Edward Snowden exposes National Security Agency domestic surveillance

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by The Wrong Guy, Jun 5, 2013.

  1. meep meep Member

    Deserves it's own thread IMHO
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  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    NSA fears prompt Germany to end Verizon contract | The Associated Press

    The German government is ending a contract with Verizon over fears the company could be letting U.S. intelligence agencies eavesdrop on sensitive communications, officials said Thursday.

    The New York-based company has for years provided Internet services to a number of government departments, although not to German security agencies, said Interior Ministry spokesman Tobias Plate.

    While Germany had been reconsidering those contracts for some time, they faced additional scrutiny after former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed the extent of electronic eavesdropping by the U.S. intelligence agency and Britain's GCHQ.

    German authorities were particularly irked by reports that the NSA had targeted Chancellor Angela Merkel. Berlin has also proposed building more secure networks in Europe to avoid having to rely on American Internet companies that manage much of the electronic traffic circulating the globe.

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  3. laughingsock Member

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  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    For those of us who don't want to log in at the New York Times site, here's that article on another site:

    Sky Isn’t Falling After Leaks by Snowden, NSA Chief Says

    The newly installed director of the National Security Agency says that while he has seen some terrorist groups alter their communications to avoid surveillance techniques revealed by Edward J. Snowden, the damage done overall by a year of revelations does not lead him to the conclusion that “the sky is falling.”

    In an hourlong interview Friday in his office here at the heart of the country’s electronic eavesdropping and cyber operations, Adm. Michael S. Rogers, who has now run the beleaguered spy agency and the military’s Cyber Command for just short of three months, described the series of steps he was taking to ensure that no one could download the trove of data that Snowden gathered — more than 1 million documents.

    But he cautioned that there was no perfect protection against a dedicated insider with access to the agency’s networks.

    “Am I ever going to sit here and say as the director that with 100 percent certainty no one can compromise our systems from the inside?” he asked. “Nope. Because I don’t believe that in the long run.”

    The crucial change, he said, is to “ensure that the volume” of data taken by Snowden, a former agency contractor, “can’t be stolen again.” But the Defense Department, of which the security agency and Cyber Command are a part, made the same vow in 2010, after an Army private, Chelsea Manning, downloaded hundreds of thousands of secret State Department and Pentagon files and released them to WikiLeaks.

    Notable in his comments was an absence of alarmism about the long-term effects of the Snowden revelations. Like former Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates, who urged colleagues in the Obama administration to calm down about the WikiLeaks revelations in 2010, Rogers seemed to suggest that, as technology progressed, the agency would find new ways to compensate for the damage done, however regrettable the leaks.

    He repeated past warnings that the agency had overheard terrorist groups “specifically referencing data detailed” by Snowden’s revelations. “I have seen groups not only talk about making changes, I have seen them make changes,” he said.

    But he then added: “You have not heard me as the director say, ‘Oh, my God, the sky is falling.’ I am trying to be very specific and very measured in my characterizations.”

    His tone was in contrast to that of some politicians and intelligence professionals, including his immediate predecessor, Gen. Keith B. Alexander, who described in stark terms the risks to U.S. and allied national security from the revelations, calling it “the greatest damage to our combined nations’ intelligence systems that we have ever suffered.”

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  5. The Wrong Guy Member

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  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Court gave NSA broad leeway in surveillance, documents show | The Washington Post

    Virtually no foreign government is off-limits for the National Security Agency, which has been authorized to intercept information from individuals “concerning” all but four countries on Earth, according to top-secret documents.

    The United States has long had broad no-spying arrangements with those four countries — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand — in a group known collectively with the United States as the Five Eyes. But a classified 2010 legal certification and other documents indicate the NSA has been given a far more elastic authority than previously known, one that allows it to intercept through U.S. companies not just the communications of its overseas targets, but any communications about its targets as well.

    The certification — approved by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and included among a set of documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowdenlists 193 countries that would be of valid interest for U.S. intelligence. The certification also permitted the agency to gather intelligence about entities such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency, among others.

    The NSA is not necessarily targeting all the countries or organizations identified in the certification, affidavits and an accompanying exhibit; it has only been given authority to do so. Still, the privacy implications are far-reaching, civil liberties advocates say, because of the wide spectrum of people who might be engaged in communication about foreign governments and entities and whose communications might be of interest to the United States.

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  7. The Wrong Guy Member

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  8. The Wrong Guy Member

    Is NSA Surveillance Mastermind Keith Alexander Selling US Secrets to Wall Street? | VICE

    By Matt Taylor

    Perhaps you already assume that there's some kind of twisted marriage between Wall Street megabanks and the US global surveillance regime. Why wouldn't there be? But not even a total cynic could have anticipated spymaster Keith Alexander cashing in this hard, this fast.

    As Bloomberg recently reported, the former National Security Agency chief, who resigned in March at the age of 62, quickly offered his cyber-security expertise at the eye-popping price of $1 million per month to an assortment of shady business lobbies. And now at least one member of Congress is probing this most delightfully dystopian of arrangements, raising the possibility that Alexander will be shamed out of the practice, if nothing else.

    “Disclosing or misusing classified information for profit is, as Mr. Alexander well knows, a felony. I question how Mr. Alexander can provide any of the services he is offering unless he discloses or misuses classified information, including extremely sensitive sources and methods,” Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson wrote one of the business groups, the Security Industries and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which holds it down for Wall Street in Washington. “Without the classified information that he acquired in his former position, he literally would have nothing to offer to you.”

    In an interview Monday, Grayson was even more strident in his criticism.

    "Frankly, what the general is doing is beginning to resemble an extortion racket," he told me. "This is a man who basically lied for a living, and he continues to do that."

    To be clear, what's uniquely outrageous about Alexander, who has apparently lowered his asking price to $600,000, is not that he is a former US official dangling his alleged expertise and the allure of privileged access to government officials before Wall Street. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who served under Barack Obama and is the odds-on favorite to succeed him, does this all the time, usually at rate of about $250,000 a pop. (Indeed, one might argue that the very fact she has managed to do so while enjoying a stellar national reputation is what signaled to Alexander he might as well dive headlong through the revolving door.) But the former NSA head presumably knows things about sophisticated intelligence-gathering practices that very, very few people on Earth have been privy to—information that could be useful in the private sector, which has a tendency to collude with the military in ways that made former President and World War II General Dwight Eisenhower very sad.

    "What could he possibly have that's worth $1 million a month other than classified information?" wonders Melanie Sloan, founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a good government group. "That's more than former presidents make." Indeed, even former President Bill Clinton, whose corruption since leaving office is by now the stuff of legend, doesn't have the gall to ask for that much per gig. There's a sort of "fuck it!" attitude to what Alexander is doing, seemingly kicking sand in the face of everyone angry at his surveillance regime by getting paid to reflect on the experience of assembling it.

    More ominously, there's the prospect that Alexander, whether deliberately or otherwise, may have left behind vulnerabilities while running the NSA so as to put himself in prime position to effectively hold the banks hostage now. Certainly, there have been reports suggesting the agency was aware of some vulnerabilities it either could or did not address.

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  9. The Wrong Guy Member

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  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exclusive: WikiLeaks Editor Sarah Harrison on Helping Edward Snowden, Being Forced to Live in Exile

    In the latest revelations from documents leaked by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Washington Post has revealed the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court secretly gave the National Security Agency sweeping power to intercept information "concerning" all but four countries around the world. A classified 2010 document lists 193 countries that would be of valid interest for U.S. intelligence. Only four were protected from NSA spying — Britain, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The NSA was also given permission to gather intelligence about the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency.

    As we broadcast from Bonn, Germany, we are joined by Sarah Harrison, investigative editor of WikiLeaks, who accompanied Snowden on his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow last June. She now lives in exile in Germany because she fears being prosecuted if she returns to her home country, the United Kingdom.

    Harrison describes why she chose to support Snowden, ultimately spending 39 days with him in the transit zone of an airport in Moscow, then assisting him in his legal application to 21 countries for asylum, and remaining with him for about three more months after Russia granted him temporary asylum. She has since founded the Courage Foundation.

    "For future Snowdens, we want to show there is an organization that will do what we did for Snowden — as much as possible — in raising money for legal defense and public advocacy for whistleblowers so they know if they come forward there is a support group for them," Harrison says.

    Video and transcript:
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  11. The Wrong Guy Member

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  12. The Wrong Guy Member

    Trevor Timm @trevortimm · 2h
    NSA says it has no idea how much US info it collects, but FBI searches for it so much it can't count how many times.

    The surveillance state can't even keep track of how many people it's spying on anymore. Time to close the loopholes

    A government authorized to search innocent people. Multiple agencies seeking a backdoor into your data. It's all coming to a head – and internal reports aren't going to cut it.

    The blowback against the National Security Agency has long focused on the unpopular Patriot Act surveillance program that allows the NSA to vacuum up billions of US phone records each year. But after a rush of attention this week, some much deserved focus is back on the surveillance state's other seemingly limitless program: the warrantless searches made possible by Section 702 of the Fisa Amendments Act, which allows the NSA to do all sorts of spying on Americans and people around the world – all for reasons that, in most cases, have nothing to do with terrorism.
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Exposing the secrets of unaccountable power | Press releases |

    According to WikiLeaks journalist Sarah Harrison, the U.S., with the help of its partners and allies, has constructed "a huge global intelligence, diplomatic and military net that tries to see all, know all, govern all, decide all. It reaches all, and yet it is acting without impunity. This is the greatest unaccountable power of today – the United States and our Western democracies." Speaking at the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum in Bonn, Germany, Harrison says that over the past few years, WikiLeaks has done a lot of work "to expose this system," and that one of "the things that scares this unaccountable power the most is the amount of source documents that we do produce."

    According to Harrison, U.S. politicians, backed by mainstream media, have gone to great lengths to demonize WikiLeaks for publishing source documents, such as secret information provided by Edward Snowden about the U.S. National Security Agency's global surveillance program. Harrison defended WikiLeaks' methods, saying, "The information that we released has helped stop wars. It has enabled people to have court cases, helped start a revolution."

    She urged people to question the political rhetoric used against journalists. Addressing the conference participants, including journalists from around the world, Harrison said, "We have to just question the words and actions taken by power, just for exposing the truth. If we don't, we’re just allowing the perpetuation of this unaccountable power. And all journalists must do this."

    Sarah Harrison said no media organization should allow power to go unchecked. "If you're really speaking truth to power, and speaking it loudly, it will bite back. That's when you know you have really exposed the secrets that they wanted to keep hidden."


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  14. A.O.T.F Member

    I would cup her little face in my hands, and give her the most massive, warmest of hugs, for what she is doing, and for what she has done.

    You're on a roll, TWG. As always. Thank You :)
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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Germany summons US ambassador over spy allegations | TheHill

    Germany summoned the U.S. ambassador on Friday after the arrest of a man who had reportedly spied for the United States, fueling tensions that had already intensified over alleged U.S. eavesdropping.

    U.S. Ambassador John Emerson was called "in connection with an investigation by the federal prosecutor," the German Foreign Ministry said in a statement. Emerson “was asked to help in the swift clarification" of the case.”

    The German federal prosecutor said a 31-year-old German had been arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of working for foreign intelligence agencies, according to news reports.


    The worker initially raised suspicions because he apparently tried to contact Russian spies, but then told investigators he had been passing information to U.S. intelligence, the Wall Street Journal reported.

    But the suspicions were serious enough that Chancellor Angela Merkel was informed on Thursday and select members of parliament were briefed. German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters that Chancellor Angela Merkel been personally informed of the arrest.

    "This is a very serious development," a spokesman for Merkel said. "The government will now await the conclusions of the federal prosecutor and federal criminal police's investigation."

    German newspapers reported that the man was suspected of passing on information about a German parliamentary committee investigating the activities of U.S. and other intelligence agencies in Germany. He claimed to have worked with U.S. intelligence since 2012, they reported.

    Reports that the National Security Agency spied on Germans, including Merkel's cellphone, have created friction between Berlin and Washington since the reports based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden came out last year.
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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · 23h
    Dear Ed: You should come back to the US just because I want there to be a real and healthy debate. With sincerity, Hillary

    Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · 4h
    Here's what happens to people in the intelligence community when they use "proper procedures" to disclose information.
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  17. The Wrong Guy Member

    Germany urges U.S. to explain suspected 'double agent' case | Reuters

    The German government wants a quick and clear explanation from Washington for U.S. intelligence's apparent contact with a German man arrested last week on suspicion of being a double agent, the Interior Minister said in a newspaper interview.

    "I expect everyone to cooperate promptly to clear up these allegations - with quick and clear comments from the United States as well," Thomas de Maiziere told Bild newspaper, according to excerpts of its Monday edition.

    The White House and State Department have so far declined to comment on the arrest of a 31-year-old employee of Germany's BND foreign intelligence agency, who admits passing documents to a U.S. contact, according to intelligence and political sources.


    After the Snowden revelations, Berlin demanded Washington agree to a "no-spy agreement" but the United States has been unwilling to make such a commitment. German officials also emphasise that they rely on intelligence from U.S. agencies.
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  18. laughingsock Member

    Ordinary Internet users, American and non-American alike, far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks, according to a four-month investigation by The Washington Post.

    Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets but were caught in a net the agency had cast for somebody else.
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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    The Intercept @the_intercept · 2h
    Keith Alexander sowing panic among financiers, intending to reap:
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  20. The Wrong Guy Member

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  21. The Wrong Guy Member

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  22. Anonymous Member

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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Glenn Greenwald @ggreenwald · 7m
    One big reason so many abusive government practices over last decade were tolerated is many media figures think it's not them who are targeted.
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  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Releasing a Public Domain Image of the NSA's Utah Data Center | Electronic Frontier Foundation


    When EFF joined with a coalition of partners to fly an airship over the NSA's Utah Data Center, the goal was to emphasize the need for accountability in the NSA spying debate. In particular, we wanted to point people to our new Stand Against Spying scorecard for lawmakers. But while we were up there, we got a remarkable and unusual view.

    Today, continuing in the spirit of transparency and building on earlier efforts to shed some light on the physical spaces the US intelligence community has constructed, we're releasing a photograph of the Utah Data Center into the public domain, completely free of copyright and other restrictions. That means it can be used for any purpose — copied, edited, or even sold — online or in print, with or without attribution to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. We hope that making such an image available will help support conversations about the actions of the NSA.

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Berlin tells CIA station chief to leave in spy scandal | Reuters

    Germany told the CIA station chief in Berlin to leave the country on Thursday in a dramatic display of anger from Chancellor Angela Merkel at the behaviour of a close ally after officials unearthed two suspected U.S. spies.

    The scandal has chilled relations with Washington to levels not seen since Merkel's predecessor opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. It follows allegations that Merkel herself, who grew up in Stasi-ridden East Germany, was among thousands of Germans whose mobile phones have been bugged by American agents.

    "Spying on allies ... is a waste of energy," the chancellor said in her most pointed public remarks yet on the issue. "We have so many problems, we should focus on the important things."

    Senior conservative supporters denounced U.S. "stupidity" and some Americans said spying on their friends had backfired.

    "In the Cold War maybe there was general mistrust. Today we are living in the 21st century. Today there are completely new threats," Merkel said in Berlin, once a key CIA listening post behind the Iron Curtain during the superpower duel with Moscow and now the reunited capital of Europe's most powerful economy.

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    Germany to spy on US for first time since 1945 after ‘double agent’ scandal | The Independent
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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Newly Obtained Emails Contradict Administration Claims on Guardian Laptop Destruction

    By Glenn Greenwald, The Intercept

    On July 20, 2013, agents of the U.K. government entered The Guardian newsroom in London and compelled them to physically destroy the computers they were using to report on the Edward Snowden archive. The Guardian reported this a month later after my partner, David Miranda, was detained at Heathrow Airport for 11 hours under a British terrorism law and had all of his electronic equipment seized. At the time, the Obama administration — while admitting that it was told in advance of the Heathrow detention — pretended that it knew nothing about the forced laptop destruction and would never approve of such attacks on press freedom.


    But emails just obtained by Associated Press pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act request (FOIA) prove that senior Obama national security officials — including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and then-NSA chief Keith Alexander — not only knew in advance that U.K. officials intended to force The Guardian to destroy their computers, but overtly celebrated it.

    More at
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  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    NSA Spying: Now It's Personal | Electronic Frontier Foundation

    Imagine that you watched a police officer in your neighborhood stop ten completely ordinary people every day just to take a look inside their vehicle or backpack. Now imagine that nine of those people are never even accused of a crime. They just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Even the most law-abiding person would eventually protest this treatment. In fact—they have.1

    Now replace police officers with the NSA. The scenario above is what the NSA is doing with our communications, under cover of its twisted interpretation of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. The Washington Post has revealed that "Nine of 10 account holders found in a large cache of intercepted conversations, which former NSA contractor Edward Snowden provided in full to The Post, were not the intended surveillance targets." Additionally, “[n]early half of the surveillance files, a strikingly high proportion, contained names, e-mail addresses or other details that the NSA marked as belonging to U.S. citizens or residents.”

    The thousands of pages of documents that provide that basis for the article are not raw content. Rather, as Barton Gellman, one of the authors of the article states in a follow up published several days later states: “Everything in the sample we analyzed had been evaluated by NSA analysts in Hawaii, pulled from the agency’s central repositories and minimized by hand after automated efforts to screen out U.S. identities.”

    What that means is that if you’re on the Internet, you’re in the NSA’s neighborhood—whether you are in the U.S. or not. And like those who protest unjust policies like stop and frisk in their cities, you should be protesting this treatment.


    The good news is, we can do something. Take action now. Go to and see how your elected representative stacks up when it comes to reforming the NSA, tweet at them, and send a letter to President Obama urging him to use his executive authority to reform the NSA now. You can also take action by contacting lawmakers here. If you are overseas, you can sign the letter to President Obama. You can also endorse the Necessary and Proportionate principles. Take back the Internet.
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  29. A.O.T.F Member

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  30. Anonymous Member

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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

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  32. A.O.T.F Member

    NSA whistleblower says it 'defies belief'

    No surprises there, when we have a prime minister and a Tory government living in fucking LA LA LAND.
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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

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  34. Quentinanon Member

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  35. laughingsock Member

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  36. DeathHamster Member

    *sigh* The retards probably send an email with a tracking image embedded.

    So old, so lame.
    (Then again, it probably works with a lot of people.)
  37. The Wrong Guy Member

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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Journalists will face jail over spy leaks under new security laws | The Guardian

    Australian journalists could face prosecution and jail for reporting Snowden-style revelations about certain spy operations, in an “outrageous” expansion of the government’s national security powers, leading criminal lawyers have warned.

    A bill presented to parliament on Wednesday by the attorney general, George Brandis, would expand the powers of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (Asio), including creation of a new offence punishable by five years in jail for “any person” who disclosed information relating to “special intelligence operations”.
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  39. The Wrong Guy Member

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