The U.S. Government Can Brand You a Terrorist Based on a Facebook Post

Innocent people’s lives are being ruined. Why isn’t anyone watching the watchlist? The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. Now we know just how opaque, inefficient and discriminatory it can be. As we were reminded again just this week, you can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly, and the consequences can be long and enduring. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information. This kind of data sharing, however, isn’t limited to the latest from Edward Snowden’s NSA files. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors. The watchlist tracks “known” and “suspected” terrorists and […] Read More

What Your “Startlingly Intimate, Voyeristic” NSA File Looks Like

A few days ago, we asked a simple rhetorical question: “Are you targeted by the NSA?” The answer, sadly for those reading this, is very likely yes, as it was revealed that as part of the NSA’s XKeyscore program “a computer network exploitation system, as described in an NSA presentation, devoted to gathering nearly everything a user does on the internet” all it takes for a user to be flagged by America‘s superspooks is to go to a website the NSA finds less than “patriotic” and that user becomes a fixture for the NSA’s tracking algos. So assuming one is being tracked by the NSA – or as it is also known for politically correct reasons “intercepted” – as a “person of interest” or worse, just what kind of data does the NSA collect? The latest report by the WaPo titled “In NSA-intercepted data, those not targeted far outnumber […] Read More

NSA Is Secretly Taping Every Conversation in the Bahamas with the Help of the DEA

And they’re spying on 250 million private citizens in five foreign countries. The U.S. is quietly snooping just about every cell phone call made in the Bahamas in a dual effort by the NSA and the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), according to a May 19 report by Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras of the Intercept.  The agencies have been tapping, recording and storing every single phone call made in the island nation, and the government of the Bahamas—a democratic US ally— appears not to have known about or consented to the spying. In fact, there are laws in place in the Bahamas (as in the U.S.) to specifically forbid this kind of interference. The Intercept’s report is the latest revelation to result from the documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It notes that “the surveillance is part of a top-secret system – code-named SOMALGET,” which is […] Read More

Spying Is Meant to Crush Citizens’ Dissent, Not Catch Terrorists

Preface: NSA Lied When It Said It Doesn’t Record Content Last week, Washington Post reporter Barton Gellman –  who has reviewed many of the documents leaked by Ed Snowden – told PBS’ Frontline: Who’s e-mailing whom? Who’s texting whom? Who’s doing Skype calls with whom? They’re collecting a lot of information, a lot of content of phone calls. They’re actually recording the voices— not for all of our calls, but for a lot of U.S. telephone calls. Background. Okay, now you’re ready for the main story … Spying Is Meant to Crush Citizens’ Dissent, Not Catch Terrorists While many Americans understand why the NSA is conducting mass surveillance of U.S. citizens, some are still confused about what’s really going on.In his new book, No Place to Hide, Glenn Greenwald writes: The perception that invasive surveillance is confined only to a marginalised and deserving group of those “doing wrong” – […] Read More

X DARPA Director & Google Exec Pushes Microchipping Human Beings

With the recent revelations by NSA whistle blower Edward Snowden, it’s no secret that we live on a planet characterized by mass surveillance and virtually zero privacy. We live in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the idea that we face threats, that a high level of national security is needed in order to keep us safe. Think about it, the United States pumps a large majority of their money into the Department of Defense. A state of fear, war and terror is needed to keep those funds flowing in that direction. Many people are starting to wake up and realize a lot of the so called threats we face and have been facing are largely manufactured and fabricated in order to justify a specific agenda, agendas that deal with the black budget world. “It is ironic that the U.S. would begin a devastating war, allegedly in […] Read More

2014: Is Convenience Creating Hazards In The Digital Age?

Home automation technology: is it an asset or a liability? Alternately referred to as “The Internet of Things,” such systems allow homeowners to control multiple devices within their house, which communicate with each other via wireless technology. However egalitarian this may sound, it’s worth noting that such systems do pose multiple security risks. Part of what’s alarming about this situation is that Google recently acquired the home automation tech developer Nest. On the one hand, Google has done a tremendous amount to create an experience for internet browsers that weeds out marketing ploys and, ideally speaking, takes users to the sites which are most relevant to their search queries. On the other hand, because so many people use Google, they have comprehensive data about virtually everyone in the developed world, and they’ve also been working, rather pro-actively, towards increasing internet availability in remote corners of the United States, as […] Read More

2014: Mass Surveillance Called Illegal

By Stephen Lendman Steve Lendman Blog In 2004, Congress established the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB). It did so to advise executive branch officials on these issues. It was virtually moribund. It accomplished nothing under Bush. Nor during Obama’s first term. In November 2013, it held its first meaningful hearing. On January 23, it condemned mass surveillance. It called it illegal. It refuted administration claims. More on what it said below. Pervasive spying is longstanding policy. It’s worse than ever now. NSA watches everyone everywhere all the time. Doing so is unconstitutional. Patriot Act provisions trample on Bill of Rights protections. They compromise due process, habeas rights, free expression, association, and protection from unreasonable searches and seizures. Section 215 oversteps and then some. It’s misused. It’s language is vague. It’s deceptive. It’s used to permit metadata-mining. It allows police state investigatory practices. Doing so pertains to real […] Read More

National Security Agency Employee Manual

Security Guidelines This handbook is designed to introduce you to some of the basic security principles and procedures with which all NSA employees must comply. It highlights some of your security responsibilities, and provides guidelines for answering questions you may be asked concerning your association with this Agency. Although you will be busy during the forthcoming weeks learning your job, meeting co-workers, and becoming accustomed to a new work environment, you are urged to become familiar with the security information contained in this handbook. Please note that a listing of telephone numbers is provided at the end of this handbook should you have any questions or concerns. Introduction In joining NSA you have been given an opportunity to participate in the activities of one of the most important intelligence organizations of the United States Government. At the same time, you have also assumed a trust which carries with it […] Read More

2005: NSA and the Clipper Chip

by Chuck Dupree I wrote what follows in 1995 as a letter to my Congressional representatives. The final product was significantly longer than I intended, as I got caught up in recounting the abuses of the Nixon era. A discussion of the Clipper chip is not likely to interest most readers these days. (Briefly, it was a government-approved encryption chip with a built-in back door, called the Law Enforcement Exploitation Field.) Nevertheless, I include this document here for two reasons. Mainly, because the first two-thirds recounts some history that seems more relevant than ever given the attacks on privacy and liberty we’;ve suffered since 9/11. Secondarily, because it’;s appeared around the web in bastardized form (frequently missing the third word of the first sentence, for instance). It’;s often been marked as copyrighted by Quadralay Corporation, but in fact Quadralay had nothing to do with it and would, I expect, […] Read More

2013: NSA: Dianne Feinstein breaks ranks to oppose US spying on allies

Senate intelligence committee chair Dianne Feinstein, who has been a loyal defender of the NSA, demands a ‘total’ surveillance review The chair of the Senate intelligence committee, who has been a loyal defender of the National Security Agency, dramatically broke ranks on Monday, saying she was “totally opposed” to the US spying on allies and demanding a total review of all surveillance programs. California Democratic senator Dianne Feinstein strongly criticised the NSA’s monitoring of the calls of friendly world leaders such as German chancellor Angela Merkel. Feinstein, who has steadfastly defended the NSA’s mass surveillance programs, added that both Barack Obama and members of her committee, which is supposed to received classified briefings, had been kept in the dark about operations to target foreign leaders. “It is abundantly clear that a total review of all intelligence programs is necessary so that members of the Senate Intelligence Committee are fully […] Read More

Web inventor's open data organisation announces new global network

US, Canada, Russia and France among 13 to sign agreements with Open Data Institute co-founded by Sir Tim Berners-Lee Just one year after its foundation in London, an organisation created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Sir Nigel Shadbolt to stimulate economic, environmental and social innovation through a system of open data sharing and analysis, has announced rapid global expansion of its ambitions. The Open Data Institute has announced the launch of 13 international centres, known as “nodes”, each of which will bring together companies, universities, and NGOs that support open data projects and communities. The nodes will be based in the US, Canada, France, Dubai, Italy, Russia, Sweden and Argentina, with two extra US nodes Chicago and North Carolina. Three further UK nodes are to open in Manchester, Leeds and Brighton. The new ODI nodes will variously operate at local and national levels. Each one has agreed to adopt […] Read More

2013: Israeli Responsibility For Hacking Millions Of French Phones?

By Stephen Lendman Steve Lendman Blog Mossad’s credentials are notorious. They’re well known. It’s expertise is acknowledged. Its rap sheet is longstanding and nefarious. Its tactics include targeted assassinations, satellite, drone and other type spying, hacking and espionage expertise, computer viruses, other cyber attacks, bombings, sabotage, and other lawless practices. On October 25, France’s Le Monde headlined “The NSA’s intern inquiry about the Elysee hacking revealed.” Edward Snowden connected important dots for millions. Documents he released included “a four-page internal NSA memo,” said Le Monde. It’s marked “top secret.” France sent it. It said French secret service technical director Bernard Barbier and National Agency for IT systems security head Patrick Pailloux “are coming to ask their American counterparts, whom they suspect are (conducting Elysee Palace espionage) for an explanation.” It’s the official French president’s residence. It includes his office. It’s where government ministers meet to discuss official business. France […] Read More

2013: Letters: Spying excesses threaten democracy

The Guardian has served us all well by drawing attention day after day to the excesses of spying on individuals and of mass surveillance practised by GCHQ and the US National Security Agency, revealed in the secret material made available by Edward Snowden (GCHQ fears challenge over mass spying, leak reveals, 26 October). In a world of sophisticated global organised crime, terrorism both imported and home-grown, and trafficking of children and modern slaves, I recognise the need for intelligence agencies. Undoubtedly their work has unearthed criminal gangs and terrorist plots, and we have reason to be grateful for that. But Snowden’s revelations show a deeply troubling imbalance between their operations and the respect for individual liberty and personal privacy that citizens of a democracy are entitled to enjoy. I congratulate the government on the new powers it has given to the intelligence and security committee of parliament, which has […] Read More