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How many Americans are swept up in the NSA’s snooping programs?

How many Americans are swept up in the NSA’s snooping programs?

How many Americans are swept up in the NSA's snooping programs?
© Getty Images

Former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper famously (or infamously) told Congress the National Security Agency did not “wittingly” collect data on Americans. That turned out to be false.

More recently, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) asked the current director of national intelligence, Dan Coats whether the government could use Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “to collect communications it knows are entirely domestic.”

“Not to my knowledge. That would be illegal,” Coats responded.

However, a subsequent letter from Coats’ office to Wyden’s office suggests the director’s answer was incomplete. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence clarified that “section 702(b)(4) plainly states we ‘may not intentionally acquire any communication as to which the sender and all intended recipients are known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.’ The DNI interpreted Senator Wyden’s question to ask about this provision and answered accordingly.”

Wyden has since gone on record with his contention that the DNI did not answer his question, requesting the office provide a public response. The exchange offers insight into how intelligence agencies use semantics to obfuscate their activities, while also illustrating the frustration many privacy advocates and lawmakers encounter in the search for Section 702 surveillance transparency.

FISA Section 702 authorizes two major NSA snooping programs. One is “upstream” collection, a process in which the NSA collects digital communications through the internet’s backbone — undersea cables that process large volumes of internet traffic, which internet service providers send to the government. The government attempts to sort the data for foreign targets’ information and then is supposed to discard the rest.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear [SHORT]

The Age of No Privacy: The Surveillance State Shifts Into High Gear [SHORT]

“We are rapidly entering the age of no privacy, where everyone is open to surveillance at all times; where there are no secrets from government.” ― William O. Douglas, Supreme Court Justice (1966)

The government has become an expert in finding ways to sidestep what it considers “inconvenient laws” aimed at ensuring accountability and thereby bringing about government transparency and protecting citizen privacy.

Indeed, it has mastered the art of stealth maneuvers and end-runs around the Constitution.

It knows all too well how to hide its nefarious, covert, clandestine activities behind the classified language of national security and terrorism. And when that doesn’t suffice, it obfuscates, complicates, stymies or just plain bamboozles the public into remaining in the dark.

Case in point: the National Security Agency (NSA) has been diverting “internet traffic, normally safeguarded by constitutional protections, overseas in order to conduct unrestrained data collection on Americans.”

It’s extraordinary rendition all over again, only this time it’s surveillance instead of torture being outsourced.

In much the same way that the government moved its torture programs overseas in order to bypass legal prohibitions against doing so on American soil, it is doing the same thing for its surveillance programs.

By shifting its data storage, collection and surveillance activities outside of the country—a tactic referred to as “traffic shaping” —the government is able to bypass constitutional protections against unwarranted searches of Americans’ emails, documents, social networking data, and other cloud-stored data.

The government, however, doesn’t even need to move its programs overseas. It just has to push the data over the border in order to “[circumvent] constitutional and statutory safeguards seeking to protect the privacy of Americans.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Report: British Intelligence Agencies, In Addition to Six Other Nations, Were All Spying on Trump

Report: British Intelligence Agencies, In Addition to Six Other Nations, Were All Spying on Trump

About a month ago, Fox suspended Judge Nap for suggesting British intelligence had spied on Donald Trump. The media went hysterical, saying the good judge was filled with UFO styled conspiracy theories.

Here was his claim.

A spokesman for the GCHQ at the time called the claims ‘nonsense’, proclaiming “They are utterly ridiculous and should be ignored.”

Lo and behold, the Guardian is out with an exclusive tonight — rebuking the GCHQ denial — confirming that Obama had received information from the British spy agency, possibly to avoid being detected by people investigating FISA warrants. In addition to Britain’s GCHQ, Mi6 was also involved, and 4 other nations —  as part of the intelligence gathering apparatus called SIGINT — who then ferried their findings to Obama. The spying nations were Germany, Estonia, Poland and Australia.

Another guardian source said both France and the Netherlands were possible contributors to the Trump spying ring too.

CNN reporting:

The GCHQ became aware of  ‘suspicious interactions’ in late 2015.

Over the next six months, until summer 2016, a number of western agencies shared further information on contacts between Trump’s inner circle and Russians, sources said.

It is understood that GCHQ was at no point carrying out a targeted operation against Trump or his team or proactively seeking information. The alleged conversations were picked up by chance as part of routine surveillance of Russian intelligence assets. Over several months, different agencies targeting the same people began to see a pattern of connections that were flagged to intelligence officials in the US.

In typical spin, the Guardian’s source posited the notion that something improper had taken place between the Russians and Trump.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Emphasis on Offensive Capabilities is Dangerous, Idiotic and Authoritarian

The U.S. Intelligence Community’s Emphasis on Offensive Capabilities is Dangerous, Idiotic and Authoritarian

Earlier today, Edward Snowden posted the following tweet calling attention to a very important article published at Reuters.


Huge: USG confirms cyber offense funded at 9x rate of defense. Wonder why we can’t stop foreign hacks? This is why. http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-cyber-defense-idUSKBN17013U 

Reuters reports:

When WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange disclosed earlier this month that his anti-secrecy group had obtained CIA tools for hacking into technology products made by U.S. companies, security engineers at Cisco Systems swung into action.

That a major U.S. company had to rely on WikiLeaks to learn about security problems well-known to U.S. intelligence agencies underscores concerns expressed by dozens of current and former U.S. intelligence and security officials about the government’s approach to cybersecurity.

That policy overwhelmingly emphasizes offensive cyber-security capabilities over defensive measures, these people told Reuters, even as an increasing number of U.S. organizations have been hit by hacks attributed to foreign governments.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

WikiLeaks Reveals “Marble”: Proof CIA Disguises Their Hacks As Russian, Chinese, Arabic…

WikiLeaks Reveals “Marble”: Proof CIA Disguises Their Hacks As Russian, Chinese, Arabic…

WikiLeaks’ latest Vault 7 release contains a batch of documents, named ‘Marble’, which detail CIA hacking tactics and how they can misdirect forensic investigators from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to their agency by inserted code fragments in foreign languages.  The tool was in use as recently as 2016.  Per the WikiLeaks release:

“The source code shows that Marble has test examples not just in English but also in Chinese, Russian, Korean, Arabic and Farsi. This would permit a forensic attribution double game, for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion, — but there are other possibilities, such as hiding fake error messages.”


RELEASE: CIA Vault 7 part 3 “Marble” https://wikileaks.org/vault7/?marble#Marble%20Framework 

UN Slams Mass Surveillance: “Trying To Appear Tough On Security By Legitimising Largely Useless … Measures”

UN Slams Mass Surveillance: “Trying To Appear Tough On Security By Legitimising Largely Useless … Measures”

A White House panel has previously slammed the NSA, and said that mass spying is unnecessary.

Now, the United Nations’ Special Rapporteur on the Right to Privacy notes in a new report (with our comments)

Deeply concerning … the status of the right to privacy in the surveillance area of activity has not improved since the last [UN surveillance] report. [Indeed, it’s getting worse … and will only expand unless we fight for privacy.]

***

Increasingly, personal data ends up in the same “bucket” of data which can be used and re-used for all kinds of known and unknown purposes. [Numerous high-level NSA whistleblowers say that NSA spying is about crushing dissent and blackmailing opponents … notstoppingterrorism.] This poses critical questions in areas such as requirements for gathering data, storing data, analysing data and ultimately erasing data. As a concrete example a recent study carried out by the Georgetown Center on Privacy and Technology in the United States has found that “one in two American adults is in a law enforcement face recognition network.” As the authors of the study put it: “We know very little about these systems. We don’t know how they impact privacy and civil liberties. [We have a pretty good idea.] We don’t know how they address accuracy problems.

***

While often “traditional” methods, such as the interception of phone calls and communications in general, are subject to judicial authorisation before the measure can be employed, other techniques such as the collection and analysis of metadata referring to protocols of internet browsing history or data originating from the use of smartphones (location, phone calls, usage of applications, etc.) are subject to much weaker safeguards. This is not justified since the latter categories of data are at least as revealing of a person’s individual activity as the actual content of a conversation.  [Correct.] Hence, appropriate safeguards must also be in place for these measures.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

We’ve Created A Monster – Ron Paul Says It’s “Fantastic” That WikiLeaks Exposed The CIA

We’ve Created A Monster – Ron Paul Says It’s “Fantastic” That WikiLeaks Exposed The CIA

Ron Paul, the prominent libertarian communicator and three-time US presidential candidate, declared this week in a Fox Business interview that it is “fantastic” that WikiLeaks revealed on Tuesday thousands of US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) documents and files. 

Speaking with host Kennedy, Paul further says that the information exposed “indicates that liberty is in big trouble” and states his concern about there having been insufficient media coverage of the information and outlines the potential dangers related to technology…

Paul’s discussion raises the very crucial question “do we live in a police state?” As AntiWar’s Justin Raimondo warnsthe latest wikileaks revelations tell us the answer is ‘Yes’.

WikiLeaks and Julian Assange would have gone down in history as the greatest enemies of government oppression of all kinds in any case, but their latest release – a comprehensive exposé of the US intelligence community’s cyberwar tools and techniques – is truly the capstone of their career. And given that this release – dubbed “Vault 7” – amounts to just one percent of the documents they intend to publish, one can only look forward to the coming days with a mixture of joyful anticipation and ominous fear.

Fear because the power of the Deep State is even more forbidding – and seemingly invincible – than anyone knew. Joyful anticipation because, for the first time, it is dawning on the most unlikely people that we are, for all intents and purposes, living in a police state. I was struck by this while watching Sean Hannity’s show last [Wednesday] night – yes, Fox is my go-to news channel – and listening to both Hannity and his guests, including the ultra-conservative Laura Ingraham, inveigh against the “Deep State.”

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

16 Year Congressman: CIA Leak Shows We’re “Sliding Down the Slippery Slope Toward Totalitarianism, Where Private Lives Do Not Exist”

16 Year Congressman: CIA Leak Shows We’re “Sliding Down the Slippery Slope Toward Totalitarianism, Where Private Lives Do Not Exist”

That the CIA has reached into the lives of all Americans through its wholesale gathering of the nation’s “haystack” of information has already been reported.

It is bad enough that the government spies on its own people. It is equally bad that the CIA, through its incompetence, has opened the cyberdoor to anyone with the technological skills and connections to spy on anyone else.

The constant erosion of privacy at the hands of the government and corporations has annihilated the concept of a “right to privacy,” which is embedded in the rationale of the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

It is becoming increasingly clear that we are sliding down the slippery slope toward totalitarianism, where private lives do not exist.

We have entered a condition of constitutional crisis that requires a full-throated response from the American people.

Before you label Kucinich as being overly-dramatic, you may want to note that  Bill Binney – the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information, the 36-year NSA veteran widely who was the senior technical director within the agency and managed thousands of NSA employees – told Washington’s Blog that America has already become a police state.

And Thomas Drake – one of the top NSA executives, and Senior Change Leader within the NSA – told us the same thing.

And Kirk Wiebe – a 32-year NSA veteran who received the Director CIA’s Meritorious Unit Award and the NSA’s Meritorious Civilian Service Award – agrees (tweet via Jesselyn Radack, attorney for many national security whistleblowers, herself a Department of Justice whistleblower):

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

When Whistleblowers Tell the Truth They’re Traitors. When Government Lies It’s Policitcs.

When Whistleblowers Tell the Truth They’re Traitors. When Government Lies It’s Policitcs. 

(ANTIMEDIA) Immediately after Wikileaks released thousands of documents revealing the extent of CIA surveillance and hacking practices, the government was calling for an investigation — not into why the CIA has amassed so much power, but rather, into who exposed their invasive policies.

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A federal criminal investigation is being opened into WikiLeaks’ publication of documentsdetailing alleged CIA hacking operations, several US officials,” reportedly told CNN.

According to USA Today:

The inquiry, the official said, will seek to determine whether the disclosure represented a breach from the outside or a leak from inside the organization. A separate review will attempt to assess the damage caused by such a disclosure, the official said.”

Even Democratic representative Ted Lieu, who has been urging whistleblowers to come forward to expose wrongdoing within the Trump administration, has turned his focus away from what the documents exposed and toward determining how it could have possibly happened.

I am deeply disturbed by the allegation that the CIA lost its arsenal of hacking tools,” he said while calling for an investigation. “The ramifications could be devastating. I am calling for an immediate congressional investigation. We need to know if the CIA lost control of its hacking tools, who may have those tools, and how do we now protect the privacy of Americans.”

According to Lieu’s statements, the problem isn’t necessarily that the CIA is spying on Americans and invading innocent people’s technology without consent. It’s that the CIA mishandled their spying tools, and in doing so, endangered Americans’ privacy by exposing the tools to presumably ‘bad actors.’ The problem isn’t the corrupt agency violating basic privacy rights, but that they weren’t skillful enough to keep their corruption under wraps.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’

Fresh Doubts about Russian ‘Hacking’


WikiLeaks’ disclosure of documents revealing CIA cyber-spying capabilities underscores why much more skepticism should have been applied to the U.S. intelligence community’s allegations about Russia “hacking” last year’s American presidential election. It turns out that the CIA maintains a library of foreign malware that could be used to pin the blame for a “hack” on another intelligence service.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at a media conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. (Photo credit: New Media Days / Peter Erichsen)

That revelation emerged from documents that WikiLeaks published on Tuesday from a CIA archive that WikiLeaks said had apparently been passed around within a community of former U.S. government hackers and contractors before one of them gave WikiLeaks some of the material.

The documents revealed that the CIA can capture the content of encrypted Internet and cell-phone messages by grabbing the material in the fraction of a second before the words are put through encryption.

Another program called “Weeping Angel” can hack Samsung “smart” TVs with built-in Internet connections, allowing the CIA and British intelligence to covertly use the TVs as listening devices even when they appear to be turned off.

Besides the 1984-ish aspects of these reported capabilities – Orwell’s dystopia also envisioned TVs being used to spy on people in their homes – the WikiLeaks’ disclosures add a new layer of mystery to whether the Russians were behind the “hacks” of the Democratic Party or whether Moscow was framed.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

 

CIA Dirty Cyber Tricks?

CIA DIRTY CYBER TRICKS?

The Central Intelligence Agency now can mimic foreign intelligence agencies’ hack attacks by leaving electronic “fingerprints” creating the false impression of a foreign intrusion into computer networks, according to claims accompanying a new WikiLeaks document dump.

In other words, there may not be hard evidence that CIA operatives, say, used cyberspace to create a modern-day Reichstag fire to undermine the Trump administration, but it may be the case that the CIA has the technological capabilities to do such a thing, if it were so inclined.

VIDEORaw: Sen. Majority Leader Meets Trump’s CIA Pick
This assertion that the CIA can hack computer networks and leave behind convincing evidence that somebody else did it, comes with the release by WikiLeaks of a huge collection of documents – 8,761 items in all – collectively dubbed the “Vault 7” leaks that purport to describe espionage techniques used by the CIA. The Vault 7 collection is said to have come from a former U.S. government hacker or contractor associated with “an isolated, high-security network” within the CIA’s Center for Cyber Intelligence in Langley, Va. The files made public don’t include the actual cyber weapons themselves which WikiLeaks says it will not release for the time being.

This documentary agglomeration covers “the entire hacking capacity of the CIA,” Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks claimed in a press release, and it is only the first in a series of what he calls the “Year Zero” leaks.

The Year Zero label has a decidedly sinister quality to it and may offer clues into what WikiLeaks hopes to accomplish with these new leaks, apparently the most significant and damaging to the U.S. intelligence community since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden handed over thousands of classified U.S. documents to journalists in 2013.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

5 Gray Man secrets I learned as a surveillance operative

5 Gray Man secrets I learned as a surveillance operative

Luckily, this just happens to be something I’m very familiar with, having both been involved in real-world operations on source operations and surveillance teams as well as teaching agents in both classroom and field exercises (not to mention the crap ton of training I did, compliments of the government), so I’ll break down the basics for you as far as I understand the concept. If you really want to dig deeply into it, here’s a list of books that you might want to consider.

What is the Gray Man concept?

Surveillance Tradecraft: The Professional's Guide to Surveillance Training The gray man concept is the theory behind the tactics, techniques, and procedures of reducing an adversary’s awareness of your presence or actions, allowing you to operate in a semi-permissive environment.

In simpler terms, it means doing things in a way that any others either don’t pay attention to you or dismisses you from being a target while you go about your business. Essentially, it comes down to how to hide in plain sight.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Mr. President, Your Predecessor Actually Wire Tapped ALL Of Our Phones… What Are You Going To Do About It?

Mr. President, Your Predecessor Actually Wire Tapped ALL Of Our Phones… What Are You Going To Do About It?

obama-surveillance1

President Trump went on a Tweet storm this morning, presumably because at some point in the last 24 hours he learned that his predecessor President Obama reportedly “wire tapped” the phone lines in Trump Tower during the 2016 election campaign.

In the process of tweeting, the President actually confirmed what many of us already know – we are being actively monitored by a domestic police state.

trump-tweet-wire-tapping

We can fully sympathize with the President’s outrage over being wiretapped, but it should be no surprise to our readers. Back in 2011 we noted, to accusations of being conspiracy theorists, that everything Americans do is being monitored, including real-time monitoring of our locations, conversations and even video.

At the time, our claims may have seemed ridiculous to most Americans. However, it was soon revealed by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden that U.S. intelligence agencies had an incredible new program designed to do exactly what we originally described: full-on monitoring of literally every digital interaction in the world. We’re talking emails, phone calls and even the ability to remotely and secretly turn on the microphone and camera on your digital devices.

The conspiracy theory once again turned out to be conspiracy fact. 

We realize this may be hard to digest for most, but the technology is very real and very capable, as evidenced by the following video clip from the recently released Snowden movie, which shows just how advanced the intelligence community’s capabilities really are:

While we have absolutely no doubt that these high-level surveillance tools were actively monitoring then-candidate Trump in 2016, it is necessary to stress the fact that the surveillance state did not disappear with Trump’s victory.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

French Government to Track Everyone, Everywhere

French Cafe

COMMENT: Martin, it happens now, as you wrote,  all of each french citizen will be registered, fingerprints, adress, Job, banking account..they want to own us..Hell on earth

ANSWER: Yes. As of Tuesday, February 21st, the registration requirement that they said were only to be applied to Yvelines and Brittany, it will be extended to all of France by the end of March.
Friedman-14I have stated many times, as government enter this phase of the Sovereign Debt Crisis, they will be looking for ways to get more aggressive in extracting revenue from us. This is simply what they do. It is always our fault – NEVER THEIR’S – when they go broke. My old friend Milton Friedman, said it best:
“If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there’d be a shortage of sand.”
When you put people in charge of government, their livelihood then is dependent upon extracting money from you and this is why we call them “Public Servants” for they produce nothing.
The only possible way to solve our crisis is to consult History. That reveals a plain and simple fact. No person should rule in government for more than ONE TERM. There should be absolutely NO POLITICAL DONATIONS.
Lobbyists own politicians because they must run term after term to keep their jobs. They need money for that so they are corrupt prostitutes and sell themselves to the highest bidder. This is why they, and the Press, hate Trump. He did not have to beg for any money so he owes nobody. That is dangerous to them so the press will paint him as a madman to help maintain the corrupt system that they have become the pillar propping up the whole thing.
We must eliminate career politicians, end political donations, and criminalize journalists who engage in propaganda to undermine our freedom.

Russian Government Considers Offering Snowden As “Gift” To President Trump, NBC Reports

Russian Government Considers Offering Snowden As “Gift” To President Trump, NBC Reports

Echoing a now eerily prophetic comment by Edward Snowden in December that “there could be some kind of deal – give this guy to me as a present,” NBC News reports, citing US intelligence official sources, that Russia is considering turning over Edward Snowden as a “gift” to President Donald Trump – who has called the NSA leaker a “spy” and a “traitor” who deserves to be executed.

Message to Edward Snowden, you’re banned from @MissUniverse. Unless you want me to take you back home to face justice!

Olduvai II: Exodus
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