Posts filed under “War/Defense”

White House Panel Slams NSA, Says Mass Spying Is Unnecessary

Even Commission Which Obama Created Says We Should Rein In the NSA … and Shouldn’t Blindly Trust Government

 

The White House panel on NSA spying released its report today, slamming mass surveillance and vindicating what critics have been saying all along.

Specifically, the commission set up by President Obama – formally known as the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies – found (page 104):

Our review suggests that the information contributed to terrorist investigations by the use of section 215 telephony meta-data was not essential to preventing attacks and could readily have been obtained in a timely manner using conventional section 215 orders.

In other words, sucking up every American’s metadata is unnecessary.

The panel recommends that National Security Letters be reviewed by a real court before being approved (page 93):

The panel further warns that unchecked spying always leads to abuses (page 114):

We cannot discount the risk, in light of the lessons of our own history, that at some point in the future, high-level government officials will decide that this massive database of  extraordinarily sensitive private information is there for the plucking. Americans must never make the mistake of wholly “trusting” our public officials. As the Church Committee observed more than 35 years ago, when the capacity of government to collect massive amounts of data about individual Americans was still in its infancy, the “massive centralization of . . . information creates a temptation to use it for improper purposes, threatens to ‘chill’ the exercise of First Amendment rights, and is inimical to the privacy of citizens.”

Background.

And the Commission says that the government should stop industrial espionage … and undertake manipulation of financial systems (page 221):

(1) Governments should not use surveillance to steal industry secrets to advantage their domestic industry;

(2) Governments should not use their offensive cyber capabilities to change the amounts held in financial accounts or otherwise manipulate the financial systems ….

Indeed, economic advantage has always been one of the main reasons for spying.

As one of the commissioners – former counter-terrorism czar Richard Clarke – told the New York Times, the government shouldn’t do things just because they can:

Just because we can doesn’t mean we should.

The 9/11 Commission chairs agree.

As Senator Patrick Leahy said today on the Senate floor:

The message is very clear. The message to the NSA is now coming from every branch of government, from every corner of our nation, ‘NSA you have gone too far.’ [The report says] what many of us have been saying, that just because we can collect massive amounts of data doesn’t mean we should do so.

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Former NSA Official: “We Are Now In A Police State”

32-year NSA Veteran Who Created Mass Surveillance System Says Government Use of Data Gathered Through Spying “Is a Totalitarian Process” Bill Binney is the high-level NSA executive who created the agency’s mass surveillance program for digital information.  A 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, Binney was the senior technical director…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Federal Judge Strikes Down NSA’s Bulk Metadata Program

“I Cannot Imagine a More ‘Indiscriminate’ and ‘Arbitrary Invasion’ Than This Systematic and High-Tech Collection and Retention of Personal Data On Virtually Every Single Citizen” ~~~ “The Government Does Not Cite A Single Instance In Which Analysis Of The NSA’s Bulk Metadata Collection Actually Stopped An Imminent Attack” A federal court has just struck down…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

60 Minutes: NSA speaks out on Snowden, spying

The NSA gives unprecedented access to the agency’s HQ and, for the first time, explains what it does and what it says it doesn’t do: spy on Americans

Inside the NSA

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The Snowden Affair

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How did 60 Minutes get cameras into a spy agency?

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Category: Video, War/Defense

NSA’s “Lone Wolf” Justification for Mass Spying

All of the Chairs of the 9/11 Commission and the Congressional Investigation Into 9/11 Say It’s “Implausible” that the 9/11 Hijackers Acted Without Government Backing. The NSA’s main justification for Constitution-shredding mass surveillance on all Americans is 9/11. In reality: Top security experts say that mass spying interferes with U.S. counter-terror efforts (more here and…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

The NSA is Coming to Town

Yes, NSA spying is real.

Category: Humor, War/Defense, Weekend

How the NSA is tracking people right now

Source: Washington Post

Category: Digital Media, Legal, War/Defense

Cover Your Webcam With a Post-It Note

Protect Yourself from Big Brother

We noted in June that the single most important thing you can do to protect yourself from government spying is to realize that the NSA can turn on your cellphone or laptop’s videocamera and microphone without you knowing. And see this.

Now that even the Washington Post reported that your webcam can be remotely activated and you won’t even know it’s on, awareness of this vulnerability has gone viral.

To give you an idea of how mainstream this concern is going, Mashable’s Lance Ulanoff made a short video to show you how to use a post-it to block your webcam (duct tape works, but leaves a sticky mess on your laptop if you ever want to take it off to start using your webcam):

 
Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Logo For US Spy Satellite Similar To American Depiction of Communism

The New Logo For the US Spy Satellite From the National Reconnaissance Office Is Eerily Similar To American Depiction of Communism In the 1950s Jon Schwartz notes: New logo for US spy satellite from National Reconnaissance Office is weirdly similar to anti-communist propaganda:   The National Reconnaissance Office is one of the “big five” U.S….Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense

Governments Admit They Carry Out False Flag Terror

Governments from around the world admit they carry out false flag terror: A major with the Nazi SS admitted at the Nuremberg trials that – under orders from the chief of the Gestapo – he and some other Nazi operatives faked attacks on their own people and resources which they blamed on the Poles, to…Read More

Category: Think Tank, War/Defense