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12.30.13

Wrapping Up a Year of NSA Disgrace, Propaganda Film Advocating State Abuses Already in Preparation (Starring Benedict Cumberbatch Again)

Posted in Action at 7:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Serving those who abuse their power

Benedict Cumberbatch

Summary: 2013 a terrible year for spies and vandals who work for the state; propaganda blockbuster designed to manufacture consent for this is already in the pipeline

Having repeatedly covered NSA affairs for several years now, we finally have documents confirming what we warned about, reminding people that Free software is essential for genuine trust in computing [1]. This post is an accumulation of about 3 weeks of news about the NSA and its affiliates (commercial companies and other ‘satellite’ agencies around the world). This will hopefully help readers get their heads around it all with a high level of concision (yet a comprehensive enough scope). It takes a huge amount of time to prepare a post like this (weeks of daily research) and the references below should help support the claims, providing a gateway to further information.

In December, the series of revolutionary [2], important [3] and widely-known [4] scandals turned 6 months old [5]. Two court decisions were contradicting one another and the ACLU plans to appeal, based on its latest statement. The ACLU challenged in court the tracking and profiling systems that are based on people’s phonecalls. One judge considered it illegal [6-9] and unconstitutional [10-11], agreeing with many prominent commentators [12] (maligned by CNN [13]), putting aside the later ruling [14-18]. Even sections of the corporate media [19], which usually pretends to be impartial while pro-NSA [20], gave this coverage.

Merkel, who told Obama this was reminiscent of the Stasi [21,22] (still in positions of power [23]), made some headlines also. A German coalition now generally favours German-owned or Free software because of the NSA revelations [24-25] and lack of trust [26-27] (Germany is not alone [28-29]). France would be hypocritical to say much at this point [30] and new videos reveal a very high degree of distrust even within Europe itself, dividing East and West, still (Not East and West Germany but Russia and/or Europe and north America/UK) [31-32].

The importance of the latest court ruling is high; it is a nightmare for the NSA [33] because it recognises Edward Snowden as a whistleblower [34] and makes it known that the real criminals are Clapper, Alexander and other military men/politicians including President Obama [35], who tries to dodge discussion about his complicity in this [36-43] and actively obstructs justice [44-46], delaying/procrastinating [47] where possible, etc.

The US and UK (closely connected [48]) have politicians who merely parrot the talking points from spooks [49-50] and this is being noticed. They no longer get away with it so easily, not even when state propaganda channels repeat the claim (CBS is widely disgraced for what it did for the NSA a few weeks ago).

Edward Snowden, another man whom history will most likely remember as a hero [51] is looking for asylum to become effective next year, choosing Germany [52-53] or Brasil as one very strategic, strong-enough-to-resist-blackmail asylum (the reporter who worked with him lives there) [54-56]. Brasil has just ditched Boeing, perhaps in part due to Wikileaks and Snowden (revealing corruption and back doors) [57-60]. In this age of governance by algorithms [61] and hardware (e.g. CCTV [62]) we risk approaching something that’s worse than 1984, to paraphrase Snowden [63-69] (he claims to have “won” [70-75]). Some people want the NSA shut down [76] and they get their views broadcasted [77-78], citing/crediting Snowden’s contributions [79-80].

It is only getting worse over time [81-84], as the NSA is ignoring advice from NSA manager-turned-whistleblower, instead following the trajectory suggested by Morell (CIA) [85-88]. And so, observing a sort of entryism (fox guards the hen house), Snowden wants to accomplish real change this time [89], with or without help from the corporate press [77-78]. He called for real change (through Congress [79], which should protect him [80]) in this age of more useless promises from chronic liars [89].

British scientist Tim Berners-Lee (best known for creating the Web) called for real change [90], but British spies and their apologists (see Guardian articles, including one about Bletchley Park) seem to just burying the current events under the rug [91-94].

There are real concerns here [95] because political espionage (see the surveillance used against KGB’s Putin [96-97] and outrageous surveillance of regulators, politicians, and even charities [98-111]) or industrial espionage (examples given before) are the key areas the NSA has been involved in. It’s not about terrorism [112-114], which is mostly a privacy-infringing [115-117] pretext and excuse [118] (the corporate press needs to acknowledge this [119], putting aide the 9/11 hype [120-121]). “Sometimes I think we do the terrorists’ job for them,” Dan K. Thomasson wrote [122], alluding to how we prove them right by mocking and revoking our own freedom and rights.

Zynga’s Mark Pincus has asked Obama to pardon Edward Snowden [123], but the spies want to just kill Snowden [124-126] because they are sociopaths [127-128] (exceptionalism complex) and empathy/sympathy cannot be tolerated [129-130] (Snowden cannot expect fair trial [131-132]). It should be noted that Zynga, a spam and surveillance company (which also makes games), is too hypocritical; it’s ridiculous for Zynga to take such a position. A lot of the surveillance done by the NSA has been facilitated by so-called ‘cloud’ and Internet companies, as well as carriers [133-144]. They store data for the government, so they — and especially phone companies — should be seen as NSA extensions [145]. Fake/weak encryption and back doors play a role [146-147] (bribes played a role [148-152] and alternatives now emerge, e.g. from BitTorrent [153-154]). Perhaps Mark Pincus worries about loss of business [155-156], not ethics. Some businesses walk out of the US for business purposes [157-158], especially when it comes to data storage.

The NSA has become somewhat of a joke (subject of satire [159-161]) and its biggest proponents in politics are the same right-wing politicians who tried to classify Wikileaks “terrorism” and treat it as such [162]. They lie, too [163]. It’s that exceptionalism again.

Some suspect that the NSA now interferes with free speech [164-165] using cracking techniques [166] (evidence is weak most of the time). Glenn Greenwald has blasted the corporate media [167-180] for helping the NSA do its thing and also hinted at the next major leak: the NSA and GCHQ are dying to snoop on your gadgets mid-flight [181]. Alan Dershowitz, who pretended to help Wikileaks (he only exploited Wikileaks), is showing his real face again by slamming Greenwald [182-185] and Applebaum, a Wikileaks employee, has just had his house in Germany allegedly raided [186], ahead of a major report [187-188] that reveals serious NSA crimes [189] and back doors — the types of back doors that would in theory enable spooks to plant suicide notes and tamper with browser history before assassinating people and making it look like a suicide [190].

The surveillance industry is taking many blows and right now the British media is trying to use Turing [191], a national hero to manym as part of a recruitment drive for GCHQ. This includes a propaganda film featuring the same shameless actor who starred in the anti-Wikileaks film. It’s not just the CIA but also the NSA et al. that require popular propaganda films to change public image. Be ready for gullible people to get deceived and to somehow associate NSA et al. with beating the Nazis, never mind if a lot of Nazi officers actually joined the CIA and NSA after WW2. Propaganda can be powerful and it is inevitable. The more we find out about the NSA, the better equipped we’ll be in shooting down this type of propaganda.

Related/contextual items from the news:

  1. 12 Ways of NSA Suspicion

    With open source code the NSA would be foolish to install a true back door.

  2. EUGENE ROBINSON: Snowden’s NSA revelations have changed the world
  3. Welcome Big Brother, 2013 version

    Freedom is a precious commodity. Like virtue, once it is given up, it is difficult — if not impossible — to regain.

  4. NSA has become a four-letter word in US

    The NSA “has become a four-letter word in the US” and Americans are irritated, executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel McAdams, told RT while commenting on a ruling which states that the agency’s spying is legal.

  5. The year the NSA hacked the world: A 2013 PRISM timeline (Part II)

    When June 2013 came to a close, the world was just coming to terms with the revelations of widespread and unaccountable spying by the American National Security Agency (NSA) revealed by whistleblower Edward Snowden. Mass gathering of metadata, recording of phonecalls, spying on civilian populations: at first, it seemed as if this would be a good old fashioned unaccountable-spy-agency-against-the-people kind of story. But it would soon become apparent that the rot went much further than that.

  6. Judge Questions Legality of N.S.A. Phone Records
  7. A striking reverse for the NSA

    The broad issue that Judge Leon looked at is the NSA’s power to collect metadata – the record of who is telephoning whom, when the call is made and for how long. Defenders of the NSA argue that the acquisition of phone metadata only allows the agency to see the context in which a call is made, establishing links between potential terrorists. It does not give the NSA access to the content of calls.

  8. The NSA Needs an Adversary in Court

    In the six months since Edward Snowden began leaking details about the National Security Agency’s efforts to collect telephone data on a colossal scale, NSA officials have repeatedly asserted that the program is on firm legal ground. Now U.S. District Court Judge Richard Leon has ruled that it probably infringes on the Fourth Amendment, calling it “almost Orwellian” in scope.

  9. This Week in Review: A judge deals the NSA a blow, and breaking down Patch’s fatal flaws

    60 Minutes’ NSA flattery: CBS News’ 60 Minutes touted a big story on the NSA surveillance beat when it got exclusive access to NSA officials to talk to them about their mass surveillance programs and Edward Snowden’s leaks. The story did contain one bit of pertinent news — that the NSA is considering granting Snowden amnesty in exchange for the return of its documents, a trial balloon that Reuters’ Jack Shafer examined more closely.

    The piece’s reporter, John Miller, explained an behind-the-scenes interview with 60 Minutes that he didn’t want the story to be a puff piece. As it turned out, in the eyes of most every media critic who watched it, that’s exactly what he produced. The Wire’s Sara Morrison laid out a good, basic summary of the puffiness of the piece, and Mike Masnick of Techdirt highlighted a few elements: zero difficult questions, no NSA critics in the piece, unchecked ad hominem attacks against Snowden.

  10. Updated: Federal judge finds NSA phone spying likely unconstitutional

    In a stunning decision, a DC-based federal judge has ruled that the National Security Agency spying revealed this summer violates the constitution.

  11. NSA phone surveillance ‘likely unconstitutional’
  12. I challenged the NSA in court because it’s a totalitarian attack on human rights
  13. NSA SLAYER CALLS FOR FIRINGS AT CNN

    Klayman has praised the courage of Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, who ruled that the NSA’s regular collection of virtually all phone records is almost certainly unconstitutional.

    Klayman’s case, on behalf of a Verizon Wireless customer, was launched after the extent of government spying on Americans was unveiled by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who said the court’s decision made him feel justified in releasing classified documents. Named in the case are the NSA, Department of Justice and several U.S. officials, including President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

  14. Is the NSA’s Spying Constitutional? It Depends Which Judge You Ask
  15. U.S. judge upholds NSA phone surveillance program

    A U.S. judge ruled the National Security Agency’s program that collects records of millions of Americans’ phone calls is lawful, rejecting a challenge by the American Civil Liberties Union to the controversial counter-terrorism program.

  16. Judge Defends Government Secrecy & Dismisses ACLU Lawsuit Challenging NSA Surveillance Program
  17. Ratifying NSA Spying, a Court Calls FISA ‘Courts’ Into Question
  18. Judge’s Wikipedia Page Vandalized After Ruling In Favor Of NSA Surveillance

    The National Security Agency on Friday won a court opinion ruling that its tactics of bulk phone data collected on Americans and others worldwide does not violate the U.S. Constitution. Following the decision, vandals began defacing the Wikipedia entry for the district court judge who issued the decision: the Hon. William H. Pauley III.

  19. NSA Spying Sweeps ‘Have Gone Too Far’, Report

    A panel has recommended curbing the secretive powers of the National Security Agency, warning its mass spying sweeps in the war on terror had gone too far.

  20. NSA data surveillance – right or wrong?
  21. Merkel compared NSA to Stasi in heated encounter with Obama
  22. US snooping revelations: Merkel ‘told Obama NSA was like the Stasi’

    During angry exchanges over the scope and scale of American spies’ snooping exposed by the NSA whistlewblower Edward Snowden, Angela Merkel reportedly told Barack Obama his country’s conduct was reminiscent of the Stasi.

    The German Chancellor had the discussion with her US counterpart in October, shortly after the revelation that her personal mobile phone had been tapped.

  23. Ex-Stasi staff still work at archives of East Germany’s former secret police

    It was set up as a unique historical experiment: an agency that would open up the secret service’s files to those it had spied upon. But now the commissioner in charge of the East Germany’s secret police archive has admitted that his agency still counts 37 former Stasi employees among its staff.

  24. German coalition favors German-owned or open source software, aims to lock NSA out
  25. GERMANY URGES US FIRMS TO BAN PASSING SENSITIVE DATA TO NSA
  26. NSA surveillance eroded transatlantic trust

    One year ago, most people on either side of Atlantic had scant or no knowledge of the NSA and its activities. Edward Snowden’s revelations changed all that and rocked one of the pillars of transatlantic relations.

  27. NSA Scandal May Help Build Cyber-Barriers

    Deutsche Telekom has also proposed to help Europe avoid NSA surveillance by creating “Schengen area routing,” a network for the 26 European countries that have agreed to remove passport controls at their borders. This network would supposedly allow these nations to securely exchange data among themselves. Conveniently, the Schengen area does not include the U.K., which is now known to be closely cooperating with the NSA.

  28. Europe Turns to Alternatives on NSA Fallout
  29. NSA Fallout in Europe Boosts Alternatives to Google

    During its first four years, Berlin-based Posteo e.K. struggled to find customers for its secure e-mail service. That changed in June, when U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed that his former employer monitored phones and e-mails worldwide. In the past six months, Posteo has tripled the subscribers of its 1-euro-per-month ($1.37) encryption service, to more than 30,000.

  30. Final Adoption of Generalised Surveillance in France: a Disturbing Political Drift

    The French President promulgated [fr] the 2014-2019 Defense Bill last night. Adoption of article 20 (former article 13) opens the door to the generalised surveillance of communications and the failure to request its constitutional challenge demonstrates the deep crisis of a political system which does not hesitate anymore to massively compromise fundamental rights. La Quadrature du Net thanks all those who contributed to the opposition to this article. It calls for the continuation of the fight against surveillance of our communications on the Internet by any means: before parliament or judges, through technology and usage choices.

  31. [Video] Tom Drake — Full Interview
  32. [Video] Revealed: Norway widely spies on Russia for NSA – new Snowden leak
  33. The NSA’s rough week just got even worse

    Back in August, not long after Edward Snowden began leaking details about NSA surveillance programs, President Obama created a panel to review the NSA’s data surveillance practices and recommend changes. Yesterday, the panel released its 308-page report and recommended 46 changes, including ending the collection of phone call metadata, which the panel says “creates potential risks to public trust, personal privacy, and civil liberty.” Instead, phone companies or other private entities should control the data, and it should only be accessed with an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC).

  34. Finally, a Ruling That Recognizes Snowden as a Whistleblower
  35. Why are there no charges against the NSA crew: Clapper, Alexander and Obama?

    It’s curious how then-President Bill Clinton was impeached and removed from office by the US Congress for just one lie concerning the relatively trivial matter of an extramarital affair – a scandal that didn’t concern his official duties.

    But James Clapper and Keith Alexander, who are in charge of the NSA system, have told a number of lies while under oath – one journalist counted 14 lies by Alexander – to the US Congress concerning matters of vital importance to the Congress, the American people and the world. Specifically, they have lied, used half-truths, and obfuscated while under oath to conceal from the Congress, and the public, the massive surveillance of the American people’s online activities secretly carried out by the NSA. Yet no charges or attempted charges have been brought.

  36. White House Tries to Prevent Judge From Ruling on Surveillance Efforts

    The Obama administration moved late Friday to prevent a federal judge in California from ruling on the constitutionality of warrantless surveillance programs authorized during the Bush administration, telling a court that recent disclosures about National Security Agency spying were not enough to undermine its claim that litigating the case would jeopardize state secrets.

  37. Obama ‘hijacks’ tech executive meeting to make ‘PR pitch’ on Obamacare website fix instead of dealing with NSA surveillance

    During a White House meeting called to brief America’s largest tech companies today about government overreach in electronic surveillance, President Barack Obama changed the subject – angering some meeting participants by shifting gears to address the failed launch of healthcare.gov.

    ‘That wasn’t what we came for,’ a vice-president of a company whose CEO attended told MailOnline. ‘We really didn’t care for a PR pitch about how the administration is trying to salvage its internal health care tech nightmare.’

  38. Obama Can’t Avoid the NSA Report, But He’ll Try

    A panel of presidential advisers has urged the White House to rein in the National Security Agency, and recommended a set of expansive policy reforms that would check the agency’s broad surveillance powers, including an end to the bulk collection of virtually all American phone records. At the same time, the recommendations also leave in place most of the NSA’s surveillance programs.

  39. NSA Report Ups Pressure for Reforms Obama Sought to Avoid

    The review panel’s calls for minor reforms are already more than President Obama is likely to want to make, but as the surveillance scandal continues to grow, his ability to put off calls for reform with promises of “transparency” is going to be tested.

  40. President Obama’s NSA review group is typical administration whitewash

    Notice how the White House moved quickly to thwart the only substantive NSA changes the review group was making

  41. NSA survelliance reforms lack substance

    There is one concrete way for the president to demonstrate good faith in dealing with the reforms: Pardon Edward Snowden.

  42. NSA leaks: Obama hints at surveillance rethink

    US President Barack Obama has suggested there may be a review of surveillance by the National Security Agency in the wake of a series of spying revelations.

  43. Editorial: Obama must explain NSA or accept changes
  44. Despite Releasing New NSA Information, Government Still Tries to Block Groundbreaking EFF Case

    U.S. government intelligence officials late last night released some previously secret declarations submitted to the court in Jewel v. NSA — EFF’s long-running case challenging the NSA’s domestic surveillance program – plus a companion case, Shubert v. Obama. The documents were released pursuant to the court’s order.

    Surprisingly, in these documents and in the brief filed with them, the government continues to claim that plaintiffs cannot prove they were surveilled without state secrets and that therefore, a court cannot rule on the legality or constitutionality of the surveillance. For example, despite the fact that these activities are discussed every day in news outlets around the world and even in the president’s recent press conference, the government states broadly that information that may relate to Plaintiffs’ claims that the “NSA indiscriminately intercepts the content of communications, and their claims regarding the NSA’s bulk collection of … metadata” is still a state secret.

  45. U.S. government moves to block further litigation in NSA surveillance cases

    The U.S. government again claimed state-secrets privileges in a move to block two lawsuits challenging the constitutionality of the National Security Agency’s monitoring of Americans’ phone communications and email, according to court filings late Friday.

  46. Feds admit start of NSA surveillance, still say it’s too secretive for court

    This weekend, the US government filed documents in two long-running cases (both in California’s Northern District) related to National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance. As the New York Times notes, these filings mark the first time the government acknowledged that the NSA “started systematically collecting data about Americans’ e-mails and phone calls in 2001, alongside its program of wiretapping certain calls without warrants.” However, the bigger takeaway from the new documents is that the government continues to evoke state secrets privilege—the right to prevent certain, potentially harmful information from being used in court even if it means a case might be dismissed—despite previous rulings against this argument.

  47. Obama to make a “definitive statement” on NSA future in January
  48. UK’s GCHQ doing the NSA’s heavy lifting – George Galloway

    Robles: Do you think that the UK has lost a lot of sovereignty to the US, especially with all this NSA spying and stuff? Or is that…?
    Galloway:No, I do, I believe that the British State has essentially rented itself out, I don’t want to be too candid in the analogy, but it has …
    Robles: I was going to say lapdog, but I tried not to.
    Galloway:Well it’s worse than that. It has prostituted itself to the United States. The GCHQ at Cheltenham is doing most of the heavy lifting for the National Security Agency, in the illegal vacuuming of the spectrum, and is collecting uncountable scores of millions of telephone calls, texts and e-mails every day across Europe, and further beyond, as the fiber optics cross the British landmass, coming from the United States across the Atlantic and thence to Europe.

  49. Sunday’s NSA report confirms it: 60 Minutes is now in the spin business

    The special NSA report was a promotional. It follows a string of spectacularly biased ‘news’ shows and shoddy reporting

  50. MPs grill Theresa May over spy chiefs’ ‘melodramatic soundbites’ on NSA files

    Home affairs committee asks home secretary whether she has been given proof by MI5 and MI6 to support their rhetoric

  51. From Snowden To Manning… To Ben Franklin And Sam Adams? A History Of Leakers Of Secret Gov’t Documents
  52. Snowden will help Germany investigate NSA spying if granted asylum – report
  53. Snowden offers Germany help on NSA tapping if granted asylum
  54. Snowden: Dear Brazil, the NSA is watching you
  55. Snowden willing to help Brazil against NSA in exchange for asylum
  56. NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden ‘to Assist Brazil in Return for Asylum’

    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden told the Brazilian government that he would be willing to help it investigate US eavesdropping activities in Brazil in exchange for political asylum.

    In an open letter to the Brazilian people published by Folha de S. Paulo newspaper, Snowden – who is currently in hiding in Russia – offered support over NSA program’s targeting of Brazil.

    “I’ve expressed my willingness to assist where it’s appropriate and legal, but, unfortunately, the US government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so,” said the letter, translated into Portuguese by the newspaper.

  57. NSA Fallout Hits American Business To The Tune Of Four Billion Dollars: Brazil Ditches Boeing, Buys Gripen

    Brazil ditches Boeing’s F/A-18 in favor of SAAB’s JAS 39 Gripen over the NSA’s rogue behavior. In a press conference tonight, Brazil’s defense department announces that Brazil will buy the Swedish fighter jet, according to multiple Brazilian sources. The direct reason for rejecting Boeing’s F/A-18 was the United States’ hostile and unacceptable spying behavior against Brazil and the rest of the world.

  58. Blunt ‘Disappointed’ NSA Spying Cost Boeing A Brazilian Contract
  59. Saab shares soar on $4.5bn Brazil defence deal
  60. NSA leaks sink US business deals

    The United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) and Central Intelligence Agency operate Special Collecting Services (SCS) “listening posts” in more than 80 cities worldwide, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Hong Kong. [1] In recent months, the NSA’s extensive electronic eavesdropping

  61. Governance By Algorithm: Big Data, The NSA & A Sinister Future

    One of the biggest stories of the year has been the perhaps-not-shocking revelation that the American NSA and our own GCHQ have been snooping on our everyday communications. Becky Hogge writes about how we’re struggling to grasp the consequences of this erosion of our rights, and asks what we might do to counter it

  62. Is this the end of CCTV cars?
  63. Edward Snowden says NSA spying worse than Orwell’s ‘1984’ in his ‘Alternative Christmas Message’

    The The 30-year-old who revealed the NSA’s massive spying programs claims the widespread surveillance is far beyond the ominous thought police of author George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

  64. Watch NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden Deliver an Alternative Christmas Address to UK

    After NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden granted The Washington Post an extensive interview this week, he took to United Kingdom airwaves to offer the traditional “alternative Christmas address” on Channel 4.

  65. Snowden: How the NSA has access to your information
  66. Ex-NSA fugitive leaker Snowden goes public with Post interview, TV message
  67. Edward Snowden claims he wanted NSA to conduct itself properly
  68. Snowden: Orwell’s ’1984′ ‘nothing’ compared to NSA spying
  69. Whatever your stance on privacy, Edward Snowden has a Xmas message for you
  70. Snowden: ‘I am still working for the NSA … to improve it’

    “If I defected at all, I defected from the government to the public.”

  71. Edward Snowden: ‘I already won’
  72. NSA leaker Edward Snowden: ‘I already won’

    Nearly six months after the first leaks, The Washington Post has landed the first extensive interview with NSA leaker Edward Snowden, offering a new peek into his motivations for the life-changing leaks and his subsequent life in Russia. In contrast to earlier interviews, Snowden now says the leaks are having the real political impact he’d hoped for. “For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished,” Snowden told the Post. “I already won. As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated.”

  73. ‘I Already Won,’ Says NSA Leaker Edward Snowden
  74. Edward Snowden, after months of NSA revelations, says his mission’s accomplished
  75. Edward Snowden looks back at NSA leaks, considers his personal mission accomplished
  76. Rick Jensen: Is it time to shut down NSA?

    How many people have been blackmailed by NSA employees using these technologies?

    The NSA isn’t saying.

  77. The best week for privacy in a long time
  78. Spy wars: Americans need to know more than Snowden has revealed

    We’ve been here before, in the 1960s and ’70s, when spy agencies flagrantly violated civil rights in the name of national security.

  79. NSA leaker Snowden urges US to ‘end mass surveillance’
  80. Congress Can And Should Protect Ed Snowden And Thank Him For Revealing Government Overreach
  81. NSA surveillance programme: ‘It’s going to get worse’

    The NSA’s surveillance programme is prompting many US writers to abandon topics that could be deemed too sensitive – yet that programme looks set to grow

  82. NSA review group member wants to expand data collection program

    A review group hand-picked by United States President Barack Obama said last week that the National Security Agency needs to reform dozens of the ways it does business. One member of that panel, however, says the NSA doesn’t do enough.

    Michael Morell, the former acting director of the Central Intelligence Agency and a member of the five-person NSA review group compiled by Pres. Obama, said in a recent interview that the secretive US spy agency should have its powers expanded to collect not just telephone metadata, but email information as well.

  83. Former CIA Boss, Task Force Member Says Even Though Metadata Collection Hasn’t Been Useful, It Should Be Expanded
  84. Edward Snowden has stripped us of all illusion about our digital world

    There can no longer be an illusion that our information is private or used only for good purposes

  85. NSA Struggles to Make Sense of Flood of Surveillance Data
  86. NSA drowns under an ocean of data

    All is not well in the land of US spooks despite them having access to all the data on citizens that they can eat.

    William Binney, creator of some of the computer code used by the National Security Agency to snoop on Internet traffic around the world, has warned that the agency knows too much.

    According to the Wall Street Journal, the NSA can’t understand the data it has because it has too much to do anything useful with it.

  87. NSA drowning in overcollected data, can’t do its job properly
  88. Data overload at NSA

    That’s not the NSA routine — even Snowden doesn’t say it is. Cellphone usage, like that of other phones, goes into its collection of “metadata” — that is, what number is calling what number. The automatic collection does not include locations or travels of the phones.

  89. NSA review recommends sweeping changes
  90. Tim Berners-Lee leads call for more transparency over mass surveillance

    The inventor of the web, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, has collaborated with more than 100 free speech groups and leading activists in an open letter to protest against the routine interception of data by governments around the world.

  91. Bletchley Park accused of airbrushing Edward Snowden from history
  92. White House report on NSA ‘has not changed David Cameron’s view’
  93. Obama’s NSA review gives the lie to Britain’s timid platitudes: a debate is possible

    In the US, the official response to Snowden’s revelations celebrates journalism and calls for real change. In Britain, the picture has been rather different

  94. Dave Eggers: US writers must take a stand on NSA surveillance
  95. 10 Government Surveillance Concerns Revealed By Edward Snowden’s NSA Leaks

    The Edward Snowden revelations about government surveillance of private individuals resulted in 10 major issues of public interest being brought to the fore, the editor of the Guardian has told a high-profile panel convened to discuss internet privacy.

  96. CIA preformed psychological profile of Putin for President George Bush

    In his book “Decision Points”, former President George Bush recalls when he met Vladimir Putin for the first time at a Slovenian palace once used by the communist leader Tito. What was surprising to me was the fact that he admitted receiving a (psychological) intelligence briefing about Putin that included aspects of his personal religious faith.

  97. President Putin backs NSA surveillance as ‘necessary’ to fight terrorism
  98. A list of the business leaders, US allies and charities the NSA has been spying on
  99. New leaks show NSA spying on European regulators and charities

    New leaks from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden reveal an unexpected list of surveillance targets for the agency, including European economic regulators with no obvious connection to US national security. European Commission vice president Joaquín Almunia was one such target; he was surveilled during his tenure overseeing the European Union’s economic, financial, and monetary affairs. After Alumnia took authority over the commission’s antitrust office, he would go on to lead antitrust cases against Microsoft, Intel, and Google.

  100. Snowden docs reveal spying on EU antitrust chief
  101. NSA and GCHQ targeted aid agencies and European officials – live updates
  102. N.S.A. Spied on Allies, Aid Groups and Businesses
  103. GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans and EU chief

    Unicef and Médecins du Monde were on surveillance list

  104. Charities were ‘among GCHQ and NSA spying targets’

    Leigh Daynes, an executive director of Medecins du Monde in the UK, told the Guardian he was “shocked and surprised by these appalling allegations of secret surveillance on our humanitarian operations”.

  105. Obama: NSA Spying Sweeps May Be Reviewed

    Other targets were said to include the United Nations Children’s Fund, French aid organisation Medecins du Monde, French oil and gas firm Total, and French defence company Thales Group.

  106. N.S.A. Dragnet Included Allies, Aid Groups and Business Elite

    Secret documents reveal more than 1,000 targets of American and British surveillance in recent years, including the office of an Israeli prime minister, heads of international aid organizations, foreign energy companies and a European Union official involved in antitrust battles with American technology businesses.

  107. GCHQ and NSA targeted charities, Germans, Israeli PM and EU chief

    British and American intelligence agencies had a comprehensive list of surveillance targets that included the EU’s competition commissioner, German government buildings in Berlin and overseas, and the heads of institutions that provide humanitarian and financial help to Africa, top secret documents reveal.

  108. NSA, GCHQ spied on Israel, Germany, UN and others – new Snowden leaks
  109. GCHQ and NSA targetted Israeli PM and German govt
  110. Analysis: Why has Netanyahu been silent over NSA spying on Israel?

    Why Israel is reacting so differently than other countries, aside from possibly having been less naïve and having expected US spying, could relate to reports from a few months ago that Israel has sometimes joined the US in electronic spying on others and is on the receiving end of huge volumes of the controversial collected US intelligence.

  111. Israel PM Netanyahu Condemns US Surveillance
  112. NSA program stopped no terror attacks, says White House panel member

    A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks.

  113. NSA surveillance stopped no terror attacks, says White House panel member

    A member of the White House review panel on NSA surveillance said he was “absolutely” surprised when he discovered the agency’s lack of evidence that the bulk collection of telephone call records had thwarted any terrorist attacks, said Geoffrey Stone, a University of Chicago law professor, in an interview with NBC News. “The results were very thin.”

  114. NSA Phone Data Collection Made No Difference to National Security
  115. Stanford Researcher Proves NSA Can Probably Identify Individuals From Phone Records

    The National Security Agency likes to claim that intelligence officers are only collecting the phone records of millions of Americans, safely omitting their actual names from analysis. But a Stanford researcher, Jonathan Mayer, found that he and his co-author could easily match so-called “meta-data” to individual names with little more than a Google search.

  116. NSA can easily find individuals hidden in metadata – study
  117. NSA security claims blown apart

    Claims by the US spooks that they can’t find out much about a person from their metadata have been blown apart…

  118. Senator Says ‘Arguments For The Status Quo’ In NSA Spying ‘Fell Apart This Week’

    Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), who has been one of the most outspoken lawmakers on the NSA’s surveillance programs, said on Sunday that the government should move quickly to implement the White House’s reform recommendations, and suggested that by the end of next year, the NSA will no longer be collecting massive amounts of Americans’ phone data.

  119. Officials’ defenses of NSA phone program may be unraveling
  120. Declassified Documents Prove 9/11 Led To Mass NSA Surveillance
  121. Obama says President Bush authorized NSA spying after 9/11

    “The government seems to be trying to reset the clock to before June 2013 or even December 2005,” EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said in a statement.

  122. Dan K. Thomasson: Oversight missing amid NSA oversteps

    Sometimes I think we do the terrorists’ job for them.

  123. Zynga’s Mark Pincus asked Obama to pardon NSA leaker Edward Snowden
  124. Ex-CIA chief: Amnesty for Snowden idiotic, he ‘should be hanged by his neck’
  125. Former CIA chief: Snowden should be “hanged by the neck until dead”

    After all the virtual public flogging National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has received, in the past week a few voices have suggested cutting him some slack.

    At a Tuesday closed-door meeting with tech leaders, one unnamed participant suggested to Obama that Snowden be pardoned; Obama said he couldn’t do that. During a 60 Minutes report on the leaks that aired Sunday, though, even an NSA official suggested it might be worth discussing amnesty—if and only if he returns the leaked documents securely, almost surely an impossibility at this point. (CBS news has been busy defending itself against accusations that Sunday’s show was a “puff piece.”)

    Even that tiny, tentative olive branch seems to have crossed a line for security hawks. NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander dismissed the idea, comparing Snowden to “a hostage taker taking 50 people hostage, shooting 10, and then say[ing], ‘You give me full amnesty and I’ll let the other 40 go.’”

    Former CIA director James Woolsey responded to the suggestion of amnesty even more strongly, saying in a Fox News interview that Snowden should be hanged.

  126. Snowden should be ‘hanged’ if convicted for treason, says ex-CIA chief
  127. Spooks and American Exceptionalism
  128. We’re The Good Guys

    My Christmas holiday frequently includes a series of reunions with other former CIA people, often grouped by the overseas stations that we served in. This year the Istanbul gathering preceded Spain and the Rome Station ca. 1980 soon followed. Some of the retirees are still working for the government as contractors so I try to keep a low profile at such functions, rarely asking questions about what anyone might be doing and seldom venturing into any detailed critiques of current government policy. But sometimes my wife and I find the occasional gung ho expressions of solidarity with torturers and drone operators to be just a bit too much and we are forced to react.

  129. NSA director says Snowden shouldn’t get amnesty
  130. Obama Adviser Cool To Snowden Amnesty
  131. If Snowden Returned to US For Trial, All Whistleblower Evidence Would Likely Be Inadmissible
  132. If Snowden returned to US for trial, could court admit any NSA leak evidence?
  133. Google users do battle in court

    The group, Safari Users Against Google’s Secret Tracking, has accused Google of bypassing security settings on the Safari internet browser in order to track their online browsing and to target them with personalised advertisements. However, Google is claiming that because it is based in the US the court has no jurisdiction to try the claims relating to UK claimants.

  134. Here’s how data thieves have captured our lives on the internet

    As Professor Eben Moglen of Columbia University puts it, the intelligence agencies “presented with a mission by an extraordinarily imprudent national government in the United States, which having failed to prevent a very serious attack on American civilians at home, largely by ignoring warnings, decreed that they were never again to be put in a position where they should have known. This resulted in a military response, which is to get as close to everything as possible. Because if you don’t get as close to everything as possible, how can you say that you knew everything that you should have known?” In a real war, one in which the very survival of a state is threatened by a foreign adversary, almost anything is permissible, including the suspension of civil liberties, the right to privacy and all the other things we liberals hold dear. Between 1939 and 1945, Britain was governed by what was effectively a dictatorship wielding unimaginable powers, including comprehensive censorship, the power to requisition private property on demand, and so on. Citizens might not have liked this regime, but they consented to because they understood the need for it.

  135. Verizon to Publish Transparency Report Amid NSA Furor
  136. Telcos could have prevented NSA spying: Expert
  137. Cell Phone Carriers Didn’t Use Tech Fixes To Combat NSA Spying: Expert

    While the German cryptologist criticized carriers for failing to implement technology to protect customers from surveillance as well as fraud, he said he does not think they did so under pressure from spy agencies.

  138. Bah! No NSA-proof Euro cloud gang. Cloud computing standards will ‘aid data portability’

    New cloud computing standards to be developed within the EU should facilitate users’ ability to transfer data and services between cloud providers, MEPs have said.17 Dec 2013

  139. Gmail blows up e-mail marketing by caching all images on Google servers
  140. Thousands of cameras, millions of photographs, terabytes of data. You’re tracked, wherever you go.

    Concerns about the new technology were raised immediately, including from within the government. A 1984 report for the Greater London Council Police Committee warned that the system made every car a potential suspect and handed policy on mass surveillance to the police. “This possibility in a democracy is unacceptable,” it concluded.

  141. Data brokers won’t even tell the government how it uses, sells your data

    A Senate committee released a report this week that goes to great lengths to determine all of the things that data brokers, the companies that trade in consumer data, don’t want to talk about. The 35-page report describes some of the companies’ strategies for collecting and organizing data, but significant portions of the report discuss what the companies are unwilling to talk about: namely, where they get a lot of their data and where that data is going.

  142. The NSA Panel’s Pointless Private-Sector Fig Leaf
  143. As New Services Track Habits, the E-Books Are Reading You

    Before the Internet, books were written — and published — blindly, hopefully. Sometimes they sold, usually they did not, but no one had a clue what readers did when they opened them up. Did they skip or skim? Slow down or speed up when the end was in sight? Linger over the sex scenes?

  144. Minnesota librarians push to curb NSA snooping

    Hodgepodge of groups backs legislation that would limit authority to spy on Americans.

  145. Phone companies might have to store snoop data instead of NSA, Obama says

    US President Barack Obama signalled that he might halt the National Security Agency’s collection and storage of millions of Americans’ phone records and instead require phone companies to hold the data.

  146. Task Force Report’s Langauge Hints At Backdoors In Software

    After looking over the White House intelligence task force’s proposals to reform the way the US government does surveillance, we pointed out one oddity that hinted that the NSA may have been engaged in financial manipulation. Others have been combing through the report for other hints of things it might accidentally reveal, and Ed Felten (who I still think should have led the task force) has spotted another one, in how the report discusses the issue of backdoors in software.

  147. Presidential panel to NSA: Stop undermining encryption

    New report recommends the government not in any way subvert, undermine or weaken commercial software

  148. Exclusive: Secret contract tied NSA and security industry pioneer

    As a key part of a campaign to embed encryption software that it could crack into widely used computer products, the U.S. National Security Agency arranged a secret $10 million contract with RSA, one of the most influential firms in the computer security industry, Reuters has learned.

  149. Report: NSA paid RSA to make flawed crypto algorithm the default
  150. Security industry tainted in latest RSA revelations
  151. Prestigious speaker Mikko Hypponen cancels RSA talk to protest NSA deal

    On Monday, Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer of Finland-based antivirus provider F-Secure, publicly canceled the talk he was scheduled to deliver at the RSA Conference USA 2014, which is slated for February. A highly sought-after security researcher who regularly speaks at Black Hat, Defcon, Hack in the Box, in addition to the more mainstream Ted and South by Southwest conferences, Hypponen said his cancellation was in protest of the recently revealed $10 million contract to make the NSA-influenced Dual EC_DRBG BSAFE’s default pseudo random number generator (PRNG). Hypponen also cited RSA’s decision to keep Dual EC_DRBG the default PRNG for more than five years after serious vulnerabilities were uncovered in it and Monday’s non-denying denial from RSA in response to Friday’s report from the Reuters news agency.

  152. How Worried Should We Be About the Alleged RSA-NSA Scheming?
  153. BitTorrent rolls out secure chat service following NSA leaks

    BitTorrent has reportedly announced a secure chat service that would only a message’s sender and receiver to see the content irrespective of whether it is encrypted or not.

  154. BitTorrent Is Building An NSA-Proof Chat Product
  155. NSA Snooping’s Negative Impact On Business Would Have The Founding Fathers ‘Aghast’

    James Madison would be “aghast.” That was one of the incendiary charges leveled at the National Security Agency and its mass surveillance activities by Judge Richard Leon in his December 16 opinion ordering the government to stop collecting some of the data that it’s been gathering on private citizens here and abroad.

  156. The NSA’s other victim: U.S. business competitiveness

    The impact of NSA intrusion on our civil liberties can’t be overstated — but damage to America’s business reputation is serious, too

  157. A New Twist in International Relations: The Corporate Keep-My-Data-Out-of-the-U.S. Clause

    By now, we’ve heard from tech companies such as Facebook, Google and Cisco Systems that the National Security Agency’s spying poses a threat to their international business and, in Cisco’s case, is already hurting it. So what does that threat look like, exactly, at ground level?

    Some companies are apparently so concerned about the NSA snooping on their data that they’re requiring – in writing – that their technology suppliers store their data outside the U.S.

  158. New industry contracts say “no data in the USA,” report says

    Firms in the UK and Canada are reportedly updating their cloud contracts to demand that their data be kept out of the US. The report doesn’t contain enough details, however, to say if this is a trend or an isolated incident.

  159. Op-Ed: NSA has Santa’s naughty and nice list (Satire)
  160. What’s your favorite NSA movie title?

    With Edward Snowden’s revelation and the surveillance scandal out, the general public cannot get enough of the jokes around the topic. Earlier this week, the video on the Youtube emerged showing Santa Clauses around New York spying on people. The title of the song “The NSA is coming to town” is a hit, making it one of the most top viewed videos online. Now Twitter community can’t get enough of it as well launching a funny competition and asking to share the title of their most favorite NSA movie title.

  161. Cyber Santa: secret NSA Santa surveillance on naughty children and drone delivery of Christmas presents worldwide

    Santa Claus must be a real hero to deliver Christmas presents all over the world in one night and to find out where good and obedient boys and girls live. It is true that Santa’s workshop is full of elves and reindeers who are always ready to help, making it the busiest factory in the world during Christmas time. But Father Christmas needs to move his operation into the twenty-first century and start using military drones to make his deliveries, and various surveillance programs similar to the NSA program to find out who behaved badly.

  162. Rep. King Says Sen. Paul “Disgraced” Office by Criticizing NSA

    Gen. Paul says Gen. Clapper lied to Congress, the nation under oath; Rep. King says it was an innocent mistake

    Under the (literally) crumbling dome of the Congress Building in Washington, D.C., the question/revelation of spying on Americans by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) is producing deep, and some would say revealing division within both ruling parties.

  163. Rep. Mike Rogers Falsely Claims Edward Snowden Traded NSA Documents For ‘Personal Gain’
  164. BIZARRE RADIO MELTDOWN DURING NSA INTERVIEW

    “It wouldn’t be logical for the NSA to target my show,” Klein said, pointing out he has aired numerous broadcasts questioning the loyalties of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

    Other broadcasts investigated what Klein described as the anti-American leanings of former Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald, who has been serving as a conduit for Snowden to communicate to the public.

    “I think Snowden is being used in a big way to turn Americans against the NSA,” said Klein. “The whole Snowden story stinks.”

  165. Radio station experiences major software meltdown during anti-NSA broadcast
  166. The state should be exposing the cyber-snoops, not joining them

    For a fugitive, Edward Snowden is attracting rather a lot of well-placed sympathisers. “A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” he said, when delivering Channel 4’s alternative Christmas message from his Moscow hideaway. The surveillance programmes run by governments now go far beyond anything George Orwell imagined, he added – which is a problem, because privacy matters. Quite right, says Sir Tim Berners-Lee, inventor of the World Wide Web: this is why we need whistleblowers such as Snowden. What’s more, Richard Leon, a US federal judge, also thinks Snowden is right – America’s spying is almost Orwellian, and probably illegal.

  167. Glenn Greenwald: ‘A Lot’ More NSA Documents to Come

    Nearly seven months after journalist and privacy activist Glenn Greenwald publicized Edward Snowden’s first revelations of the vast scope of the NSA’s digital surveillance, his life has changed absolutely.

  168. Greenwald: US, British media are servants of security apparatus
  169. Glenn Greenwald calls for Snowden asylum at Chaos Computer Club congress
  170. Greenwald mocks US, UK media as slaves of gov’t, calls for Snowden asylum
  171. Greenwald mocks US, UK media as slaves of gov’t, calls for Snowden asylum
  172. Glenn Greenwald: I’m not Edward Snowden’s flak
  173. Glenn Greenwald rips MSNBC bias — on MSNBC
  174. Glenn Greenwald Takes One More Swipe at MSNBC, and It’s Pretty Brutal
  175. Glenn Greenwald: I Defend Edward Snowden ‘Like People On MSNBC Defend President Obama’
  176. Glenn Greenwald: I Defend Snowden Just Like People On MSNBC Defend Obama
  177. Revealing Gaffe on MSNBC About Obama Coverage
  178. Glenn Greenwald Defends Edward Snowden Like ‘People on MSNBC Defend President Obama’ (Video)
  179. Greenwald Doubles Down on MSNBC Criticism
  180. Glenn Greenwald lambasts media for complacency after NSA leaks

    Greenwald hasn’t shied away from criticizing the perceived complacency of U.S. media and politicians in the face of revelations about the NSA’s collection of Americans’ and other people’s phone records and emails. But at the 30C3 on Friday, he took the opportunity to lambast American and British politicians and media organizations more harshly and directly than before.

  181. Snowden leak journo leaks next leak: NSA, GCHQ dying to snoop on your gadgets mid-flight

    Top-secret documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have been plastered across our screens and front-pages for months by Glenn Greenwald and his team.

    And on Friday the journalist couldn’t help but leak a few details about a forthcoming wave of fresh revelations regarding the US and UK governments’ mass surveillance operations.

  182. Alan Dershowitz: Glenn Greenwald “Never Met A Terrorist He Didn’t Like”
  183. Alan Dershowitz: ‘Glenn Greenwald Never Met a Terrorist He Didn’t Like’
  184. Alan Dershowitz: Glenn Greenwald ‘never met a terrorist he didn’t like’
  185. Alan Dershowitz rips Edward Snowden: ‘We have an absolute right’ to spy on other countries
  186. Snowden ally Applebaum says his Berlin apartment subject to raids
  187. TAO: the NSA’s hacker plumber-wunderkinds
  188. Shopping for Spy Gear: Catalog Advertises NSA Toolbox

    When it comes to modern firewalls for corporate computer networks, the world’s second largest network equipment manufacturer doesn’t skimp on praising its own work. According to Juniper Networks’ online PR copy, the company’s products are “ideal” for protecting large companies and computing centers from unwanted access from outside. They claim the performance of the company’s special computers is “unmatched” and their firewalls are the “best-in-class.” Despite these assurances, though, there is one attacker none of these products can fend off — the United States’ National Security Agency.

    Specialists at the intelligence organization succeeded years ago in penetrating the company’s digital firewalls. A document viewed by SPIEGEL resembling a product catalog reveals that an NSA division called ANT has burrowed its way into nearly all the security architecture made by the major players in the industry — including American global market leader Cisco and its Chinese competitor Huawei, but also producers of mass-market goods, such as US computer-maker Dell.

  189. NSA reportedly intercepting laptops purchased online to install spy malware
  190. Is Singapore Western Intelligence’s 6th Eye in Asia?

    One concern is that this growth in intelligence collection really has very little to do with terrorism and crime, but rather commercial interests. The death of Shane Todd in Singapore sheds a light on the relationship between industry and espionage, where there were concerns that the Chinese phone company Huawei is involved in espionage. Taxpayer money is being used to protect the intellectual property of private corporations.

  191. Interview: John Graham-Cumming

    Open source developer and writer John Graham-Cumming was able, through a Downing Street online petition, to persuade the Gordon Brown Labour-led government to issue an unequivocal apology for the gross indecency conviction of Alan Turning in 1952. After admitting a sexual relationship with a man, Turing was unable to continue work as a code breaker at GCHQ, as his security clearance was withdrawn. Two year later he killed himself. Linux Format caught up with the Graham-Cumming to discuss open source development, debugging and why he opposes the move for a pardon, which has been given via royal decree.

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