Archive for the ‘Spying’ Category
According to the Attorney General and the Director of National Intelligence, President Obama has renewed the NSA’s authority to collect all of the telephone records of all American telephone customers. The “Section 215” program exceeded Congressional authority and was found to be ineffective by two expert panels. At a speech on January 17, 2014, President Obama ordered a transition that will end the Section 215 bulk telephony metadata program as it currently exists. However, according to DNI Clapper, the United States filed an application with the FISC to reauthorize the existing program as previously modified for 90 days, and the FISC issued an order approving the government’s application. The order issued expires on June 20, 2014. EPIC and others have strongly objected to the renewal of the 215 program.
The US National Security Agency has secretly developed encryption technology that billions of internet users rely to protect everything from email to financial transactions, according to media reports citing documents obtained by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The Guardian, The New York Times and journalistic nonprofit ProPublica reported on Thursday that the US National Security Agency has bypassed or altogether cracked much of the digital encryption used by businesses and everyday Web users.
The publications said the NSA and its British partner, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) reported making strides against Secure Sockets Layer technology, which protects millions of websites beginning in “Https,” and virtual private networks.
The reports describe how the NSA invested billions of dollars since 2000 to make nearly everyone’s secrets available for government consumption.
In doing so, the NSA built powerful supercomputers to break encryption codes and partnered with unnamed technology companies to insert “back doors” into their software, the reports said.
Such a practice would give the government access to users’ digital information before it was encrypted and sent over the Internet.
“For the past decade, NSA has led an aggressive, multipronged effort to break widely used Internet encryption technologies,” according to a 2010 briefing document about the NSA’s accomplishments meant for GCHQ.
Security experts told the news organisations that such a code-breaking practice would ultimately undermine Internet security and leave everyday Web users vulnerable to hackers.
One document said GCHQ had been trying for years to exploit traffic from popular companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook.
GCHQ, they said, developed “new access opportunities” into Google’s computers by 2012 but said the newly released documents didn’t elaborate on how extensive the project was or what kind of data it could access.
Even though the latest document disclosures suggest the NSA is able to compromise many encryption programmes, Snowden himself touted using encryption software when he first surfaced with his media revelations in June.
Source: Al Jazeera
Submitted by Michele Catalano via ‘Writing Out Loud’ blog,
It was a confluence of magnificent proportions that led six agents from the joint terrorism task force to knock on my door Wednesday morning. Little did we know our seemingly innocent, if curious to a fault, Googling of certain things was creating a perfect storm of terrorism profiling. Because somewhere out there, someone was watching. Someone whose job it is to piece together the things people do on the internet raised the red flag when they saw our search history.
Most of it was innocent enough. I had researched pressure cookers. My husband was looking for a backpack. And maybe in another time those two things together would have seemed innocuous, but we are in “these times” now. And in these times, when things like the Boston bombing happen, you spend a lot of time on the internet reading about it and, if you are my exceedingly curious news junkie of a twenty-ear-old son, you click a lot of links when you read the myriad of stories. You might just read a CNN piece about how bomb making instructions are readily available on the internet and you will in all probability, if you are that kid, click the link provided.
Which might not raise any red flags. Because who wasn’t reading those stories? Who wasn’t clicking those links? But my son’s reading habits combined with my search for a pressure cooker and my husband’s search for a backpack set off an alarm of sorts at the joint terrorism task force headquarters.
That’s how I imagine it played out, anyhow. Lots of bells and whistles and a crowd of task force workers huddled around a computer screen looking at our Google history.
This was weeks ago. I don’t know what took them so long to get here. Maybe they were waiting for some other devious Google search to show up but “what the hell do I do with quinoa” and “Is A-Rod suspended yet” didn’t fit into the equation so they just moved in based on those older searches.
I was at work when it happened. My husband called me as soon as it was over, almost laughing about it but I wasn’t joining in the laughter. His call left me shaken and anxious.
What happened was this: At about 9:00 am, my husband, who happened to be home yesterday, was sitting in the living room with our two dogs when he heard a couple of cars pull up outside. He looked out the window and saw three black SUVs in front of our house; two at the curb in front and one pulled up behind my husband’s Jeep in the driveway, as if to block him from leaving.
Six gentleman in casual clothes emerged from the vehicles and spread out as they walked toward the house, two toward the backyard on one side, two on the other side, two toward the front door.
A million things went through my husband’s head. None of which were right. He walked outside and the men greeted him by flashing badges. He could see they all had guns holstered in their waistbands.
“Are you [name redacted]?” one asked while glancing at a clipboard. He affirmed that was indeed him, and was asked if they could come in. Sure, he said.
They asked if they could search the house, though it turned out to be just a cursory search. They walked around the living room, studied the books on the shelf (nope, no bomb making books, no Anarchist Cookbook), looked at all our pictures, glanced into our bedroom, pet our dogs. They asked if they could go in my son’s bedroom but when my husband said my son was sleeping in there, they let it be.
Meanwhile, they were peppering my husband with questions. Where is he from? Where are his parents from? They asked about me, where was I, where do I work, where do my parents live. Do you have any bombs, they asked. Do you own a pressure cooker? My husband said no, but we have a rice cooker. Can you make a bomb with that? My husband said no, my wife uses it to make quinoa. What the hell is quinoa, they asked.
They searched the backyard. They walked around the garage, as much as one could walk around a garage strewn with yardworking equipment and various junk. They went back in the house and asked more questions.
Have you ever looked up how to make a pressure cooker bomb? My husband, ever the oppositional kind, asked them if they themselves weren’t curious as to how a pressure cooker bomb works, if they ever looked it up. Two of them admitted they did.
By this point they had realized they were not dealing with terrorists. They asked my husband about his work, his visits to South Korea and China. The tone was conversational.
They never asked to see the computers on which the searches were done. They never opened a drawer or a cabinet. They left two rooms unsearched. I guess we didn’t fit the exact profile they were looking for so they were just going through the motions.
They mentioned that they do this about 100 times a week. And that 99 of those visits turn out to be nothing. I don’t know what happens on the other 1% of visits and I’m not sure I want to know what my neighbors are up to.
45 minutes later, they shook my husband’s hand and left. That’s when he called me and relayed the story. That’s when I felt a sense of creeping dread take over. What else had I looked up? What kind of searches did I do that alone seemed innocent enough but put together could make someone suspicious? Were they judging me because my house was a mess (Oh my god, the joint terrorism task force was in my house and there were dirty dishes in my sink!). Mostly I felt a great sense of anxiety. This is where we are at. Where you have no expectation of privacy. Where trying to learn how to cook some lentils could possibly land you on a watch list. Where you have to watch every little thing you do because someone else is watching every little thing you do.
All I know is if I’m going to buy a pressure cooker in the near future, I’m not doing it online.
I’m scared. And not of the right things.
Source: Zero Hedge
The Director of National Intelligence released three declassified “in the interests of transparency” documents this morning that authorized and explained the bulk collection of phone data – one of the secret surveillance programs that Snowden revealed. As Reuters reports, much of what is contained in the documents has already been divulged in public hearings by intelligence officials but the National Security Agency’s “Bulk Collection Program,” carried out under the U.S. Patriot Act, is now in the open. Have no fear though, “Although the programs collect a large amount of information, the vast majority of that information is never reviewed by anyone in the government,” the report said. As Senator Patrick Leahy commented, “what has to be of more concern in a democracy is whether the trust of the American people is beginning to wear thin.”
As Congress increasingly scrutinizes U.S. surveillance programs, the government on Wednesday released declassified documents on the mass collection of telephone data in a rare glimpse into the world of intelligence gathering.
The U.S. Director of National Intelligence released three declassified documents that authorized and explained the bulk collection of phone data, one of the secret surveillance programs revealed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
The declassification was made in the “interest of increased transparency,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a statement.
The documents released on Wednesday include 2009 and 2011 reports on the National Security Agency’s “Bulk Collection Program,” carried out under the U.S. Patriot Act.
In addition, they include an April 2013 order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which directed communications company Verizon to hand over data from millions of Americans’ telephone calls and described how that data should be stored and accessed.
“Although the programs collect a large amount of information, the vast majority of that information is never reviewed by anyone in the government, because the information is not responsive to the limited queries that are authorized for intelligence purposes,” the 2009 report said.
“The patience of the American people is beginning to wear thin,” said Leahy, a Democrat from Vermont. “What has to be of more concern in a democracy is whether the trust of the American people is beginning to wear thin.”
The intelligence officials said they were open to changing the surveillance programs.
“NSA needs access to telephony and email transactional information in bulk so that it can quickly identify the network of contacts that a targeted number or address is connected to.”
Source: Zero Hedge
In this fitting example of the conditioning to never question authority which pervades popular culture and public schools, Miss Alabama, who holds a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in communications, has this to say about Big Brother:
Watch the video nd read the full article at Infowars
(NaturalNews) “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…” – NSA spy grid whistleblower Edward Snowden.
And so it begins: the power to tap the private phone calls of a federal judge or even the President. All at the fingertips of young NSA analysts who sift through masses of private data collected through the government’s back doors into the servers of Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple, Skype, AOL and others. (Here’s the proof.)
But if a 29-year-old working for the NSA could wiretap a federal judge, he could also wiretap a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Anything he found that was embarrassing or even incriminating could be used in a simple blackmail threat to force that justice to change his or her decision on a key issue…
… like Obamacare.
What we’ve learned today forces us to re-examine events of 2012
Back in July of 2012, news headlines were ablaze with the revelation that Supreme Court Justice John Roberts suddenly and unexpectedly changed his decision on Obamacare, siding with big government instead of protecting individual liberties. Many facts surrounding this sudden change of decision raise huge red flags when viewed in the context of the NSA being able to wiretap anyone’s emails, phone calls and private files — including a Supreme Court justice.
As CBS news reported in 2012, “Chief Justice John Roberts initially sided with the Supreme Court’s four conservative justices to strike down the heart of President Obama’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, but later changed his position and formed an alliance with liberals to uphold the bulk of the law, according to two sources with specific knowledge of the deliberations. Roberts then withstood a month-long, desperate campaign to bring him back to his original position, the sources said.”
Regardless of the strength of the supporting evidence brought to Roberts during his time of consideration for the decision, nothing caused him to budge. Roberts was inexplicably immovable, even though he was now siding against nearly everything he had argued and decided in previous court cases.
No one could satisfactorily explain the decision… until the NSA PRISM scandal erupted. Now, we all of a sudden have a viable explanation for what really goes on behind the public headlines.
Consider this: If a group of men had the power to peek into the private conversations of ALL Americans — including the most powerful and influential decision makers in the nation — why would they waste their time looking for so-called “terrorists” in the first place? There’s a far more valuable use for this “omniscient” technology: collecting huge payoffs to blackmail important members of Congress, the Obama administration or the Supreme Court.
How easy would it be to blackmail a Supreme Court Justice?
Blackmailing a U.S. Supreme Court justice is probably easier than you might think. These justices are, of course, human, which means they all have secrets they’d rather not be made public. With its highly intrusive surveillance technology, the NSA could easily gather the usernames, passwords, emails, voice calls, text chats, photos and files of every member of the Supreme Court (and Congress, for that matter), then threaten to leak certain details to the press if they don’t do what they’re told.
We don’t know, of course, whether this actually happened with Roberts. His decision to flip on Obamacare could have been motivated by some other bizarre influence, but this NSA spy grid blackmail theory is the first realistic theory I’ve run across that would explain the sudden and inexplicable shift in his opinion.
Think about it: The health insurance companies — which are largely owned by globalist banks and investors — stand to make trillions of dollars from the forced buying of insurance via the “individual mandate” that was being decided by the Court. Because the Court was almost evenly divided on the issue, the changing of the opinion of just one justice could tilt the decision in favor of the insurance industry and lock in enormous profits for years to come. So if the NSA approached the insurance globalists and said something like, “Pay us $500 million and we’ll hand you the Obamacare decision,” the answer would obviously be, “to where do we transfer the money?” It’s a cheap investment for a windfall of long-term profits. And health insurance companies — like any large corporations — don’t “play fair.” They play to win.
The NSA is now the most powerful organization in the world
I hope you’re beginning to fully grasp the power that is now concentrated in the hands of the NSA. An organization that has the power to covertly pry into the private lives of everyone also has the power to control everyone. There is no greater currency in Washington, of course, than to have real dirt on the people you’d like to control.
The NSA spy grid “PRISM” program is like a Dirt Devil. It’s the Dyson vortex vacuum of politics… on steroids. If there’s dirt to be found on anyone, the NSA can find it. That dirt can then be used as “insurance” — mob-style — to make sure the people you’re targeting behave in the way you want them to behave. This would include, of course, voting the correct way on key legislation or court decisions.
Right this very minute, the NSA almost certainly has a full dossier on every member of Congress, federal judge, State Dept. employee and high-powered corporate CEO in the country. And because the creepiest people tend to rise to the top in politics, there’s no doubt these files contain all sorts of graphic details on prostitutes, under-age sex, secret homosexual relationships, cheating on husbands and wives, substance abuse problems, medical problems and much more. Do you know which members of Congress have smoked pot or snorted coke? The NSA probably does. How about which members of the Obama administration have ever engaged in “experimental” gay sex in college? The NSA knows all that too, no doubt.
This knowledge is far more valuable than any hunt for terrorists. There is no question in my mind that the NSA has already figured this out and has been using this spy grid behemoth for nefarious purposes to pull the strings of key decision makers across our society. This may be the explanation behind all sorts of inexplicable votes and bizarre decisions in Washington. The NSA might even be the puppet pulling Obama’s strings, as they no doubt have all sorts of dirt on Obama’s history which we already know to be largely fabricated. (Real birth certificates don’t have a dozen layers stitched together in Photoshop.)
The power to spy is the power to control
You gotta hand it to whoever built this spy grid from the ground up. It’s a brilliant covert tactic of dominant control. With all the slimebags rising to positions of power in Washington, can you imagine the absolute treasure chest of low-hanging blackmail fruit that would be easily uncovered by sifting through the private emails and phone calls of lawmakers and bureaucrats?
Take DHS as the tip of the iceberg. Last year, several male DHS employees sued the agency, claiming they were forced to perform deviant sex acts on their female bosses. There’s no question that DHS is staffed up with total perverts and sexual predators, which is why we frequently hear stories of the TSA molesting little children (the TSA is part of DHS).
Can you imagine what the private emails and phone calls of Janet Napolitano look like? (Shield my eyes! I don’t even wanna know!)
Or Anthony Weiner, the congressman who sexted a bunch of half-nude pictures of himself to young women?
Usually the more power hungry these people are, the more deviant and perverse they behave when they think no one is looking. That makes them all incredibly easy to be compromised by the NSA — the techno-mob with the ultimate power to control through intimidation.
And if the NSA can really control all these people — or at least some of them — it begs the question: What are the NSA’s aims? Who are the people calling the shots and where do their loyalties lie?
Ever further down the rabbit hole is this question: Are these also the same people running global terrorist networks in order to justify their own existence? Or if that’s too nefarious to believe, would you believe these people might willfully look the other way with certain terror groups in order to make sure they keep operating?
Perhaps the NSA is actually in the business of NOT catching terrorists in order to make sure its own power and financial budgets keep growing. And perhaps the NSA’s real business is shaking down corporate interests that pay huge dollars to have key decisions in Washington hijacked via blackmail.
This is far more believable that the utter nonsense explanation we’re told by the media which says the NSA is “catching terrorists.” Really? Show me one! In reality, there’s no evidence whatsoever that the NSA has stopped even a single act of genuine terrorism that targeted Americans.
Remember: Enormous power coupled with a complete abandonment of ethics can only lead in the direction of corruption and evil. Without checks and balances, the NSA will become a rogue criminal mafia that terrorizes everyone… and can be stopped by no one.
Learn more: Natural News
William Binney is among a group of N.S.A. whistle-blowers, including Thomas A. Drake, who have each risked everything — their freedom, livelihoods and personal relationships — to warn Americans about the dangers of N.S.A. domestic spying; A top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data. Read more about N.S.A. domestic spying: http://invisibler.com/the-program-interview-with-william-binney/