respond to serious cyber attacks with a proportional and justified military response at the time and place of our choosing.”

Their “authority” was later affirmed in the infamous 2012 NDAA which gave the U.S. military the right to launch a global offensive cyber war against perceived threats.

Section 954 of the NDAA titled Military Activities in Cyberspacereceived no debate in Congress as well as in the media. The section states clearly:

Congress affirms that the Department of Defense has the capability, and upon direction by the President may conduct offensive operations in cyberspace to defend our Nation, Allies and interests.

And thanks to whistleblowers we know that telecom companies have been cooperating with government spooks for years.

Significantly, all of this occurred without any public debate, probably because lawmakers understand that it’s a gross violation of the 4th Amendment which guarantees privacy to American citizens.

Indeed, the NSA issued a secret memo urging lawmakers to “rethink” the 4th Amendment. This recently declassified memo from 2001 reads:

The Fourth Amendment is as applicable to eSIGINT as it is to the SIGINT of yesterday and today. The Information Age will however cause us to rethink and reapply the procedures, policies and authorities born in an earlier electronic surveillance environment.

Is it any wonder why Americans no longer trust their government?

As President Obama said in his press conference defending the secret spying program: “If Americans don’t trust government, we’re going to have some problems.”

Yes, as Reuters reports, the Administration may have problems legalizing their illegal activity. And if the people are paying attention, this Administration may have even bigger problems than that.

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Unconstitutional US Data-Mining

Stephen Lendman
Activist Post

On June 5, London’s Guardian reported part of it. “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily,” it headlined.

On June 6, a follow-up article headlined “NSA taps in to systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and others, secret files reveal.”

The Washington Post followed with its own report. It said the NSA and FBI “are tapping directly into the central servers of nine US Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to trace a person’s movements and contacts over time.”

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Paltalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple, and other online companies willingly cooperate with lawless government spying.

Doing so, in part, reflects old news. Institutional spying on Americans is longstanding. Previous articles discussed it. More on the Guardian articles below.

According to retired NSA/US Air Force/Naval Intelligence/Defense Intelligence Agency intelligence analyst-turned whistleblower Russell Tice:

What’s ongoing “is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined.”

It’s been widely known for years. Little was revealed publicly. Pervasive spying is much worse than suspected. Other media reports followed London’s Guardian revelations.

Few people knew before. Many more do now. A firestorm of public anger is needed to have any chance to stop it. Nothing less stands a chance. What follows remains to be seen. Based on post-9/11 extremism, expect worse ahead, not better.

All three branches of government are involved. They’re complicit in sweeping lawlessness. Congress is regularly briefly. Bipartisan leaders are fully on board. So are US courts.

Federal ones are most egregious. Right-wing extremists control them. America’s High Court is supremely pro-business. It’s profoundly unjust. It mocks judicial fairness.

It rubber stamps what demands rejection. It rejects what demands affirmation. It consistently serves wealth and power interests. So do Congress, Obama, and administration officials.

Populist ones don’t matter. Nor does constitutional law. Its inviolability is disregarded. It’s rendered null and void.

On June 5, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined “Confirmed: The NSA is Spying on Millions of Americans,” saying:

London’s Guardian “confirmed what EFF (and many others) have long claimed: the NSA is conducting widespread, untargeted, domestic surveillance on millions of Americans.”

This revelation should end, once and for all, the government’s long-discredited secrecy claims about its dragnet domestic surveillance programs.

It should spur Congress and the American people to make the President finally tell the truth about the government’s spying on innocent Americans.

Domestic spying is longstanding. Post-9/11, it’s been institutionalized. In 2002, Bush authorized it by presidential order. He did so secretly.

In December 2005, New York Times writers James Risen and Eric Lichtblau headlined “Bush Lets US Spy on Callers Without Courts,” saying:

He “secretly authorized (NSA) to eavesdrop on Americans and others to eavesdrop on Americans and others inside the United States to search for evidence of terrorist activity without the court-approved warrants ordinarily required for domestic spying, according to government officials.”

Mark Klein worked for AT&T for 22 years. In 2004, he retired. After doing so, he turned whistleblower. He revealed blueprints and photographs of NSA’s secret room inside the company’s San Francisco facility.

Three other whistleblowers submitted affidavits. They explained post-9/11 lawless NSA spying on millions of Americans. The FBI, CIA, Pentagon, state and local agencies operate the same way.

Spies “R” us defines US policy. America’s a total surveillance society. It’s unsafe to live in. Everyone is suspect unless proved otherwise.

The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed warrantless spying. It passed with little debate. On Sunday, December 30, 2012 Obama signed it into law. Doing so largely went unnoticed.

Warrantless spying remains law for another five years. Phone calls, emails, and other communications may be monitored secretly without court authorization.

Probable cause isn’t needed. So-called “foreign intelligence information” is sought. Virtually anything qualifies. Vague language is all-embracing.

Constitutional protections don’t matter. All major US telecommunications companies are involved. So are online ones. They have been since 9/11. Things now are worse than then.

One expert said what’s ongoing “isn’t a wiretap. It’s a country-tap.” It’s lawless. Congress has no authority to subvert constitutional provisions. Legislation passed has no legitimacy. Constitutional changes require amendments. More on that below.

The Patriot Act trampled on Bill of Rights protections. Doing so for alleged security doesn’t wash. Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment due process rights were compromised.

So were First Amendment freedom of association ones. Fourth Amendment protections from unreasonable searches and seizures were violated. Unchecked sweeping surveillance followed.

So-called “sneak and peak” searches are conducted through “delayed notice” warrants, roving wiretaps, email tracking, as well as Internet and phone use.

Section 215 pertains to alleged suspects, real or contrived. It authorizes government access to “any tangible item.”

Included are financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants to monitor.

Individuals and organizations may be surveilled whether or not evidence links them to terrorism or complicity to commit it. In other words, everyone is fair game for any reason or none at all.

On May 15, 2012, Wired.com headlined “CIA Chief: We’ll Spy on You Through Your Dishwasher.”

Virtually everything electronic is vulnerable. Devices with Internet connections for sure are. So are TVs, radios, electric clocks, car navigation systems, light switches, refrigerators, electric stoves, toasters, vacuum cleaners, and other wired items.

Before Petraeusgate, the former CIA chief said:

Items of interest will be located, identified, monitored, and remotely controlled through technologies such as radio-frequency identification, sensor networks, tiny embedded servers, and energy harvesters – all connected to the next-generation internet using abundant, low-cost, and high-power computing.”

He added that household spy devices “change our notions of secrecy.” Former rules don’t apply. Modern technology permits anything goes.

London’s Guardian revealed telecom giant Verizon spying. A top secret April 25, 2013 orderauthorized it. It runs through July 19. It includes domestic and foreign calls.

NSA has access to every Verizon customer’s call history for nearly three months. If so ordered, spying may be extended indefinitely. Verizon is prohibited from disclosing what it’s doing publicly.

Information obtained includes all domestic and foreign calls, phone locations, time calls made, their duration, and other “identifying information.” Patriot Act Section 215 permits it.

What’s collected is called “metadata” or transactional information. It’s not limited to what’s included above. It’s not called communications. Individual warrants aren’t sought.

As discussed above, doing so is lawless. Congress has no authority to violate constitutional provisions. Compromising Fourth Amendment protections do so brazenly.

Verizon and AT&T cooperation with NSA and other US agencies isn’t unique. It’s virtually certain that all other major US telecom companies operate the same way. So do major online ones. They do so willingly, irresponsibly and lawlessly.

Post-9/11, sweeping surveillance became policy. What Bush began, Obama escalated. Privacy rights are systematically violated. EFF and other organizations filed suits to stop it.

In 2006, EFF’s Hepting v. AT&T was filed. It charged lawless company monitoring of private customer communications. Without their knowledge or approval, it supplies NSA with information they contain.

Whistleblower help provided documented proof. Nonetheless, right-wing courts are incorrigible. In June 2009, a federal judge dismissed Hepting and dozens other suits against telecoms.

In September 2008, EFF’s Jewel v. NSA was filed. It remains ongoing. It challenges lawless NSA spying. It uses documents former AT&T employee Mark Klein supplied.

In 2011, EFF filed an FOIA suit against the Justice Department. It did so for “records about the government’s use of Section 215.”

Obama’s the most lawless, secretive president in US history. So is his Justice Department. In Hepting, it claimed telecom immunity. In Jewel, it claims privileged state secrets.

In EFF’s FOIA suit, it maintains information sought is top secret. It operates extrajudicially. It turns constitutional provisions on their head. It does so secretly. It lies when confronted with facts.

“It’s time to stop hiding behind legal privileges and to come clean about Section 215 and FISA,” said EFF.

It’s time to start a national dialogue about our rights in the digital age. And it’s time to end the NSA’s unconstitutional domestic surveillance program.

The same goes for the FBI, CIA, Pentagon, other federal agencies, as well as state and local ones working cooperatively with Washington. It’s time for complicit companies to stop acting against the interests or their own customers and users.

According to Cato Institute surveillance expert Julian Sanchez:

We’ve certainly seen the government increasingly strain the bounds of ‘relevance’ to collect large numbers of records at once – everyone at one or two degrees of separation from a target – but vacuuming all metadata up indiscriminately would be an extraordinary repudiation of any pretense of constraint or particularized suspicion.

In the 1960s, Senator Frank Church warned that NSA’s”capability at any time could be turned around on the American people, and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn’t matter.”

“There would be no place to hide,” he said. Presidents could “impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back.” His warning went unheeded.

Institutionalized spying is official policy. Big Brother no longer is fiction. Obama officials claim no court or judge can challenge them. What they say goes. Governing this way is called tyranny.

A Final Comment

Candidate Obama attacked lawless Bush administration practices. “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom,” he said.

That means no more lawless spying, he added. “No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient.”

President Obama exceeded the worst Bush administration practices. He’s done so consistently. He contemptuously disregards bedrock constitutional law.

On June 7, he offered a specious defense of lawlessness. He lied doing so, saying: “Nobody is listening to your telephone calls. That’s not what this program is about.”

That’s precisely what it’s about. It’s Big Brother writ large. He tried having things both way, adding:

You can’t have 100% security and then also have 100% privacy and zero inconvenience. You know, we’re going to have to make some choices as a society.

True enough when justifiable and constitutionally permitted. Irresponsible overreach has no place in free societies. Sacrificing fundamental freedoms for alleged security assures losing both.

Even New York Times editors said Obama “lost all credibility on this issue.” He “repudiate(d) constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy.”

Los Angeles Times editors criticized Obama’s “brave new world of government surveillance that Americans should find alarming.”

London Guardian editors said “(f)ew Americans believe they live in a police state….Yet the everyday fact that the police have the right to monitor the communications of all its citizens – in secret – is a classic hallmark of a state that fears freedom….”

Ironically, The Guardian story broke on D-Day’s 69th anniversary. It commemorates America’s Normandy landing. It was done to liberate Europe.

It wasn’t supposed to institutionalize what many gave their lives to defeat. Fascism wasn’t vanquished. It was transplanted to America. It’s visible in plain sight.

On June 6, National Intelligence head James Clapper issued a rare public statement. He did so regarding “Unauthorized Disclosures of Classified Information.” In part, he said:

Revelations “threaten potentially long-standing and irreversible harm to our ability to identify and respond to the many threats facing our nation.”

The judicial order that was disclosed in the press is used to support a sensitive intelligence collection operation, on which members of Congress have been fully and repeatedly briefed.

The classified program has been authorized by all three branches of the Government.

Although this program has been properly classified, the leak of one order, without any context, has created a misleading impression of how it operates.

What’s ongoing “protect(s) our nation from a wide variety of threats.”

Government authorization lacks legitimacy. It’s lawless. Police state tyranny has no place in free societies. At stake are fundamental constitutional rights. Post-9/11, they’ve been seriously eroded on route to eliminating them altogether.

Doing so for any reason doesn’t wash. So-called terrorist threats don’t exist. State terrorism threatens humanity. It does so at home and abroad.

Clapper lied saying ongoing practices “are consistently subject to safeguards that are designed to strike the appropriate balance between national security interests and civil liberties and privacy concerns.”

No safeguards whatever exist. Constitutional law is spurned. Doing so threatens freedom everywhere. Rogue states operate this way. America’s by far the worst. Obama, Clapper, Holder, and likeminded ideologues belong in prison, not high office.

On June 6, Wall Street Journal editors didn’t surprise. They headlined “Thank You for Data-Mining. The NSA’s ‘metadata’ surveillance is legal and necessary.”

It’s not “scandalous,” said Journal editors. It’s “a core part of the war on terror.” Outrage “stem(s) from the fact that the government is widely collecting call records, not merely those associated with a particular suspect or group.”

According to Journal editors, what’s ongoing “misunderstands how the program works.”

Fact check

It’s explained above clearly. It’s sweeping, all-inclusive and lawless. All major telecom and Internet companies are involved. They do so extrajudicially. They brazenly subvert constitutional rights.

Claims about mass surveillance disrupting domestic terror attacks don’t wash. Numerous ones reported were false flags. Innocent victims were targeted.

No one prosecuted planned or committed criminal acts. None conspired to do so. Accusations made were false. Political prisoners fill America’s gulag. It’s the shame of the nation for good reason.

Lawless surveillance for any reason has no place in legitimate democracies. Constitutional law principles are inviolable. No president, Congress or court may subvert them. Doing so reflects tyranny.

Amendments are required to change constitutional law. Two-thirds of both Houses may propose them. So may national legislative conventions of two-thirds of the states.

Ratification requires approval by three-fourths of the states. State ratifying conventions of three-fourths of them may do so. Congress has some say over which method is used.

Ratified amendments become constitutional law. Article V explains how. No executive, congressional or judicial process may do so.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net. His new book is titled How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War. Also visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com and listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network Thursdays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour/

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Report states tech giants worked with government surveillance program, companies deny role in PRISM

Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

The New York Times reports that the Internet giants involved in the secret PRISM surveillance program agreed to cooperate with the government. The same companies have issued denials which some argue are actually cleverly worded attempts to obscure their involvement.

All of this comes in response to the reports exposing the NSA’s massive surveillance program known as PRISM which gives them access to the servers of some of the largest Internet companies which was quickly defended by Obama. The information about PRISM was released shortly after it was revealed that Verizon was secretly ordered to hand over all the records of U.S. phone calls in their system.

This slide shows when each company joined the PRISM program
image credit: documents obtained by The Guardian

Now the New York Times reports that in some cases the companies actually changed their computer systems to make it more efficient and secure for the government to conduct surveillance.

These changes were made after a series of secret negotiations that “illustrate how intricately the government and tech companies work together, and the depth of their behind-the-scenes transactions.”

These were far from low-level discussions, according to people briefed on the discussions and one person who actually attended who was cited by the Times.

In recent months Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, traveled to Silicon Valley to meet with executives at Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Intel with the official aim of discussing the future of the Internet but the conversation went further.

A person who attended the meetings told the Times that they also discussed how the companies would work with the government on their intelligence-gathering.

The details revealed by the Times show how the companies that thoroughly denied any knowledge of a program where they provided “direct access” to their servers could say such a thing without outright lying.

The companies “drew a bright line between giving the government wholesale access to its servers to collect user data and giving them specific data in response to individual court orders. Each said it did not provide the government with full, indiscriminate access to its servers,” the New York Times reports.

The companies acknowledged that they do comply with Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests and other court orders, which is what the negotiations would fall under.

As Josh Constantine noted for TechCrunch, the language they used was quite clever indeed.

“Direct Access” didn’t mean no access. “Back door” didn’t mean no door. “Only in accordance with the law” didn’t mean PRISM is illegal. And you didn’t need to have heard of a codename to have participated. Larry, Zuck, you didn’t spell out your denials of the NSA’s data spying program in plain English, and now we know why. You were obligated to help the government in its spying, but were muzzled.”

“Larry” refers to Google co-founder and CEO Larry Page and “Zuck” refers to co-founder, chairman and CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg. Both released statements in response to the PRISM news along with every other company named in the NSA presentation according to the Guardian.

Chris Soghoian, a tech expert and privacy researcher at the American Civil Liberties Union similarly explained to Foreign Policy that “the phrase ‘direct access’ connotes a very specific form of access in the IT-world: unrestricted, unfettered access to information stored on Google servers. In order to run a system such as PRISM, Soghoian explains, such access would not be required, and Google’s denial that it provided ‘direct access’ does not necessarily imply that the company is denying having participated in the program.”

Normally, the only people who have that kind of “direct access” to the servers of an Internet giant like Google would be Google engineers.

Soghoian similarly said that Google’s denial of setting up a “back door” could very well be accurate since a back door means a method of accessing a system that is neither documented nor known by the system’s owner.

“By denying that it set up a back door, Google is not denying that it worked with the NSA to set up a system through which the agency could access the company’s data,” Foreign Policy notes.

Similar to the point raised by Constantine, Foreign Policy notes that there is no reason to believe that the intelligence officials who reportedly worked with Google would use the actual codename of the program with them.

Even when Google says they provide “user data to governments only in accordance with the law,” there is reason to believe they aren’t lying.

PRISM as we know it currently is most likely within the bounds of the law, according to George Washington University Law School professor Orin Kerr.

It seems the cleverly worded responses have fooled many people into thinking they were denying any and all involvement in any program remotely resembling what we know about PRISM. Apparently that is not the case. A few deftly placed words can make a lot of difference.

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This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

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Government Surveillance Of American Citizens Goes Far Beyond What You Are Being Told

Michael Snyder
American Dream
June 8, 2013

Every single day, the U.S. government gathers and stores more than a billion phone calls, emails, text messages, photographs and Internet searches.  Just about every form of electronic communication that you can possibly imagine is being harvested.  In fact, it has been reported that NSA personnel gather 2.1 million gigabytes of data every hour.  This is being done even though it is a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.  Sadly, most Americans do not even know what the Fourth Amendment actually says.  For those that do not know, the Fourth Amendment says the following: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”  Unfortunately, our leaders have totally abandoned the Constitution.  They seem to believe that they have the right to look through our electronic communications any time they want and that we should not complain about it.  As you will see below, workers at the NSA have even eavesdropped on very intimate conversations between soldiers serving in Iraq and their female loved ones back home.  What kind of sick person would do such a thing?  Sadly, the truth is that we have allowed ourselves to become a “Big Brother society”, and we are an utter disgrace to the millions of brave men and women who have died to defend our freedoms.

There was an explosion of outrage on Thursday when the Guardian reported on a leaked document that shows that the Obama administration is collecting the phone records of millions of Verizon customers every single day…

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The White House responded by calling this program “a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats”, and White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters the following

“The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress”

So obviously the Obama administration sees nothing wrong with this at all.

Will some of our other “leaders” step forward and condemn this blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution?

Sadly, so far most of our politicians are rigorously defending the program.  Just check out how some prominent members of Congress responded to this story…

Senator Dianne Feinstein: “There is nothing new in this program. The fact of the matter is, that this was a routine three-month approval under seal that was leaked”

Senator Lindsey Graham: “If we didn’t do it, we’d be crazy”

Senator Saxby Chambliss: “This is nothing particularly new. This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) authority and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid: “Everyone should just calm down and understand this isn’t anything that is brand new. It’s been going on for some seven years. And we’ve tried often to try to make it better, and we’ll continue to do that”

But the collection of phone call metadata is just the tip of the iceberg.

The truth is that government surveillance of Americans citizens goes far beyond what you are being told.

In fact, the Washington Post has just come out with an article about a highly classified program known as PRISM that involves the federal government “tapping directly into the central servers” of nine top Internet companies…

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

So what Internet companies are involved?  Most of the names will be extremely familiar to you…

The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Dropbox , the cloud storage and synchronization service, is described as “coming soon.”

The capabilities of this system are apparently awesome.  Fortunately, one “career intelligence officer” was so disgusted with how our privacy rights were being violated that he decided to leak information about PRISM to the Washington Post

Firsthand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide PowerPoint slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

Another whistleblower, former NSA code breaker William Binney, has come forward with some astounding details about what is actually happening over at the NSA.  The following is from a recent Business Insider article

Binney — one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in NSA history — worked for the Defense Department’s foreign signals intelligence agency for 32 years before resigning in late 2001 because he “could not stay after the NSA began purposefully violating the Constitution.”

He’s detailed how, ever since 9/11, the NSA has run a top-secret surveillance program that amasses electronic data — phone calls, GPS information, emails, social media, banking and travel records, entire government databases — and analyzes the information “to be able to monitor what people are doing” and who they are doing it with.

So exactly how much information are we talking about?

Overall, Binney claims that the NSA has gathered approximately “20 trillion transactions” involving U.S. citizens.

And other NSA whistleblowers claim that the agency “has the capability to do individualized searches, similar to Google, for particular electronic communications in real time through such criteria as target addresses, locations, countries and phone numbers, as well as watch-listed names, keywords, and phrases in email.”

But this is not supposed to be happening.  The NSA is not supposed to be spying on U.S. citizens and it is a clear violation of the U.S. Constitution.

But they are doing it.  In fact, they are gathering so much information on all of us that they needed to build a brand new data storage center out in Utah.  According to Fox News, it will have the capability of storing 5 zettabytes of data…

The NSA says the Utah Data Center is a facility for the intelligence community that will have a major focus on cyber security. The agency will neither confirm nor deny specifics. Some published reports suggest it could hold 5 zettabytes of data. (Just one zettabyte is the equivalent of about 62 billion stacked iPhones 5′s– that stretches past the moon.

Why do they need so much storage space?

Well, after you start putting the pieces together, it becomes very clear.

They are illegally spying on all of us, and the American people need to be told the truth.

But of course there are always numbskulls out there that say things like this…

“I don’t have anything to hide so I don’t care if they watch everything that I do.”

Really?

If you think that way, perhaps you will change your mind after you read what some NSA employees have been doing.  The following is from an article postedon theatlanticwire.com

And the NSA would never abuse its awesome surveillance power, right? Wrong. In 2008, NSA workers told ABC Newsthat they routinely eavesdropped on phone sex between troops serving overseas and their loved ones in America. They listened in on both satellite phone calls and calls from the phone banks in Iraq’s Green Zone where soldiers call home. Former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk described how a coworker would say, “Hey, check this out… there’s good phone sex or there’s some pillow talk, pull up this call, it’s really funny, go check it out.” Faulk explained they would gossip about the best calls during breaks. “It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, ‘Wow, this was crazy.’”

We live during a time when government agencies are massively abusing their powers.  We have seen this recently with the IRS, the Justice Department and now with the NSA.

But so far, most Americans don’t seem too upset by all of this abuse of power.  Most Americans are so apathetic that they seem content to let the government get away with almost anything.

In the end, America will get the government that it deserves.  If Americans do not stand up now and speak out, it will be a signal to the government that this kind of behavior is okay and we will see even more of it.

So what do you think about all of the government corruption that has been exposed lately?  Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below…

Related posts:

  1. The Value of Government Surveillance of Citizens
  2. NSA whistleblowers: Government spying on every single American
  3. ALL Digital Communications In The United States Are Being “Captured” By Government Surveillance Systems *Video*
  4. Boston Bombing Investigation Reveals Government Surveillance of Phone Calls
  5. Oregon Senator Reveals Secret Government Surveillance Grid

This article was posted: Saturday, June 8, 2013 at 3:34 am

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NSA, the secret AT&T spy room, and 2 Israeli companies

Jon Rappoport
Natural News
June 10, 2013

Boom. Explosive revelations. The NSA is using telecom giants to spy on anybody and everybody, in a program called PRISM.

But the information is not new.

Three books have been written about the super-secret NSA, and James Bamford has written them all .

In 2008, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Bamford as his latest book, The Shadow Factory, was being released.

Bamford explained that, in the 1990s, everything changed for NSA. Previously, they’d been able to intercept electronic communications by using big dishes to capture what was coming down to Earth from telecom satellites.

But with the shift to fiber-optic cables, NSA was shut out. So they devised new methods.

For example, they set up a secret spy room at an AT&T office in San Francisco. NSA installed new equipment that enabled them to tap into the fiber-optic cables and suck up all traffic.How Bamford describes this, in 2008, tells you exactly where the PRISM program came from:

“NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.

“So what would happen would be the communications on the cables would come into the building, and then the cable would go to this thing called a splitter box, which was a box that had something that was similar to a prism, a glass prism.

“And the prism was shaped like a prism, and the light signals would come in, and they’d be split by the prism. And one copy of the light signal would go off to where it was supposed to be going in the telecom system, and the other half, this new cloned copy of the cables, would actually go one floor below to NSA’s secret room.

“… And in the secret room was equipment by a private company called Narus, the very small company hardly anybody has ever heard of that created the hardware and the software to analyze these cables and then pick out the targets NSA is looking for and then forward the targeted communications onto NSA headquarters.”

In James Bamford’s 2008 interview, he mentions two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, that almost nobody knew about. They played a key role in developing and selling the technology that allowed NSA to deploy its PRISM spying program:

Bamford: “Yeah. There’s two major – or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the – basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.

“So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature – I read this literature from Verint, for example – is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, ‘We specialize in mass surveillance,’ and that’s what they do.

“They put [this] mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these [two Israeli] companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.”

AMY GOODMAN: “Now, Jim Bamford, take this a step further, because you say the founder and former CEO of one of these companies [Verint] is now a fugitive from the United States somewhere in Africa?”

JAMES BAMFORD: “…the company that Verizon uses, Verint, the founder of the company, the former head of the company, is now a fugitive in – hiding out in Africa in the country of Namibia, because he’s wanted on a number of felony warrants for fraud and other charges. And then, two other top executives of the company, the general counsel and another top official of the parent company, have also pled guilty to these charges.

“So, you know, you’ve got companies – these [two] companies have foreign connections with potential ties to foreign intelligence agencies, and you have problems of credibility, problems of honesty and all that. And these companies – through these two companies pass probably 80 percent or more of all US communications at one point or another.

“And it’s even – gets even worse in the fact that these companies also supply their equipment all around the world to other countries, to countries that don’t have a lot of respect for individual rights – – Vietnam, China, Libya, other countries like that. And so, these countries use this equipment to filter out dissident communications and people trying to protest the government. It gives them the ability to eavesdrop on communications and monitor dissident email communications. And as a result of that, people are put in jail, and so forth…”

AMY GOODMAN: “And despite all of this…these telecom companies still have access to the most private communications of people all over America and actually, it ends up, around the world. And at the beginning of the summer [2008], the Democrats and Republicans joined together in granting retroactive immunity to these companies for spying on American citizens.”

The fugitive CEO of Verint, whom Bamford mentions, is Jacob “Kobi” Alexander. In 2006, the US Dept. of Justice charged him with conspiring to commit securities and wire and mail fraud. The SEC weighed in and filed similar civil charges.

Alexander fled to Namibia, where he finally settled with the SEC for $46 million. The DOJ criminal complaint, as far as I can tell, still stands. Alexander continues to fight against extradition to the US.

He is no longer the CEO of Verint.

It’s obvious that these two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, working for NSA, have been able to divert duplicate mega-tons of data to Israeli intelligence.

The recent media stories on this NSA PRISM spying system indicate that NSA is tapping into the servers of huge tech companies; Google, AOL, Microsoft, Skype, Apple, Yahoo. The methods of data theft may have expanded, but the result and intent remain the same.

The government-corporate juggernaut moves ahead. Their rationale—catching terrorists—is, in great part, a cover story to obscure the fact that the State wants control over the lives of all citizens, as it ratchets up the very conditions that provoke rebellion.

It’s a classic pincer movement.

As far as the current NSA PRISM spying is concerned, look for limited hangouts. These are partial admissions and excuses, offered to conceal greater crimes and stop investigations.

The giant tech companies already have their limited hangout in place: “We didn’t know it was happening, we would never have allowed it to happen, and we’ll be much more careful in the future.”

Obama is saying: Yes, let’s have dialogue on this matter…there’s a fine line between national security needs and overweening intrusion into citizens’ privacy.

The NSA is saying: We do spy, but we don’t read content of emails and phone calls. We just keep ‘records’ of the communications.

The lies lying liars tell. The NSA has multiple and redundant methods of spying. If they have to cut back, for a while, on directly accessing the servers of the giant tech firms, they can do it without losing a step.

After all, as James Bamford revealed five years ago, NSA cuts directly into fiber-optic cables and splits the data into two copies, one of which it keeps for itself. They can access Google and Yahoo in other ways.

Most easily, they can say to these willing tech partners, “Give us all your data.” And it will be done.

Firms like Google are already spying on their customers, putting together extensive profiles to craft better targeted ads. Google knows spying. Doing it for commercial purposes, or for “national security” purposes? They don’t make those distinctions.

Jon Rappoport

The author of two explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED and EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Related posts:

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  3. Russian units raid Georgian airfields for use in Israeli strike against Iran – report
  4. Secret US-Israeli meeting to focus on Iran
  5. UK gathering secret intelligence via covert NSA operation

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Thursday, June 6, 2013

New secret files reveal NSA has direct access to systems of top U.S. Internet giants for data mining

credit: documents obtained by
The Washington Post

Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

Thought yesterday’s revelation of Verizon being ordered to hand over records for all U.S. calls to the National Security Agency (NSA) was bad? Think again.

Today documents were unveiled showing that the NSA and FBI are directly tapping into the servers of nine of the largest U.S. Internet companies since 2007 under a secret program called PRISM in order to mine data including e-mails, documents, connection logs, audio, video and photographs.

Given this newest information, it is important to note that the connection between the intelligence community and Google in particular has been thoroughly documented. Just last year a U.S. appeals court prevented the public from ever knowing the details of that relationship.

It also allows the NSA to collect search history, file transfers and even live chats, according to the document which the Guardian verified as authentic. Unsurprisingly, the FBI is involved as well, acting as an intermediary between other agencies and the tech giants.

The data allows analysts in the U.S. intelligence community to keep tabs on a target’s movements and contacts over times, according to The Washington Post.

The document is a 42-slide PowerPoint presentation classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies, apparently used to get intelligence operatives up to speed with what PRISM can do.

The document most notably says that the program is capable of “collection directly from the servers” which means that the intelligence community doesn’t have to jump through the pesky Constitutional loops.

The companies participating, in order of entry into the program are, “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, [and] Apple,” according to the document. Dropbox is listed as “coming soon” and the presentation states that the NSA seeks to “expand collection services from existing providers.”

The presentation itself states that the program is operated with the assistance of all the companies involved but, unsurprisingly, all of the companies that responded to the Guardian denied knowledge of PRISM or any program like it.

“Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data. We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully,” Google said in a statement. “From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”

Unsurprisingly, government officials would not comment for the story, according to The Washington Post.

The technology is clearly being heavily used. The presentation stated that PRISM data was cited in a whopping 1,477 articles last year alone.

“NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as the leading source of raw data, according to the presentation, making up almost 1 in 7 intelligence reports.

This latest revelation is quite troubling because it shows that the NSA, which is supposed to be engaged in foreign intelligence, is “reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil,” as The Washington Post put it.

However, the PRISM program isn’t as much a dragnet as the type of surveillance revealed yesterday.

The Post reports that under current rules, the agency doesn’t collect all of the data, though they are able to pull out anything they like.

Analysts access the Internet giants’ data stream from a web portal at Fort Meade where they key in search terms or “selectors” which are “designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s ‘foreignness.’”

When the Post calls it “not a very stringent test,” they are wildly understating the matter. The presentation states that analysts should consider U.S. content collected accidentally “nothing to worry about” and simply submit it for a quarterly report.

Indeed, even when no American is targeted directly, the NSA still collects massive amounts of information on Americans, something which they describe as “incidental.”

When the NSA is conducting surveillance on a suspected foreign spy or terrorist, they snap up everyone who happens to have crossed paths with the target online.

“Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two ‘hops’ out from their target, which increases ‘incidental collection’ exponentially,” the Post notes.

This means that the number of Americans caught in this sweeping surveillance method is likely much larger than one would initially suspect.

Perhaps even more troubling is that PRISM is growing rapidly and is hailed by the NSA as “one of the most valuable, unique and productive accesses for NSA.”

The document reveals that in 2012 the number of communications obtained under PRISM increased by 248% along with a 131% increase in requests for Facebook data and 63% for Google.

The presentation claims that the NSA has overcome what they claim are shortcomings in theForeign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant system.

Since FISA requires individual warrants and supposedly requires confirmations that the parties targeted are outside of the U.S., the NSA claims the constraints “restricted our ‘home-field advantage.’”

“FISA was broken because it provided privacy protections to people who were not entitled to them,” the presentation states. “It took a FISA court order to collect on foreigners overseas who were communicating with other foreigners overseas simply because the government was collecting off a wire in the United States. There were too many email accounts to be practical to seek FISAs for all.”

Now the NSA “only reasonable suspicion that one of the parties was outside the country at the time of the records were collected by the NSA,” according to the Guardian.

Yet the secrecy surrounding the government’s surveillance programs is so pervasive that we don’t really know if the privacy safeguards are actually working.

“The problem is we here in the United States Senate and so the citizens we represent don’t know how well any of these safeguards actually work,” Sen. Christopher Coons (D-Del.) warned in the past.

“The law doesn’t forbid purely domestic information from being collected. We know that at least one FISA court has ruled that the surveillance program violated the law. Why? Those who know can’t say and average Americans can’t know,” Coons added.

“It’s shocking enough just that the NSA is asking companies to do this,” Jameel Jaffer, director of the ACLU’s Center for Democracy said to the Guardian. “The NSA is part of the military. The military has been granted unprecedented access to civilian communications”

“This is unprecedented militarization of domestic communications infrastructure,” Jaffer said. “That’s profoundly troubling to anyone who is concerned about that separation.”

Yesterday, when I wrote, “One can only imagine what remains to be uncovered,” I really didn’t suspect we’d see something of this magnitude so soon.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. I am also available for interviews on radio, television or any other format. Please email me at Admin@EndtheLie.com

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This article first appeared at End the Lie

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NSA taps in to user data of Facebook, Google and others, secret files reveal

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Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill
guardian.co.uk
June 7, 2013

The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, Facebook, Apple and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian.

The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says.

The Guardian has verified the authenticity of the document, a 41-slide PowerPoint presentation – classified as top secret with no distribution to foreign allies – which was apparently used to train intelligence operatives on the capabilities of the program. The document claims “collection directly from the servers” of major US service providers.

Read more

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David Petraeus At Bilderberg to Craft “Big Data” Spy Grid

Former CIA director helping to bolster same surveillance system that brought him down

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
June 7, 2013

Former CIA Director David Petraeus is in attendance at the 2013 Bilderberg Group conference to help construct the “big data” spy grid, which is set to become the new frontier of clandestine statecraft as Internet connectivity becomes ubiquitous.

David Petraeus At Bilderberg to Craft Big Data Spy Grid 070613petImage: Wikimedia Commons

Bilderberg’s official agenda for 2013lists one of the areas of discussion as, “How big data is changing almost everything,” a reference to how the “Internet of things” along with the ubiquitous growth of social media is transforming the world of surveillance and the ability to foresee and manipulate future events.

At almost the exact same time, aHomeland Security subcommittee in the United States will also be discussing “big data” and its implications in the context of social media.

Bilderberg’s effort to push the “big data” agenda ties in with the secretive organization’s close relationship with Google, which as we documentedis now merging with and taking over from Bilderberg in many aspects.

The discussion about “big data” is also likely to cover how social media can be used to launch more faux revolutions and social movements as it was in Egypt, which was aided in no small part by Google.

As we have documented, the Internet of things is the process of manufacturing every new product with a system that broadcasts wirelessly via the world wide web, allowing industry and the government to spy ubiquitously on every aspect of your existence.

Petraeus has previously hailed the “Internet of things” as a transformational boon for “clandestine tradecraft”. In other words, it will soon be easier than ever before to keep tabs on the population since everything they use will be connected to the web, with total disregard for privacy considerations. The spooks won’t have to plant a bug in your home or your vehicle, you will be doing it for them.

It’s ironic that Petraeus is helping bolster the very same surveillance system that brought him down last year when details emerged of his extra-marital affair.

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer forInfowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

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