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NSA's Dirty Work Exposed

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#41 Zharkov

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 02:34 PM

If the Bush family had teleportation, they would have gotten rid of their critics long ago.

Unfortunately, they use the same methods as other dictators - secret arrest, torture, murder, and they are proud of it.

So proud, that GW Bush wrote that he would do it all again - exactly the same way - more evidence of insanity.


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#42 Zharkov

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:28 PM


NSA and the Royal Family want you to know that they are watching...

 

The National Security Agency and its UK counterpart GCHQ have been developing capabilities to take advantage of "leaky" smartphone apps, such as the wildly popular Angry Birds game, that transmit users' private information across the internet, according to top secret documents.

 

The data pouring onto communication networks from the new generation of iPhone and Android apps ranges from phone model and screen size to personal details such as age, gender and location. Some apps, the documents state, can share users' most sensitive information such as sexual orientation – and one app recorded in the material even sends specific sexual preferences such as whether or not the user may be a swinger.

 

Many smartphone owners will be unaware of the full extent this information is being shared across the internet, and even the most sophisticated would be unlikely to realise that all of it is available for the spy agencies to collect.

 

Dozens of classified documents, provided to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden and reported in partnership with the New York Times and ProPublica, detail the NSA and GCHQ efforts to piggyback on this commercial data collection for their own purposes.

 

Scooping up information the apps are sending about their users allows the agencies to collect large quantities of mobile phone data from their existing mass surveillance tools – such as cable taps, or from international mobile networks – rather than solely from hacking into individual mobile handsets.

 

Exploiting phone information and location is a high-priority effort for the intelligence agencies, as terrorists and other intelligence targets make substantial use of phones in planning and carrying out their activities, for example by using phones as triggering devices in conflict zones. The NSA has cumulatively spent more than $1bn in its phone targeting efforts.

The disclosures also reveal how much the shift towards smartphone browsing could benefit spy agencies' collection efforts.

8447c96e-0cbc-4b63-80aa-365efc82edb7-460A May 2010 NSA slide on the agency's 'perfect scenario' for obtaining data from mobile apps. Photograph: Guardian

One slide from a May 2010 NSA presentation on getting data from smartphones – breathlessly titled "Golden Nugget!" – sets out the agency's "perfect scenario": "Target uploading photo to a social media site taken with a mobile device. What can we get?"

The question is answered in the notes to the slide: from that event alone, the agency said it could obtain a "possible image", email selector, phone, buddy lists, and "a host of other social working data as well as location".

 

In practice, most major social media sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, strip photos of identifying location metadata (known as EXIF data) before publication. However, depending on when this is done during upload, such data may still, briefly, be available for collection by the agencies as it travels across the networks.

 

Depending on what profile information a user had supplied, the documents suggested, the agency would be able to collect almost every key detail of a user's life: including home country, current location (through geolocation), age, gender, zip code, martial status – options included "single", "married", "divorced", "swinger" and more – income, ethnicity, sexual orientation, education level, and number of children.

 

The agencies also made use of their mobile interception capabilities to collect location information in bulk, from Google and other mapping apps. One basic effort by GCHQ and the NSA was to build a database geolocating every mobile phone mast in the world – meaning that just by taking tower ID from a handset, location information could be gleaned.

 

A more sophisticated effort, though, relied on intercepting Google Maps queries made on smartphones, and using them to collect large volumes of location information.

 

So successful was this effort that one 2008 document noted that "[i]t effectively means that anyone using Google Maps on a smartphone is working in support of a GCHQ system."

 

The information generated by each app is chosen by its developers, or by the company that delivers an app's adverts. The documents do not detail whether the agencies actually collect the potentially sensitive details some apps are capable of storing or transmitting, but any such information would likely qualify as content, rather than metadata.

 

Data collected from smartphone apps is subject to the same laws and minimisation procedures as all other NSA activity – procedures that the US president, Barack Obama, suggested may be subject to reform in a speech 10 days ago. But the president focused largely on the NSA's collection of the metadata from US phone calls and made no mention in his address of the large amounts of data the agency collects from smartphone apps.

 

The latest disclosures could also add to mounting public concern about how the technology sector collects and uses information, especially for those outside the US, who enjoy fewer privacy protections than Americans. A January poll for the Washington Post showed 69% of US adults were already concerned about how tech companies such as Google used and stored their information.

The documents do not make it clear how much of the information that can be taken from apps is routinely collected, stored or searched, nor how many users may be affected. The NSA says it does not target Americans and its capabilities are deployed only against "valid foreign intelligence targets".

 

The documents do set out in great detail exactly how much information can be collected from widely popular apps. One document held on GCHQ's internal Wikipedia-style guide for staff details what can be collected from different apps. Though it uses Android apps for most of its examples, it suggests much of the same data could be taken from equivalent apps on iPhone or other platforms.

The GCHQ documents set out examples of what information can be extracted from different ad platforms, using perhaps the most popular mobile phone game of all time, Angry Birds – which has reportedly been downloaded more than 1.7bn times – as a case study.

From some app platforms, relatively limited, but identifying, information such as exact handset model, the unique ID of the handset, software version, and similar details are all that are transmitted.

 

Other apps choose to transmit much more data, meaning the agency could potentially net far more. One mobile ad platform, Millennial Media, appeared to offer particularly rich information. Millennial Media's website states it has partnered with Rovio on a special edition of Angry Birds; with Farmville maker Zynga; with Call of Duty developer Activision, and many other major franchises.

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, said it had no knowledge of any NSA or GCHQ programs looking to extract data from its apps users.

"Rovio doesn't have any previous knowledge of this matter, and have not been aware of such activity in 3rd party advertising networks," said Saara Bergström, Rovio's VP of marketing and communications. "Nor do we have any involvement with the organizations you mentioned [NSA and GCHQ]."

Millennial Media did not respond to a request for comment.

 

In December, the Washington Post reported on how the NSA could make use of advertising tracking files generated through normal internet browsing – known as cookies – from Google and others to get information on potential targets.

However, the richer personal data available to many apps, coupled with real-time geolocation, and the uniquely identifying handset information many apps transmit give the agencies a far richer data source than conventional web-tracking cookies.

Almost every major website uses cookies to serve targeted advertising and content, as well as streamline the experience for the user, for example by managing logins. One GCHQ document from 2010 notes that cookie data – which generally qualifies as metadata – has become just as important to the spies. In fact, the agencies were sweeping it up in such high volumes that their were struggling to store it.

"They are gathered in bulk, and are currently our single largest type of events," the document stated.

The ability to obtain targeted intelligence by hacking individual handsets has been well documented, both through several years of hacker conferences and previous NSA disclosures in Der Spiegel, and both the NSA and GCHQ have extensive tools ready to deploy against iPhone, Android and other phone platforms.

 

GCHQ's targeted tools against individual smartphones are named after characters in the TV series The Smurfs. An ability to make the phone's microphone 'hot', to listen in to conversations, is named "Nosey Smurf". High-precision geolocation is called "Tracker Smurf", power management – an ability to stealthily activate an a phone that is apparently turned off – is "Dreamy Smurf", while the spyware's self-hiding capabilities are codenamed "Paranoid Smurf".

Those capability names are set out in a much broader 2010 presentation that sheds light on spy agencies' aspirations for mobile phone interception, and that less-documented mass-collection abilities.

The cover sheet of the document sets out the team's aspirations:

844b8af8-32dc-4ebe-8dd5-6f65962a50bd-460The cover slide for a May 2010 GCHQ presentation on mobile phone data interception. Photograph: Guardian

Another slide details weak spots in where data flows from mobile phone network providers to the wider internet, where the agency attempts to intercept communications. These are locations either within a particular network, or international roaming exchanges (known as GRXs), where data from travellers roaming outside their home country is routed.

02b15d97-32b0-44aa-82e4-7f4d9776fb0d-460While GCHQ uses Android apps for most of its examples, it suggests much of the same data could be taken from iPhone apps. Photograph: Guardiana52c2207-36f5-4b6f-8a78-609bd44db0fd-460GCHQ's targeted tools against individual smartphones are named after characters in the TV series The Smurfs. Photograph: Guardian

These are particularly useful to the agency as data is often only weakly encrypted on such networks, and includes extra information such as handset ID or mobile number – much stronger target identifiers than usual IP addresses or similar information left behind when PCs and laptops browse the internet.

The NSA said its phone interception techniques are only used against valid targets, and are subject to stringent legal safeguards.

"The communications of people who are not valid foreign intelligence targets are not of interest to the National Security Agency," said a spokeswoman in a statement.

"Any implication that NSA's foreign intelligence collection is focused on the smartphone or social media communications of everyday Americans is not true. Moreover, NSA does not profile everyday Americans as it carries out its foreign intelligence mission. We collect only those communications that we are authorized by law to collect for valid foreign intelligence and counterintelligence purposes – regardless of the technical means used by the targets.

"Because some data of US persons may at times be incidentally collected in NSA's lawful foreign intelligence mission, privacy protections for US persons exist across the entire process concerning the use, handling, retention, and dissemination of data. In addition, NSA actively works to remove extraneous data, to include that of innocent foreign citizens, as early as possible in the process.

"Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools lawfully used by NSA to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies – and places at risk those we are sworn to protect."

 

The NSA declined to respond to a series of queries on how routinely capabilities against apps were deployed, or on the specific minimisation procedures used to prevent US citizens' information being stored through such measures.

 

GCHQ declined to comment on any of its specific programs, but stressed all of its activities were proportional and complied with UK law.

"It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters," said a spokesman.

 

"Furthermore, all of GCHQ's work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework that ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position."...blah, blah, blah.

 

http://www.theguardi...s-personal-data


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#43 Zharkov

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:33 PM

The NSA application that targets political protesters with microwave weapons is called "Fried Smurf"?


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#44 Asterix

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:40 PM

I can tell you one thing for sure Zharkov.

Due to the fact that I am a "protestant" these people attacked me quite often.

From October 22nd 2013 - December 24rd 2013 i used to get 3-5 pains in the stomach each day, acid stuff.

On december 24rd 2013 I took off my watch.

I did not get even a single acid like feeling in my stomach since then.

So these people use watches as transmitters, particularly swiss watches, the above scientific data proves it 100% because I did not change at all my diet.

 

It is important why CIA and NSA attack my stomach.

 

because I am GUSE or Christ and the word stomach says that :

 

stoma Ch, stoma in greek means the mouth of GOD

stomach = Mouth of GOD, Christos

 

that is why CIA was attacking using the watch transmitter technology my stomach

 

The name paleologos says exactly the same thing

 

Pa Le O Logos

O logos means the word of GOD

Pa Le the abreviation of my full name Paparizos Leonidas

 

Apple, the biblical you are not supposed to byte, the same

 

Paparizos Leonidas Apple MAR in romanian MAP also, for the humanity, because R in greek is P, best known as M

 

The primitive whore monkeys The Pope, Queen elisabeth, Bush family, romanians and greeks wanted to kill me like they did with jesus Christ 2000 years ago, so their children to steal Earth's wealth and control the masses for the next 1 million years


Edited by Asterix, 27 January 2014 - 08:53 PM.

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#45 Zharkov

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:52 PM

Watches often are nickel plated and many people are allergic to nickel.

Other metals can also cause problems, except for gold and platinum which are nearly inert.

 

Avoid wheat or wheat products of any kind.

"Wheat" is not wheat anymore and it will cause digestive problems in everyone, not merely those allergic to it.

Wheat has been modified years ago into a new species that most stomachs have problems digesting.

 

NSA personnel should stop keeping secrets about which Americans should be told. if they want to avoid legal problems that might affect their digestive processes.


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#46 Asterix

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:56 PM

I had a golden ROLEX, but the identical problem

Believe me I did a lot of research on the subject. Their Stolen Divine Technology uses things as watches as retransmitters.

 

By contrast, the people at paria Bay use XXI Century Divine technology which does not have dissipation of energy, so they do not need retransmitters, they can hit you directly from paria Bay anywhere on Earth.


Edited by Asterix, 27 January 2014 - 08:59 PM.

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#47 Asterix

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:05 PM

On january 19th 2014 CIA tried to hit Paria bay with an Earthquake, but GOD blocked.

Next time they try GOD will teleportate directly all greeks, romanians, brits and americans directly to Antarctica to visit with Prince Harry

Of course these people at Paria Bay do have the technology also to telepotate simultaneously all brits, americans, greeks and romanians directly to Antarctica, but I am sure they are going to wait for GOD to do it first.

 

1545196_493083730812992_805483727_n.jpg

Edited by Asterix, 27 January 2014 - 09:12 PM.

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#48 Asterix

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:26 PM

Zharkov, what realy makes the story with the Furer even more interesting is that today i was obtaining some RO (Random Oracle) using on You Tube The search words "humour" plus two random words from RandomPravda. When the two words came out "of course", this is the Video that came out out of about 3 billions YouTube Videos.

It appears That The Furer has changed a lot, He is humanatarian now. He lost His temper a bit with a romanian woman that brits selected to look identical with Eva Brown, such that out of gelousy The Furrer will attack me. Brits were right, the Furer lost his temper at my expense this time.

It appears that He loved Eva Brown a lot, otherwise how would you explain to try Remote Control to burn my leg with a burning ciggarette, while sleepeing. The Holy Spirit stopped the cigarete 1 mm from my skin, just for me to wake up. Or the triple point simultaneous sufocating Remote Control technique, in which remote Control The Furer tried to block simultenously my respiratory path with three different methods at three different ponts. You know the laws of probabilities, so you do have the product of probabilities. So if you have a 1% chance to escape, with the triple point method that probability goes to 1 in a Million. So He must have loved Eva Brown a lot, that is why I forgive Him.


Edited by Asterix, 27 January 2014 - 09:37 PM.

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#49 Asterix

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Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:51 PM

In any event, a regretable chain of unpleasent out of jeleousy 200 attacks on me from the Furer. Poor Furer, after killing 6 millions jews due to greek intrigue, Greeks and Britts managed on more time to fool Him to become jeleous and to attack me. But He gave me the impression, that despite the fact He was extremely angry, there was there a good sense of humor, like in the Video bellow


Edited by Asterix, 27 January 2014 - 09:57 PM.

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#50 Zharkov

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Posted 28 January 2014 - 04:54 PM

I think Hitler was an idiot for trying to conquer Russia in the winter, and his general staff thought the same.

That is why his own people tried to kill him before he lost the war.

Hitler was the first candidate to set up the New World Order and failed.

After Hitler, it became obvious that the global government would have to be created incrementally by law, and only incidentally by military power.    The use of law has proven far more effective in establishing hegemony.


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#51 Zharkov

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 03:05 AM

It has been reported that the above information is only about 2% of the intelligence documents removed from the NSA.

 

Imagine how bad the remaining 98% must be?


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#52 Zharkov

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:42 PM

As security expert Bruce Schneier wrote yesterday:

What frustrates me about all of this — [the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board] report, the president’s speech, and so many other things — is that they focus on the bulk collection of cell phone call records. There’s so much more bulk collection going on —phone callse-mailsaddress booksbuddy liststext messagescell phone location data,financial documentscalendars, [smartphone apps] etc. — and we really need legislation and court opinions on it all. But because cell phone call records were the first disclosure, they’re what gets the attention.

Indeed, Schneier confirmed last October what we’ve been saying for years … don’t get too distracted by the details, because the government is spying on everything:

Honestly, I think the details matter less and lessWe have to assume that the NSA has EVERYONE who uses electronic communications under CONSTANT surveillance. New details about hows and whys will continue to emerge …but the big picture will remain the same.

 

There is substantial evidence from top NSA and FBI whistleblowers that the government is recording the content of our calls and emails … word-for-word.

So what should we make of the government’s denials that it records content?

Given that the government has been caught lying about spying again and again, I’m not sure how much weight we should give to such denials.

NSA whistleblower Russ Tice notes:   They’re collecting content … word-for-word.

You can’t trust these people. They lie, and they lie a lot.

 

120601obamasmokingz-596x283.jpg

    
    http://www.infowars....-on-everything/


Edited by Zharkov, 30 January 2014 - 03:57 PM.

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#53 Zharkov

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 03:53 PM

Obama's 'NSA watchdog' funded research targeting reporters
Campaign included de facto enemies list, investigations of news personalities

http://www.wnd.com/2...ting-reporters/


Edited by Zharkov, 30 January 2014 - 03:56 PM.

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#54 Zharkov

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 04:53 PM

Spy Agencies Work On Psychologically Profiling Everyone
  • printer_famfamfam.gif youtube.png podcast.png pptv.png twitter.png facebook.png cart.png

Washington’s Blog
January 31, 2014

Newly-released documents from Edward Snowden show that the NSA and other spy agencies are tracking people’s psychological and lifestyle traits such as sexual preference, extroversion-versus-introversion, and whether people are leaders or followers.  See this and this.

For example, the following are slides leaked by Snowden from Britain’s spy service regarding profiling people psychologically:

 

Spy-Graphic-Browser.jpg

Extrovert-Introvert.jpg

IC Off the Record reports on future spying techniques being developed by the U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence’s Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity:

In 2006, the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) was created to invest in high-risk, high-payoff classified programs uniquely designed to provide research and technical capabilities for the Intelligence Community. IARPA-funded researchers are currently studying novel ways of processing and analyzing the explosive growth of domestic data. ***

 

  • The Knowledge Discovery and Dissemination (KDD) program will develop advanced analytic algorithms that can effectively draw inferences across multiple databases to allow the Intelligence Community to create virtual fusion centers enabling analysts to produce actionable intelligence.

 

  • The Socio-cultural Content in Language (SCIL) Program will develop novel algorithms, techniques and technologies to uncover the social actions and characteristics of members of a group (ie; within discussion forums, online comment sections, social media, etc.) by examining the language used in relation to acceptable social and cultural norms.

 

  • The Reynard Program starts from the premise that “real world” characteristics are reflected in “virtual world” behavior. The program seeks to identify behavioral indicators in online virtual worlds and “massively multiplayer online games” that are related to the real world characteristics of the users. Attributes of interest include gender, age, economic status, educational level, occupation, ideology or “world view”, and physical geographic location.

 

Indeed, the NSA  is working on building a “pre-crime” computer system that uses artificial intelligence and massive amounts of data to try to predict how every thinks and what everyone is likely to do.

 

http://www.infowars....iling-everyone/


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#55 Zharkov

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Posted 10 February 2014 - 04:20 PM

NSA Surveillance Key to Targeted Killings

By Greg Richter

Journalist Glenn Greenwald, who broke the story of NSA leaker Edward Snowden's revelations last year, says to expect "a lot more significant stories" as he launches a new independent news website this week.

On Monday, his new site, The Intercept, dropped its first big story, about the NSA's role in targeted killings.

The article reveals an NSA program codenamed GILGAMESH that provides geolocation data to U.S. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to target drone strikes and capture/kill raids.

"The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people," the article states.

Without the crucial geolocation data, the article suggests it would be nearly impossible to target suspected terrorists, since the human intelligence is apparently often not that reliable. But in terms of definitively proving the targets are in fact terrorists, the abstract location data is even less reliable.

"Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using," the article continues.

JSOC would be helpless "without the NSA conducting mass surveillance on an industrial level,” the story states, quoting a former Air Force drone operator named Brandon Bryant. “That is what creates those baseball cards you hear about,” featuring potential targets for drone strikes or raids.

"Once the bomb lands or a night raid happens, you know that phone is there," the former drone operator continues. "But we don’t know who’s behind it, who’s holding it. It’s of course assumed that the phone belongs to a human being who is nefarious and considered an 'unlawful enemy combatant.' This is where it gets very shady.

"We’re not going after people — we’re going after their phones.

"People get hung up that there’s a targeted list of people," he continues. "It’s really like we’re targeting a cell phone. We’re not going after people — we’re going after their phones, in the hopes that the person on the other end of that missile is the bad guy."

The article is written by Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill, the highly regarded author of "Dirty Wars: The World is a Battlefield," a book and documentary film that details covert U.S. military operations around that world.

"Whether or not Obama is fully aware of the errors built into the program of targeted assassination, he and his top advisors have repeatedly made clear that the president himself directly oversees the drone operation and takes full responsibility for it," the report states.

The NSA reportedly declined to respond to questions about the program. An NSA spokesperson refused to discuss “the type of operational detail that, in our view, should not be published.”

Appearing Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources," Greenwald dodged questions of whether he had new inside sources with tales similar to Snowden's, but he said that if sources come forward they will be "defended and protected" and what they reveal will be "aggressively reported" by journalists and media outlets.

But the new story seems to confirm that Greenwald and his team do have new sources, and they're naming them if the source agrees.

"Sounds like you have other sources that you're protecting," host Brian Stelter said.

Again, Greenwald would not answer specifically, but said it is fair to say there are other people who have been "inspired by Edward Snowden's courage and by the great good and virtue that it has achieved."

Snowden was inspired by the likes of Bradley Manning, Daniel Ellsberg, and others, Greenwald said. Likewise, there are others inside the government who have seen "extreme wrongdoing" who are inspired by Snowden, he said.

Greenwald said he and other journalists will be launching online magazines with First Look Media, which is funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar. Omidyar said in a blog post on Thursday that "the site's staff has already uncovered a host of new and disturbing revelations in the NSA documents."

Greenwald told CNN that his stories will begin appearing on the site this week, possibly as early as Monday. It's unclear whether the new drone operator Bryant is violating classified secrets laws from the story, though he is apparently confirming details in Snowden's trove of stolen NSA documents.

Greenwald first revealed stories of the National Security Agency's ability to spy on Americans' emails and phone calls in the British newspaper The Guardian. His source was Snowden, who is living under temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden and Greenwald have been called heroes by some and traitors by others. The two camps cross cross party and ideological lines, making for sometimes strange bedfellows on the controversial issues of privacy versus national security.

Greenwald is living in Brazil, but has said he will come to the United States in the spring despite the possibility of facing charges for releasing Snowden's documents. A book he is writing about Snowden and his role is scheduled to be published in April.

http://www.newsmax.c...02/09/id/551768


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#56 Zharkov

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 04:37 PM

NSA Is A Conspiracy To Commit First Degree Murder...

 

We reached out to a former top NSA official to get his take on this story:  Bill Binney, the 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, the senior technical director within the agency who managed thousands of NSA employees, and has been interviewed by virtually all of the mainstream media, including CBS, ABC, CNN, New York Times, USA Today, Fox News, PBS and many others.

Washington’s Blog asked Binney:

    "Glenn Greenwald and Jeremy Scahill have a new article on drone targeting abroad.

    In it, they argue that Sigint [signals intelligence] can be unreliable in targeting drone strikes, without Humint [human intelligence] to corroborate.

    Do you have any opinion on this?"

Binney responded:

    The problem I have with drone strikes using metadata only is that they are not making sure of their targets this way. You need to have content not just metadata to know that it is your target. Humint could point you to a bad guy; but, even then, you still need to have content to insure that is the same guy using the phone or originating the e-mail. This is why I call the strikes by metadata alone an “undisciplined slaughter.”

http://www.infowars....ined-slaughter/


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#57 Zharkov

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Posted 11 February 2014 - 05:21 PM

ost3.jpg


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#58 Zharkov

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Posted 12 February 2014 - 01:39 AM

The first congressman to battle the NSA is dead.

Last month, former Congressman Otis Pike died, and no one seemed to notice or care. That’s scary, because Pike led the House’s most intensive and threatening hearings into US intelligence community abuses, far more radical and revealing than the better-known Church Committee’s Senate hearings that took place at the same time. That Pike could die today in total obscurity, during the peak of the Snowden NSA scandal, is, as they say, a “teachable moment” —one probably not lost on today’s already spineless political class.

In mid-1975, Rep. Pike was picked to take over the House select committee investigating the US intelligence community after the first committee chairman, a Michigan Democrat named Nedzi, was overthrown by more radical liberal Democrats fired up by Watergate after they learned that Nedzi had suppressed information about the CIA’s illegal domestic spying program, MH-CHAOS, exposed by Seymour Hersh in late 1974. It was Hersh’s exposés on the CIA domestic spying program targeting American dissidents and antiwar activists that led to the creation of the Church Committee and what became known as the Pike Committee, after Nedzi was tossed overboard.

Pike was an odd choice to take Nedzi’s place—he was a conservative Cold War Democrat from a mostly-Republican Long Island district, who’d supported the Vietnam War long after most northern Democrats abandoned it, and who loathed do-gooder Kennedy liberals and Big Government waste. So no one expected Pike to challenge the National Security State and executive privilege so aggressively and righteously—and some argued, recklessly—as he wound up doing.

The reason is simple if you think in 1975 terms. Pike was an ambitious political animal—and in 1975, standing up to the secrecy-obsessed NatSec State like Warren Beatty and Robert Redford did on screen seemed like smart politics. Pike was looking to trade up to the Senate in 1976, just as Frank Church was looking to use the Church Committee hearings to springboard into the White House.

Pike was less interested in sensational scandals like Church’s poison darts and foreign assassination plots than he was in getting to the guts of the intelligence apparatus, its power, its funding, its purpose. He asked questions never asked or answered since the start of the Cold War: What was America’s intelligence budget? What was the purpose of the CIA, NSA and other intelligence agencies and programs? Were they succeeding by their own standards? Were taxpayers getting their money’s worth? Were they making America safer?

Those were exactly the questions that the intel apparatus did not want asked. The Church Committee focused on excesses and abuses, implying that with the proper reforms and oversights, the intelligence structures could be set right. But as the Pike Committee started pulling up the floorboards, what they discovered quickly led Rep. Pike and others to declare that the entire intelligence apparatus was a dangerous boondoggle. Not only were taxpayers getting fleeced, but agencies like the NSA and CIA were a direct threat to America’s security and democracy, the proverbial monkey playing with a live grenade. The problem was that Pike asked the right questions—and that led him to some very wrong answers, as far as the powers that be were concerned.

It was Pike’s committee that got the first ever admission—from CIA director William Colby—that the NSA was routinely tapping Americans’ phone calls. Days after that stunning confession, Pike succeeded in getting the head of the NSA, Lew Allen Jr., to testify in public before his committee—the first time in history that an NSA chief publicly testified. It was the first time that the NSA publicly maintained that it was legally entitled to wiretap Americans’ communications overseas, in spite of the 1934 Communications Act and other legal restrictions placed on other intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

It was also the first time an NSA chief publicly lied to Congress, claiming it was not eavesdropping on domestic or overseas phone calls involving American citizens. (Technically, legalistically, the NSA argued that it hadn’t lied—the reason being that since Americans weren’t specifically “targeted” in the NSA’s vast data-vacuuming programs in the 1970s, recording and storing every phone call and telex cable in computers which were then data-mined for keywords, that therefore they weren’t technically eavesdropping on Americans who just happened to be swept up into the wiretapping vacuum.)

Pike quickly discovered the fundamental problem with the NSA: It was by far the largest intelligence agency, and yet it was birthed unlike any other, as a series of murky executive orders under Truman at the peak of Cold War hysteria. Digging into the NSA’s murky beginnings, it quickly became clear that the agency was explicitly chartered in such a way that placed it beyond legal accountability, out of reach of the other branches of government. Unlike the CIA, which came into being under an act of Congress, the NSA’s founding charter was a national secret.

In early August, 1975, Pike ordered the NSA to produce its “charter” document, National Security Council Intelligence Directive No. 6. The Pentagon’s intelligence czar, Albert Hall, appeared before the Pike Committee that day—but without the classified NSA charter. Hall reminded Pike that the Ford White House had offered to show the NSA charter document to Pike’s committee just as it had done with Church’s Senate Committee members, who had agreed to merely view the charter at a government location outside of Congress, without entering the secret document into the Senate record. Officially, publicly, it still didn’t exist. Pike refused to accept that:

    “You’re talking about the document that set up the entire N.S.A., it’s one which all members [of Congress] are entitled to see without shuttling back and forth downtown to look at.”

Assistant Defense Secretary Hall told an incredulous Pike that he hadn’t brought the NSA charter with him as he’d been told to, and that he couldn’t because “I need clearance” and the charter “has secret material in it.”

Pike exploded:

    “It seems incredible to me, very frankly, that we are asked to appropriate large amounts of money for that agency which employs large numbers of people without being provided a copy of the piece of paper by which the agency is authorized.”

Pike’s investigations led him to believe that the combined intelligence agencies were massively understating their budgets, and that the true figure was in the area of $10 billion in 1975 dollars (about $43 billion today), with the NSA by far the largest intelligence agency of all. Broken down, he discovered that about one-fifth of the FBI’s budget went to counterintelligence, largely wasted except as it targeted and harassed leftist dissidents and political opponents. He estimated that the CIA spent about a third of its budget bribing or funding foreign political parties and foreign politicians, including in allied countries like Italy. And that the NSA was a powerful tool in some of the most nefarious—and illegal—domestic surveillance programs.

For example, the CIA-run MH-CHAOS program (which I wrote about here and here in the days after the Snowden story first broke last summer—an illegal domestic spying program which grew out of the CIA’s surveillance of Ramparts magazine and the mighty Warren Hinckle) used the NSA to provide thousands of files on US antiwar activists, celebrities, dissidents and even political figures. It became increasingly clear that if you really wanted to reform and restructure the US intelligence community, you had to take on the NSA.

When the Pike Committee started looking into what taxpayers were really getting for their $10 billion annual investment in intelligence, things went from bad to worse. Pike charged the NSA with taking unacceptable risks that threatened to spark war with the Soviets on several occasions, using  Navy subs, including nuclear-armed subs, to penetrate Soviet territorial waters to perform intelligence activities. On a few occasions, the Navy subs doing NSA missions were spotted and pursued by Soviet warships and air forces. Perhaps the craziest revelations involved Navy submarine missions inside the Soviet naval ports in Vladivostok, where “technicians” attached small transmitters to cables that connected Vladivostok’s naval installations with their counterparts in Moscow, all of which was recorded into NSA computers in Ft Meade, Maryland.

Did those risky and expensive intelligence operations make the United States safer? Did they prevent attacks on America or American interests, or correctly warn the White House of some impending crisis? To answer that, Pike looked into some major world events to see how US intelligence fared: The 1973 Yom Kippur War; Turkey’s 1974 invasion of Cyprus; and the 1974 coup in Portugal (as well as the US intelligence failure in the 1968 Tet Offensive).

The answers were devastating and embarrassing—in every instance, US intelligence failed miserably. In October 1975, while the hearings were still ongoing, Pike told the New York Times,

    “If an attack were to be launched on America in the very near future, it is my belief that America would not know that the attack were about to be launched.”

To find out why US intelligence was such a dangerous and expensive boondoggle, Pike summoned Secretary of State Kissinger to testify— but Kissinger refused to appear. Pike wasn’t playing ball the way Church was, so the Ford Administration and the intelligence community decided to stop cooperating and to start pushing back—stonewalling or ignoring subpoenas, gumming up the investigation’s gears. The Pike Committee held Kissinger in contempt; Kissinger responded that he was the victim of Congressional “McCarthyism”— and much of the Washington Establishment backed up the invented Kissinger-as-McCarthyism-victim meme.

Meanwhile, an even more radical subcommittee on privacy in the House, headed by Bella Abzug, targeted the NSA’s domestic spying program, subpoenaing government officials and the heads of the major telecoms and cable telex firms—AT&T, ITT, Western Union and RCA. The more the House dug into the NSA’s foundations, the more they discovered about the murky extralegal arrangements and deals made between private telecom firms and the National Security State apparatus. In the late 1940s, as the NSA was being formed out of the Army Security Agency and other military signal intelligence branches, Truman’s top defense officials cajoled the major US cable telex firms to agree to let the nascent NSA tap into all international communications. Some of the firms were more reluctant than others; all asked for written legal assurances and legislative action, but were given less than they were promised. Everything remained legally murky—promises, but nothing concrete and publicly legalized, like the NSA itself. [For more on this, read James Bamford's excellent history of the NSA, "Puzzle Palace."]

To prevent the public from learning that the NSA had programs physically tapping and recording all international telex cables, President Ford invoked executive privilege for the first time in history on behalf of private corporations, to exempt them from having to testify to Abzug’s committee. Eventually, some went ahead and testified anyway. Like I said, for a brief period in the mid-1970s, the smart money was on the Robert Redford anti-government heroes…

But what Abzug, Pike, Church and others hadn’t counted on was that some seemingly-permanent cultural changes turned out not to be as permanent as thought. The shock from the stream of revelations was no longer so inspiring—as more dirty linen was aired, it had a cumulative numbing effect on much of the public, turning them away from politics—away from the institutions they trusted, and away from the political mavericks taking them on—away from it all, and inward, just as the Baby Boomers themselves were turning inward in droves, away from  messy political struggles, and into the purity of personal fulfillment…away from struggling for world peace, in favor of seeking inner peace.

What Pike and Church were uncovering turned out to be something much darker and harder to process than Watergate. With Watergate, there was a simpler narrative that reaffirmed America’s own fairytales about itself: Here was a bad apple, Nixon, and a few bad apples around him, eventually exposed and overthrown by the good guys—the valiant press, the politicians with integrity—proving that the American System worked after all.

But what the Pike Committee (and to a lesser extent the Church Committee) revealed was something much more systemic, much more complex and depressing to grapple with.

As Pike put it, in Watergate the American people were asked to believe that “their President had been a bad person. In this situation they are asked much more; they are asked to believe that their country has been evil. And nobody wants to believe that.”

Watergate was inspiring; the Pike Committee was a “bummer” (in the parlance of their times).

American public opinion proved to be fickle and shallow, and the reactionaries in the intelligence community took advantage of this fickleness to destroy Pike and others like him. When in January 1976 the Pike Committee approved its draft report slamming the intelligence community as a dangerous boondoggle, calling for radical budget reductions, the abolition of the Defense Intelligence Agency, and other radical structural reforms, the special counsel to CIA director George H. W. Bush called Pike’s office and warned that if the report was approved, “we’ll destroy him for this.”

    “I’m serious, there will be retaliation,” Rogovin said. “Any political ambitions that Pike had in New York are through. We will destroy him for this.”

And so they did. The Pike Committee’s report was quashed by a vote in the House. Portions of the Pike Committee report were leaked to the Village Voice by CBS reporter Daniel Schorr, which only made the Pike Committee look worse, “irresponsible” as they put it. Newly-appointed CIA director Bush accused Pike of losing hundreds of classified documents, making matters even worse. The House not only voted to quash the Pike Committee report, it launched a separate new investigation into the Pike Committee—who leaked the classified report to Schorr? Who lost the alleged lost documents? The House investigation into Pike’s committee lasted months, ending with Schorr, who’d been fired by CBS, dragged before Congress to testify. Through it all, Pike, the conservative Democrat, was made to look like a loose cannon and a revolutionary radical in his conservative Long Island district, where local Republican officials started openly red-baiting him. Pike backed out of his Senate run, and quit politics for good two years later. Rightly sensing a massive GOP backlash in the 1978 elections, Pike bitterly complained to a New York Times reporter that voters in his own district were driving around with bumper stickers on their cars reading “Pike Is 2 Liberal 4 Me”.

Bella Abzug’s committee report on the NSA and privacy was likewise quashed, and she was out of Congress, and out of political life, the following year.

Frank Church also lost out: from leading Democratic Party nominee for president in early 1976, to not-even-vice-president material a few months later. The next time he ran for his Senate seat in 1980, he lost to a crypto-Bircher by a couple thousand votes, in a contest that received murky outside campaign funding. By the time Reagan triumphantly won a second term in office, Frank Church was dead of cancer, and whatever positive reforms he was able to push through during the Carter years were long undone—thanks to Reagan’s EO 12333, the CIA was now authorized to engage in some domestic spying activities so long as it involved “terrorism,” and the FBI was once again infiltrating and harassing leftist dissidents on a scale that would’ve made J. Edgar proud.

By 1978, the reform energy was dead. As quickly as that, the culture seemed to want to forget about it and brush it all under the carpet again. As a Washington Post reporter, George Lardner, put it that year,

    “All that seems left is the steady tattoo of suggestions that the scandals were somehow imagined.”

Today, there’s an underlying assumption that exposing dark government secrets is somehow transformative in itself, even without a wider politics to frame it. It’s hard to know where that silly assumption comes from: a vestigial Freudian faith in the transformative power of dark secrets brought to light? Are we really that foolish?

What we have instead: No hearings, no politics, no frame to make sense of this or to transform our lives for the better. Instead, we have the language of public relations and marketing, the rush to frame the story, feeding the outrage monkey and nothing to show for it.

Any politician’—or political handler— with a sense of history will point to Otis Pike’s fate: He stuck his neck out and took on the National Security State on terms that should’ve appealed to common sense conservative values: Are taxpayers getting fleeced? Is America safer under these programs? He was destroyed. And after he was destroyed, he was forgotten. Now he’s dead, and no one noticed, or cared.

http://pando.com/201...d-no-one-cares/


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#59 Zharkov

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Posted 16 February 2014 - 03:58 PM

Americans Should Demand Reparations For NSA Spying...

NSA Spies On American Lawyers

US law firm ensnared in spying by NSA ally

By Julian Hattem

A U.S. law firm advising Indonesia's government on trade issues was spied on by a foreign government, according to a new top secret document released by former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

The spying was done by Australia, which shared the information with the National Security Agency, according to the document, which was obtained by The New York Times.

It's not clear whether the information was then given to U.S. trade officials to provide some kind of leverage. But the incident highlights the long reach of the NSA and foreign intelligence agencies, and raises questions about how its information is being used.

According to the 2013 document, the National Security Agency's counterpart in Australia notified the U.S. spy agency in the 2013 document that it was keeping tabs on discussions between Indonesian officials and the law firm. The Australian agency offered to share the details with the NSA, including “information covered by attorney-client privilege.”

The monthly bulletin from the Australian Signals Director’s Canberra office said it “has been able to continue to cover the talks, providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.” It did not go into details about those customers, beyond the NSA.

The U.S. law firm was not identified, but the Times reported that the Chicago-based firm Mayer Brown was advising Indonesia on trade issues at the time.

The bulletin also did not identify which trade case the Australian agency was monitoring. Indonesia in recent years has been in a series of confrontations with the U.S. over cigarettes, shrimp and other issues.

Attorney-client privileges protected by U.S. law do not extend to the NSA’s snooping.  

(Not true, it requires a court order to wiretap a law firm, even if wiretapping is done through an agent-ally)

Australian and U.S. intelligence agencies share facilities and sensitive details. Much of the collaboration between the two agencies focuses on Asia, especially China and Indonesia.  (Each intel service acts as an agent of the other one)

Other documents obtained by the Times show that information the NSA obtains has helped the U.S. Department of Agriculture “to support their negotiations” with other nations.

Civil liberties advocates were quick to jump on the new disclosure as the latest sign of global surveillance programs run amuck.

“This story confirms our fear that the NSA's surveillance rules give short shrift to the privacy of communications between lawyers and their clients, and it’s another example of the NSA's troubling ‘mission creep’ beyond national security,” said Alex Abdo, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, in a statement sent to The Hill.

“Attorney-client communications are sacred in our legal tradition and should not be wiretapped except in extraordinary circumstances. This is yet another way in which surveillance capabilities have outpaced legal protections and yet another reason why congressional reform is necessary.”

http://thehill.com/b...s-in-trade-deal
 


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#60 Zharkov

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Posted 19 February 2014 - 02:49 PM

Obama may award this man a medal and a salary bonus...

 

NSA official charged with first-degree murder in beating death of 3-year-old son
http://dccrimestorie...comment-page-1/


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