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12.16.13

NSA Roundup: Latest News in a Nutshell

Posted in News Roundup at 5:06 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: December news about the NSA and its international partners

Tracking Devices (Also Known as Mobile Phones)

Embassies

  • NSA spies on Italians from roof of US Embassy in Rome, magazine reports

    The U.S. National Security Agency has been spying on Italian communications from installations on the roof of the U.S. Embassy in Rome and the country’s consulate in Milan and even mounted an operation to capture information from inside the Italian embassy in Washington, D.C., the Italian weekly magazine L’Espresso claimed Friday.

Obama

Canada

Drugs

  • The inept mind-control experiment that led to 20 years of CIA funding
  • If the NSA Could Hack Into Human Brains, Should It?

    Technology has changed the surveillance state in ways that the American public doesn’t yet understand, according to Joel F. Brenner, a former senior counsel at the NSA.

    “During the Cold War our enemies were few and we knew who they were. The technologies used by Soviet military and intelligence agencies were invented by those agencies,” he writes. “Today our adversaries are less awesomely powerful than the Soviet Union, but they are many and often hidden. That means we must find them before we can listen to them. Equally important, virtually every government on Earth, including our own, has abandoned the practice of relying on government-developed technologies. Instead they rely on commercial off-the-shelf, or COTS, technologies. They do it because no government can compete with the head-spinning advances emerging from the private sector, and no government can afford to try.”

Antivirus

Analysis/Overview

  • Looking back at NSA revelations since the Snowden leaks
  • Investigating the 9/11 Attacks. The NSA’s “Lone Wolf Terrorists” Justification for Mass Spying Is Nonsense

    But we want to focus on another angle: the unspoken assumption by the NSA that we need mass surveillance because “lone wolf” terrorists don’t leave as many red flags as governments, so the NSA has to spy on everyone to find the needle in the haystack.

    But this is nonsense. The 9/11 hijackers were not lone wolves.

  • Read This If You Want To Understand Just How Far The NSA Has Gone, And The Political Mess Behind It
  • The NSA is out of control and must be stopped

    The National Security Agency is breaking trust in democracy by breaking trust in the internet. Every day, the NSA records the lives of millions of Americans and countless foreigners, collecting staggering amounts of information about who they know, where they’ve been, and what they’ve done. Its surveillance programs have been kept secret from the public they allegedly serve and protect. The agency operates the most sophisticated, effective, and secretive surveillance apparatus in history.

  • Reform corporate surveillance

    The FSF issued the following statement in response to the recent open letter on government surveillance published by AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo.

  • Spying has its limits
  • We cannot afford to be indifferent to internet spying

    We’ve seen less than 1% of the NSA documents Edward Snowden took with him from his employer, Booz Allen. The whistleblower had been employed to consolidate training documents used to brief NSA agents and contractors on the full range of NSA programmes and sources, which gave him access to the intimate (and sometimes boastful) details of the NSA’s capabilities.

    The disclosures will keep coming, and they will be worse. The journalists handling the Snowden trove have taken extraordinary care to redact them in order to preserve the legitimate law-enforcement capabilities of western spy agencies, and there are certainly programmes of even grander sweep and more sensitive details that will take more time-consuming verification and caution before they can be disclosed.

  • Six months after NSA story broke, Snowden looks even more patriotic

    Six months ago this week, the Guardian and Washington Post published the first stories based on leaks from Edward Snowden. Since then, in what has become a steady drumbeat of revelations about the about the US National Security Agency other nations’ spy agencies, we’ve learned how utterly hostile our governments have become to our most fundamental rights in the post 9/11 world – but we’ve also seen the first genuine push-back by some of the people who have the power to make a near-term difference.

  • State surveillance of personal data: what is the society we wish to protect?

    What in principle would justify the scope of the surveillance revealed by the Snowden leak? Would it be enough, for example, if it could be shown that a specific potential act of terrorism had been prevented by, and could only have been prevented by, the full breadth and depth of what we now have learned is the playing field of the security services?

  • The year the NSA hacked the world: A 2013 PRISM timeline (Part I)

    On 20 May 2013, a diminutive and bespectacled computer specialist employed as a contractor by the American National Security Agency (NSA) boarded a plane to Hong Kong. He’d taken a leave of absence from work on the pretext of receiving treatment for his newly-diagnosed epilepsy, and bought a last-minute plane ticket at the airport, with no advance booking.

  • State of Deception

    Wyden told me, “The answer was obviously misleading, false.” Feinstein said, “I was startled by the answer.” In Washington, Snowden’s subsequent leaks created the most intense debate about the tradeoffs between national security and individual liberty since the attacks of September 11th. The debate will likely continue. According to Feinstein, Snowden took “millions of pages” of documents. Only a small fraction have become public. Under directions that the White House issued in June, Clapper declassified hundreds of pages of additional N.S.A. documents about the domestic-surveillance programs, and these have only begun to be examined by the press. They present a portrait of an intelligence agency that has struggled but often failed to comply with court-imposed rules established to monitor its most sensitive activities. The N.S.A. is generally authorized to collect any foreign intelligence it wants—including conversations from the cell phone of Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel—but domestic surveillance is governed by strict laws.

  • Snowden Leaks Notwithstanding, It’s Business as Usual at the NSA Museum
  • Edward Snowden, the NSA, and the Never-Ending End of Privacy
  • Orwellian Obama

    Apologists for National Security Agency (NSA) espionage argue “national security!” But leaked NSA files show Washington spying to gain an advantage in economic negotiations and to keep a close eye not so much on terrorists as on political opponents and rivals.

  • NSA Whistleblower

    When the U.S. government figured that out, prosecutors came down hard, indicting him on multiple national security charges, including espionage, which, if convicted, could have earned him as much as 35 years in prison.

    But Thomas Drake stood his ground. The U.S. government’s case collapsed on the eve of his trial.

    In the process, he inspired Edward Snowden to follow his conscience, even if it meant breaking the law.

    Today, Thomas Drake is quick to point out that over-reaching government surveillance isn’t a U.S. problem alone. That countries such as Canada … with its Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), is following Washington’s lead.

    Mr. Snowden’s leaks have revealed that Canada allowed the U.S. to conduct widespread surveillance in Canada during the G8 and G20 summits in 2010 … spying that was closely coordinated with CSEC. And there are allegations that CSEC conducted industrial espionage in Brazil by targeting the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy last year.

Petitions/Actions

Sympathy

Sweden

  • It’s Becoming Clear That The NSA’s Nightmare Has Just Begun

    Second, on Thursday Swedish television reported that Sweden’s signals intelligence agency, the FRA, has been a key partner for the United States in spying on Russia and its leadership. A previous report said that Sweden is also a key partner of the GCHQ.

  • Swedes Shame the NSA With Gingerbread Data Center Spy Movie

    It’s probably the single most enjoyable comment on the year’s NSA spying scandal. And it’s certainly the strangest.

  • The UK government is working in a Snowden-free bubble

    Anyone who took the time to read the UK government’s latest update on its cybersecurity strategy could be forgiven for thinking that a man called Edward Snowden never existed.

    Most people who are even slightly plugged in to the world around them would agree, however, that we live in decidedly more interesting times for internet security and privacy than the document would have us believe. Not a day seems to have gone by since the summer without a new revelation of activities by the NSA or GCHQ that have gone just a little further than what most people find acceptable.

  • Who is behind the “people’s Intelligence apparatus”? On the Swedish collaboration with US spying

    I believe that there are some alternative answers to Sundberg’s quest, and that those are found 1) partly in main political parties of the Swedish establishment, and 2) partly in the economic-military establishment; 3) also the assisting role played by the Swedish state-owned media and MSM monopolies is paramount.

  • The Snowden Documents and Sweden with English subtitles

    After six months reporters Fredrik Laurin, Sven Bergman and Joachim Dyfvermark made contact with Glenn Greenwald who holds the documents that Edward Snowden leaked from American signal intelligence organization NSA. They made this report.

  • Sweden aids NSA-led hacking ops: report

Hungary

Bitcoin

Change

  • IETF Group Proposes Making Tor Anonymity an Internet Standard

    There continue to be many people around the globe who want to be able to use the web and messaging systems anonymously, despite the fact that some people want to end Internet anonymity altogether. Typically, the anonymous crowd turns to common tools that can keep their tracks private, and one of the most common tools of all is Tor, an open source tool used all around the world.

  • Edward Snowden to give evidence to EU parliament, says MEP

    British Conservatives oppose video appearance by NSA whistleblower, which Green MEP says could happen this year

  • EU parliament votes to invite Snowden to testify over NSA spying

    The European Parliament has voted to formally invite former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden to provide official court testimony on NSA spying, in the face of overwhelming concern from conservative MEPs.

    European conservatives seemed reluctant to pay full attention to the possibility of the hearing on Wednesday. The European People’s Party (EPP), which is a conglomerate of center-right parties, had displayed a great deal of concern over the possibility of inviting Snowden for a hearing, suggesting that he could potentially throw the transatlantic trade agreement with the US into disarra

  • Who is monitoring the covert operations of the world’s spy agencies?

    Mission drift: our intelligence agencies are in danger of straying from their core purpose.

Australia

  • More whistleblowers emerge in Australia’s Timor spying scandal

    The Australian government’s moves to suppress further exposures of its surveillance operations suffered a blow yesterday when it was revealed that three more whistleblowers have given statements to the East Timorese government about the illegal installation of bugging devices in the walls of Dili’s cabinet offices. The bugging involved Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agents posing as aid workers helping renovate Timorese government buildings.

  • Australian police to roll out ‘NSA-type’ surveillance tech by next year

    The Deep Packet Inspection technology is expected to go for a trial in February followed by a complete roll out in April

France

Legality

  • Op-Ed: Enough debate — Is NSA spying constitutional or not?

    Privacy is not negotiable. What I am sending and who I am sending it to is not the government’s business unless they have evidence that I am doing something illegal. The debate is over. The government’s lies have been exposed and the people have found that they do not like what it is doing. We’ve talked long enough. Now we need action.

Misc.

Virtual Worlds

Awards and Recognition

  • Pell Center names NSA spying program as 2013 Story of the Year

    The Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy at Salve Regina University has named the unfolding saga of digital spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) as the 2013 “Story of the Year.”

  • Edward Snowden voted Guardian person of the year 2013
  • Shooting the Messenger

    There is a deeply misguided attempt to sacrifice Julian Assange, WikiLeaks, Chelsea Manning and Jeremy Hammond on the altar of the security and surveillance state to justify the leaks made by Edward Snowden. It is argued that Snowden, in exposing the National Security Agency’s global spying operation, judiciously and carefully leaked his information through the media, whereas WikiLeaks, Assange, Manning and Hammond provided troves of raw material to the public with no editing and little redaction and assessment. Thus, Snowden is somehow legitimate while WikiLeaks, Assange, Manning and Hammond are not.

    “I have never understood it,” said Michael Ratner, who is the U.S. lawyer for WikiLeaks and Assange and who I spoke with Saturday in New York City. “Why is Snowden looked at by some as the white hat while Manning, Hammond, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as black hats? One explanation is that much of the mainstream media has tried to pin a dumping charge on the latter group, as if somehow giving the public and journalists open access to the raw documents is irresponsible and not journalism. It sounds to me like the so-called Fourth Estate protecting its jobs and ‘legitimacy.’ There is a need for both. All of us should see the raw documents. We also need journalists to write about them. Raw documents open to the world give journalists in other countries the chance to examine them in their own context and write from their perspectives. We are still seeing many stories based on the WikiLeaks documents. We should not have it any other way. Perhaps another factor may be that Snowden’s revelations concern the surveillance of us. The WikiLeaks/Assange/Manning disclosures tell us more about our war crimes against others. And many Americans do not seem to care about that.”

  • Hacktivists on Trial

    Prosecutors are warping the law to throw activist hackers like Aaron Swartz behind bars for years.

Branding

  • New US spy satellite features world-devouring octopus

    President Obama is out to put the public’s mind at ease about new revelations on intelligence-gathering, but the Office for the Director of National Intelligence can’t quite seem to get with the program of calming everyone down.

    Over the weekend, the ODNI was pumping up the launch of a new surveillance satellite launched by the National Reconnaissance Office. The satellite was launched late Thursday night, and ODNI’s Twitter feed posted photos and video of the launch over the following days.

Arizona

Cookies

Nigeria

Recruitment

  • NSA wooing students to work for US intelligence
  • The NSA Is Recruiting Teens

    The National Security Agency is hiring its spies early and recruiting teens as young as 15 for internships.

    Students who answer ads seeking aspiring journalists have the chance to work as paid interns for the NSA in Fort Meade, Md.

    The agency currently employs 500 young interns on staff, and according to an NSA spokeswoman in Newser, up to 95% of interns who want to stay on with the agency after their internships are able to do so.

Journalism

China/Distractions/Deflections

UK

Android/Gmail

New Zealand

IBM

Reform

Amnesty Claims/CBS

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