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Government Caught Lying About Spying Again

Posted By Washingtons Blog On October 6, 2013 @ 1:30 am In Think Tank,War/Defense | Comments Disabled

Government Lies About Spying Again and Again … Here’s What’s REALLY Going On

Government Officials Fail Honesty Standards of 12 Year Olds

Government leaders have been caught in lie after lie about spying … but keep on spouting new lies:

The Government Is Spying On Everything

Despite dishonest proclamations to the contrary, the government is – in reality – spying on everything:

  • NSA whistleblowers say that the NSA collects all of our conversations word-for-word [16]

No Adult Supervision

The NSA has gone rogue … with no oversight:

  • When these judges raised concerns about NSA spying, the Justice Department completely ignored them [31]

Spy Information Being Shared with Numerous Federal, State and Local Agencies … and Private Contractors

Your private information isn’t staying inside the NSA … it’s being spread all over the place:

  • The NSA not only shares our information with other American agencies, it also gives personal, sensitive unfiltered information on Americans to Israel and other foreign nations [37]

Your Sensitive Financial Data Is Being Gathered

One of the types of personal information being spied on is your sensitive financial information:

Spying Is Killing the Economy

Spying is hurting the economy:

  • For example, Facebook lost 11 millions users [48] as of April mainly due to privacy concerns (and that was before the Snowden revelations). And see these reports from Boingboing [49] and the Guardian [50]

Mass Surveillance Doesn’t Protect Us From Terrorism

The main justification for spying – that it’s needed to protect us from terrorism – is false:

Mass Surveillance Makes the Internet and Computers Less Safe

Spying makes us vulnerable to hackers and other bad guys:

  • IT [61] and security [62] professionals say spying could mess up the safety of our internet and computer systems
  • For example, the Electronic Frontier Foundation notes: [63]

“By weakening encryption, the NSA allows others to more easily break it.  By installing backdoors and other vulnerabilities in systems, the NSA exposes them to other malicious hackers—whether they are foreign governments or criminals.  As security expert Bruce Schneier explained [53], ‘It’s sheer folly to believe that only the NSA can exploit the vulnerabilities they create.’”

  • The NSA’s big data collection itself creates an easy mark for hackers [64]. Remember, the Pentagon itself sees [65] the collection of “big data” as a “national security threat” … but the NSA is the biggest data collector on the planet, and thus provides a tempting mother lode of information for foreign hackers

One of the Real Reasons the Government Conducts Mass Surveillance

If the spying doesn’t keep us safe, why are they doing it? One of the main reasons is money:

“We collect this information for many important reasons: for one, it could provide the United States and our allies early warning of international financial crises which could negatively impact the global economy. It also could provide insight into other countries’ economic policy or behavior which could affect global markets.”

Bunker Mentality

The intelligence agencies have fallen into a bizarre bunker mentality:

  • As just one example of how far they’re going, the feds are considering prosecuting [74] the owner of a private email company – who shut down his business rather than turning over records to the NSA – for refusing to fork over the information [75] and keep quiet. This is a little like trying to throw someone in jail because he’s died and is no longer paying taxes
  • A Harvard law school professor – and director of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University – says [76]:

“The NSA has mounted a systematic campaign against the foundations of American power: constitutional checks and balances, technological leadership, and market entrepreneurship. The NSA scandal is no longer about privacy, or a particular violation of constitutional or legislative obligations. “.

Unconstitutional and Illegal

Not only is mass surveillance unnecessary, counter-productive in fighting terrorism and out of control, it’s also illegal:

  • We’re not talking about just a little bit illegal under American law. Top constitutional experts say that Obama and Bush are worse than Nixon [79] … and the Stasi East Germans [80]

The Danger of Tyranny

Insiders say that the mass surveillance is creating a real danger of tyranny in America:

  • The NSA treats the American people with contempt. For example, Spiegel notes [82]:

“The authors of the [NSA slides] draw a comparison with “1984,” … revealing the agency’s current view of smartphones and their users. “Who knew in 1984 that this would be Big Brother …” the authors ask, in reference to a photo of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. And commenting on photos of enthusiastic Apple customers and iPhone users, the NSA writes: “… and the zombies would be paying customers?

  • A Congressman noted that – even if a mass surveillance program is started for good purposes – it will inevitably turn into a witch hunt [92]
  • Indeed, the NSA was already spying on American Senators more than 40 years ago [99]

Whistleblowers Are Heroes

The Good News …

Fortunately, polls shows that Americans understand the reality of mass surveillance:

  • And thinks that the government has gone way too far [105] in the name of terrorism
  • Only 11% [106] of Americans trust Obama to actually do anything to rein in spying
  • A huge majority of Americans wants the director of intelligence – Clapper – prosecuted for perjury [108] (the chair of the 9/11 Commission agrees [109])

Article printed from The Big Picture: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog

URL to article: http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2013/10/government-caught-lying-about-spying-again/

URLs in this post:

[1] been caught lying: http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/07/02/national-intelligence-director-apologizes-for-lying-to-congress

[2] again: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/2/nsa-chief-figures-foiled-terror-plots-misleading/

[3] again: http://www.salon.com/2013/10/02/nsa_director_admits_to_misleading_public_on_terror_plots/singleton/

[4] again: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2013/10/nsa_storing_int.html

[5] again: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-had-test-project-to-collect-data-on-americans-cellphone-locations-director-says/2013/10/02/65076278-2b71-11e3-8ade-a1f23cda135e_story.html?hpid=z5

[6] US Government Fails Honesty Standards of 12 Year Olds: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/09/us-government-fails-honesty-standards-12-year-olds

[7] Obama is intentionally lying about spying: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/16/what_if_the_president_lied_to_us/

[8] words and deeds: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/obama-said-hell-reform-nsa-spying-should-we-believe-him.html

[9] appointed the fox: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/obama-appoints-fox-to-investigate-spying-henhouse.html

[10] guard the chicken coop: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/close-ties-between-white-house-nsa-spying-review

[11] most secretive: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/06/20/194513/obamas-crackdown-views-leaks-as.html

[12] ever: http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2013/03/11/citing-security-censor-more-public-records/6JZjnMHyHyO1hfG30x6QiO/story.html

[13] background: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/mar/14/obama-transparency-podesta-sunshine-week

[14] the most transparent administration ever: http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/283335-obama-this-is-the-most-transparent-administration-in-history

[15] everything we do: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/security-expert-the-details-matter-less-and-less-we-have-to-assume-that-the-nsa-has-everyone-who-uses-electronic-communications-under-constant-surveillance.html

[16] not just “metadata”: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/nsa-whistleblowers-nsa-collects-word-for-word-every-domestic-communication.html

[17] destroy your privacy: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/nsas-spying-on-our-metadata-violates-our-freedom-of-association.html

[18] pretend that “everything” is relevant … so it spies on everyone: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/governments-secret-interpretation-of-patriot-act-everything-is-relevant-so-spy-on-everyone.html

[19] mere claim that terrorists use the phone system is enough to show that all phone records are relevant: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130917/13395324556/court-reveals-secret-interpretation-patriot-act-allowing-nsa-to-collect-all-phone-call-data.shtml

[20] Congress: http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-06-18/opinions/40046491_1_intelligence-agencies-intelligence-programs-chris-inglis

[21] the courts: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jun/19/fisa-court-oversight-process-secrecy

[22] the executive branch: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/08/nsa-spying-three-pillars-government-trust-have-fallen

[23] this: http://www.sacbee.com/2013/06/23/5515653/editorial-secret-fisa-court-rubber.html

[24] this: http://dailycaller.com/2013/06/14/fisa-court-essentially-a-rubber-stamp-for-government-report-finds/

[25] Congress members had no idea what the NSA is doing: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/04/congress-nsa-denied-access

[26] congress members on the intelligence oversight committees: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130817/02451024219/key-loophole-allows-nsa-to-avoid-telling-congress-about-thousands-abuses.shtml

[27] they’ve been kept in the dark: http://thehill.com/blogs/hillicon-valley/technology/317371-pelosi-nsa-privacy-violations-extremely-disturbing

[28] learned more from reading newspapers than from attending classified NSA briefings: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/chairman-of-the-senate-judiciary-committee-we-get-more-info-on-nsa-spying-in-the-newspapers-than-in-classified-briefings.html

[29] says that it’s a kangaroo court: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/even-fisa-court-judge-says-its-a-kangaroo-court.html

[30] they’re out of the loop and powerless to exercise real oversight: http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/court-ability-to-police-us-spying-program-limited/2013/08/15/4a8c8c44-05cd-11e3-a07f-49ddc7417125_story.html?hpid=z1

[31] ignored them: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/19/nsa-surveillance-justice-opr-investigation/2805867/

[32] shared with : http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-most-persuasive-evidence-that-the-government-spies-on-all-americans.html

[33] federal, state and local agencies: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-admin/www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/the-most-persuasive-evidence-that-the-government-spies-on-all-americans.html

[34] intentionally “launder”: http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/08/05/us-dea-sod-idUSBRE97409R20130805

[35] vast quantities of sensitive federal data on Americans: http://nation.foxnews.com/2013/07/21/obamacare-database-worse-nsa-spying

[36] report: http://www.gao.gov/assets/660/655907.txt

[37] Israel and other foreign nations: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/11/nsa-americans-personal-data-israel-documents

[38] 25 years: http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57600982-38/dea-supplied-with-access-to-vast-database-of-at-t-phone-records/

[39] contractors: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/mass-spying-being-used-to-make-some-people-rich.html#

[40] isn’t keeping track of which contractors see your data and which don’t: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/we-have-the-technological-ability-to-keep-americans-safe-without-spying-on-everyone.html

[41] background checks regarding some contractors are falsified,: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-19/background-checks-faked-with-lax-oversight-watchdog-says.html

[42] world-wide: http://wikileaks.org/the-spyfiles.html

[43] credit card transactions: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324299104578529112289298922

[44] doing the same: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-06-30/multiple-government-agencies-are-keeping-records-your-credit-card-transactions

[45] are going to spy on Americans’ finances: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/all-u-s-intelligence-agencies-including-cia-and-nsa-to-spy-on-americans-finances.html

[46] shopping records, travel, social interactions, health records and files: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/irs-will-spy-on-our-shopping-records-travel-social-interactions-health-records-and-files-from-other-government-investigators.html

[47] directly harms internet companies, Silicon Valley, California … and the entire U.S. economy: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/nsa-spying-directly-harms-internet-companies-silicon-valley-california-and-the-entire-national-economy.html

[48] 11 millions users: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2423713/Facebook-users-committing-virtual-identity-suicide-quitting-site-droves-privacy-addiction-fears.html

[49] Boingboing: http://boingboing.net/2013/07/25/nsa-spying-may-be-harming-amer.html

[50] Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/08/nsa-revelations-fears-cloud-computing

[51] hamstringing our economy: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/lack-of-privacy-destroys-the-economy.html

[52] Top counter-terror experts say that the government’s mass spying doesn’t keep us safe : http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/the-fact-that-mass-surveillance-doesnt-keep-us-safe-goes-mainstream.html

[53] here: http://www.technologyreview.com/news/519336/bruce-schneier-nsa-spying-is-making-us-less-safe/

[54] here: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/top-security-expert-treating-everyone-like-a-potential-terrorist-weakens-our-ability-to-protect-america.html

[55] brain-eating amoeba, lightning or a toddler: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/youre-68-times-more-likely-to-be-hit-and-killed-by-lightning-than-murdered-by-a-terrorist.html

[56] you’re much less likely to be killed by terrorists than a car accident: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/president-obama-the-odds-of-dying-in-a-terrorist-attack-are-a-lot-lower-than-they-are-of-dying-in-a-car-accident.html

[57] lamer and lamer excuses: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/obama-says-we-need-mass-nsa-spying-to-count-the-horses-after-theyve-left-the-barnr.html

[58] Spying: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/newly-leaked-nsa-slide-shows-that-nsa-is-tapping-all-data-from-main-undersea-phone-and-internet-cables.html

[59] before 9/11: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/08/u-s-government-planned-indefinite-detention-of-citizens-long-before-911.html

[60] various excuses have been used to spy on Americans over the years: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/is-this-the-real-reason-for-the-government-spying-on-americans.html

[61] IT: http://www.voltage.com/company/news/press-room/pr130726-62-percent-of-employees-believe-the-government-snoops-on-their-cloud-data/

[62] security: http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/07/31/nsa-director-heckled-at-conference-as-he-asks-for-security-communitys-understanding/

[63] notes:: https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2013/10/nsa-making-us-less-safe

[64] creates an easy mark for hackers: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/another-problem-with-mass-spying-hackers-might-steal-centralized-data.html

[65] Pentagon itself sees: http://killerapps.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2013/08/12/irony_alert_pentagon_now_fears_a_big_data_national_security_threat

[66] large foreign corporations: http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130909/04383424450/latest-leak-shows-nsa-engaging-economic-espionage-not-fighting-terrorism.shtml

[67] financial payments systems: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-09-15/swift-takeover-follow-money-nsa-knows-all-about-your-spending-habits

[68] “economic” was one of the main justifications: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-08/u-s-government-spied-on-brazil-s-petrobras-globo-tv-reports.html

[69] not very reassuring: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/09/nsa-spying-brazil-oil-petrobras

[70] profit from this inside information: http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/06/how-much-are-the-nsa-and-cia-front-running-markets.html

[71] make a lot of money: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/mass-spying-being-used-to-make-some-people-rich.html

[72] worst types of lawlessness: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/why-doesnt-the-government-use-its-mass-surveillance-to-bust-bank-crimes.html

[73] NSA spying has gone way too far: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/911-commission-chairs-nsa-spying-has-gone-way-too-far.html

[74] considering prosecuting: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/13/20008036-lavabitcom-owner-i-could-be-arrested-for-resisting-surveillance-order?lite

[75] refusing to fork over the information: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2013/10/lavabit_unsealed/

[76] says: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/13/nsa-behemoth-trampling-rights

[77] no longer have a functioning democracy: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/former-president-and-commander-in-chief-america-is-no-longer-a-democracy.html

[78] the spying program is illegal: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/28/opinion/the-criminal-nsa.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

[79] worse than Nixon: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/05/top-constitutional-experts-obama-is-worse-than-nixon.html

[80] Stasi East Germans: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/12/americans-the-most-spied-on-people-in-world-history.html

[81] King George imposed on the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/nsa-spying-is-exactly-the-kind-of-thing-which-caused-the-revolutionary-war-against-king-george.html

[82] notes: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/www.spiegel.de/fotostrecke/photo-gallery-spying-on-smartphones-fotostrecke-101201.html

[83] potential terrorists: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/u-s-government-may-on-a-whim-label-any-american-a-terrorist.html

[84] see this: https://www.aclu.org/blog/national-security-technology-and-liberty/government-spying-you-aclu-releases-new-evidence

[85] external critics: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/09/critics-of-us-security-state-cant-get-visas.html

[86] high-ranking officials: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/why-didnt-snowden-go-through-proper-channels-to-blow-the-whistle.html

[87] the government called the privacy office “terrorists”: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/chief-dhs-privacy-officer-government-called-privacy-office-terrorists.html

[88] to destroy anonymity: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/google-moves-to-destroy-online-anonymity-unintentionally-helping-authoritarian-governments.html

[89] actively using it: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/08/is-government-just-spying-like-a-passive-peeping-tom-or-is-it-mischievously-using-that-information.html

[90] central in assassination programs: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/nsa-central-to-u-s-assassination-program.html

[91] joked about assassinating Edward Snowden: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/03/edward-snowden-kill-list-joke-us-intelligence-chiefs

[92] turn into a witch hunt: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/congressmen-nsa-spying-illegal-subject-to-abuse-like-the-star-chamber.html

[93] see for yourself: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/crazy-laws.html

[94] always find evidence that everyone has broken some law or another: https://www.creators.com/opinion/judge-napolitano/government-looking-for-witches-will-find-them.html

[95] frame you if someone in government happens to take a dislike to you: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/top-spying-experts-even-good-people-should-oppose-spying-because-if-someone-in-government-takes-a-dislike-to-you-the-surveillance-can-be-used-to-frame-you.html

[96] always focused on crushing dissent … not on keeping us safe: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/government-spying-has-always-focused-on-crushing-dissent-not-on-keeping-us-safe.html

[97] the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top government officials and military officers: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/nsa-whistleblower-nsa-spying-on-and-blackmailing-high-level-government-officials-and-military-officers.html

[98] see this: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/nsa-whistleblower-nsa-spyed-on-to-gain-leverage-general-petraeus-and-other-generals-supreme-court-justice-alito-and-all-of-the-other-supreme-court-justices-and-the-white-house-s.html

[99] 40 years ago: http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/09/25/it_happened_here_NSA_spied_on_senators_1970s

[100] warned for 40 years that mass surveillance would lead to tyranny in America: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/top-experts-have-warned-for-50-years-that-mass-surveillance-would-lead-to-tyranny-in-america.html

[101] Executive, Legislative and Judicial: http://www.theatlanticwire.com/politics/2013/09/its-official-every-branch-government-endorses-debate-over-nsa-surveillance/69407/

[102] revealing NSA spying programs does not harm national security: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/top-counter-terrorism-czar-revealing-nsa-spying-program-doesnt-harm-national-security.html

[103] considered a hero by the American public: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/07/snowden-is-a-traitor-to-the-political-elite-but-a-hero-to-the-american-people.html

[104] doesn’t believe the NSA: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/the-public-doesnt-believe-the-nsa-knows-whats-really-going-on-with-mass-spying.html

[105] gone way too far: http://www.people-press.org/files/2013/07/Govt-Anti-Terror-Policies-Have-Copy.png

[106] Only 11%: http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/august_2013/just_11_think_nsa_less_likely_now_to_monitor_phone_calls_of_innocent_americans

[107] agree: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/nsa-reform-fire-officials-lied

[108] prosecuted for perjury: http://www.salon.com/2013/08/15/huge_majority_wants_clapper_prosecuted_for_perjury/

[109] agrees: http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/09/911-commission-chair-director-of-intelligence-james-clapper-should-be-indicted-for-perjury-about-nsa-spying.html

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