Tuesday, March 31, 2015

All of the Ways Big Brother Is Watching You

Ridiculous Ruling In Ireland Requires ISP To Kick Those Accused (Not Convicted) Of File Sharing Off The Internet

There just seems to be something about the way that some people's brains function (or not) when the word "piracy" is introduced. Over in Ireland, there's been an incredibly long running battle over whether or not internet access providers need to kick people off the internet if they've been accused (not convicted) of file sharing three times. Such "three strikes" rules have been put in place in a few countries, and the evidence shows that they don't work at all. Not even in the slightest. They don't slow down the rates of piracy for any extended period of time (sometimes they show a very brief drop before people figure out other ways). They certainly don't lead more people to buy content. France, famously, led the way with the very first three strikes law, which the country has already dropped.

Over in Ireland, the fight over three strikes has been going on for nearly a decade. Back in 2008, the recording industry sued Eircom, the large Irish ISP, claiming that the company was required by law to implement a three strikes regime. Eventually, in an effort to avoid legal costs, Eircom caved and agreed to implement a three strikes plan, but with a condition: the recording industry also had to pressure competing ISPs to implement a similar plan so that Eircom customers didn't go fleeing. The recording industry did just that. The ISPs pushed back and seemed to be vindicated when the Irish Data Protection Commission ruled that a three strikes plan violated consumer privacy, and Irish judges found no legal basis for such rules.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150328/06520230467/ridiculous-ruling-ireland-requires-isp-to-kick-those-accused-not-convicted-file-sharing-off-internet.shtml

Congressmen Speak Out On Obama's Saudi Arabia 911 Cover-up, Declassify The 28 Pages

In this video Luke Rudkowski interviews Congressman Walter Jones and Congressman Thomas Massie on releasing the 28 pages from the 9/11 Report that prove who actually sponsored the terrorist attack. Obama has promised 9/11 victims family members that he would release this report but due to what's happening with the U.S and Saudi Arabia the report is still kept secret from the general public.

http://wearechange.org/
http://28pages.org/

Israel Set To Become First Nation To Be Fully RFID Chipped

Several years ago, Israel unveiled plans to gather and collect biometric information on all of its citizens. Proposing that it wants to use the system to help “protect citizens” from identify theft and more, all citizens are being encouraged to get involved in the central biometric database. The pilot program asked citizens to voluntarily hand over a scan of their faces and fingerprints. Once the information scanned gets stored in the system, it would then become available to the military, police, and security forces, without them having to get a court order. The plan was to try out the program first and then to determine later whether or not it was going to become compulsory. “Every person who uses Facebook, or social networks, [they give] away biometric information. [When we tag] photos, we give away our locations, we give our biometric information to private companies and no one thinks it's a big deal. For some reason there is a bad reaction when it's the state, but the state will use this information to protect us, so we need to take this into consideration. ” Said Gabi Siboni, Director of the Military and Strategic Affairs Program. However, his assumption that the government is going to use it to “protect us” doesn't hold much weight, when you consider the fact that the only tool that the government has at its disposal is violence (force), and it has shown on repeated occasion that it wont think twice before violating the natural rights of its citizens. Despite the push from sympathizers of the project, there has fortunately been plenty of backlash to it. When they first unveiled the RFID system, the public was rightly outraged and very critical of the endeavor. Currently, millions of dollars are being funneled into designing RFID systems and tools, and pushing for this technology not only in Israel, but around the world.

http://pressfortruth.ca/top-stories/israel-set-become-first-nation-be-fully-rfid-chipped/

PENTAGON PERSONNEL NOW TALKING ON 'NSA-PROOF' SMARTPHONES

The Defense Department has rolled out supersecret smartphones for work and maybe play, made by anti-government-surveillance firm Silent Circle, according to company officials.

Silent Circle, founded by a former Navy Seal and the inventor of privacy-minded PGP encryption, is known for decrying federal efforts to bug smartphones. And for its spy-resistant “blackphone.”

Apparently, troops don’t like busybodies either. As part of limited trials, U.S. military personnel are using the device, encrypted with secret code down to its hardware, to communicate “for both unclassified and classified” work, Silent Circle chairman Mike Janke told Nextgov.

http://www.nextgov.com/cybersecurity/2015/03/pentagon-personnel-are-talking-nsa-proof-smartphones/108820/

Monday, March 30, 2015

CIA Secret Experiments - National Geographic Documentary (2008)

It's the height of the Cold War and the United States government is desperate to combat the spread of Communism. The CIA launches a highly classified, top secret research program into the covert use of biological and chemical agents. In simulated attacks on enemy populations, entire cities in America are contaminated with bacteria, exposing millions of Americans to germ warfare. But the real focus of the research is on mastering the art of mind control. Psychiatrists at top academic institutions work under secret contract with the agency. Psychiatric patients, prisoners, even unwitting members of the public are exposed to a startling array of experiments designed to facilitate interrogations, induce amnesia and program in new behavior. Every psychological technique is explored, including hypnosis, electroshock therapy and lethal cocktails of drugs. What was the extent of these brainwashing experiments? How did the CIA become involved in such far-reaching and disturbing research?

US Used Zero-Day Exploits Before It Had Policies for Them

AROUND THE SAME time the US and Israel were already developing and unleashing Stuxnet on computers in Iran, using five zero-day exploits to get the digital weapon onto machines there, the government realized it needed a policy for how it should handle zero-day vulnerabilities, according to a new document obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The document, found among a handful of heavily redacted pages released after the civil liberties group sued the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to obtain them, sheds light on the backstory behind the development of the government’s zero-day policy and offers some insight into the motivations for establishing it. What the documents don’t do, however, is provide support for the government’s assertions that it discloses the “vast majority” of zero-day vulnerabilities it discovers instead of keeping them secret and exploiting them.

http://www.wired.com/2015/03/us-used-zero-day-exploits-policies/

EXCLUSIVE: Bernard Kerik on Rudy Giuliani abandoning their friendship, rebuffing his own goddaughter amid legal woes

In his forthcoming memoir due out Tuesday, “From Jailer to Jailed,” Bernard Kerik tells the story of his fall from city correction and police commissioner to federal prison inmate, sentenced to four years after being convicted of tax and false statement charges. In this exclusive excerpt, a bitter Kerik recalls how for years he was as close as family to Rudy Giuliani, but once his legal troubles began — before he was sentenced and served his time at federal prison in Cumberland, Md. — Kerik was cast aside.

http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/exclusive-kerik-giuliani-pals-legal-troubles-article-1.2165777

Don’t See Evil: Google’s Boycott Campaign Against War Photography and Alternative Media

What happens when a dynamic company, started by a couple of idealistic friends in grad school, succeeds so wildly that it becomes a mega-corporation that pervades the lives of hundreds of millions? In imperial America, it would seem, it eventually becomes corrupted, even captured. Tragically, that seems to be the unfolding story of Google.

https://medium.com/@DanSanchezV/don-t-see-evil-148ae18bc9fe

Friday, March 27, 2015

Benghazi chairman: Clinton wiped private email server ‘clean’

The head of the House Select Committee on Benghazi says former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has erased all information from the personal email server she used while serving as the nation’s top diplomat.

“We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server,” Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) said in a statement Friday.

He said while it’s “not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.”

Last week, Gowdy sent a letter to Clinton’s attorney asking that the email server be turned over to a third party in the hopes that an investigation could recover about 30,000 emails that her team deleted before turning the rest over to the State Department.

Gowdy said "it is clear Congress will need to speak with the former Secretary about her email arrangement and the decision to permanently delete those emails."

http://thehill.com/policy/defense/237276-benghazi-panel-chairman-clinton-wiped-private-email-server-clean

FBI Pleads For Crypto Subversion in Congressional Budget Hearing

In a House Appropriations subcommittee hearing this morning on the FBI budget for the upcoming fiscal year, FBI Director James Comey was again critical of new encryption features from Apple and Google that he claims would make it impossible for law enforcement to access the contents of mobile device communications.

This is not the first time the U.S. law enforcement and intelligence-gathering community has aired this complaint. Last month, NSA director Mike Rogers hit similar talking points at a New America Foundation event in D.C., calling on Congress to draft legislation providing a legal framework accessing encrypted communications. Comey claimed encryption was leading us to “a very, very dark place” in October of last year. The concerns follow announcements from Apple and Google that they deployed encryption for which not even they had the keys back in October.

https://threatpost.com/fbi-pleads-for-crypto-subversion-in-congressional-budget-hearing/111860

EXCLUSIVE: STINGRAY MAKER ASKED FCC TO BLOCK RELEASE OF SPY GEAR MANUAL

The Florida-based manufacturer of computer hardware and communications equipment used by government agencies attempted to block the public release of documents last year related to a once-secret cellphone surveillance device distributed to federal, state and local law enforcement.

In an October 2014 letter sent to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Harris Corporation executive Tania Hanna asked the agency to withhold documents related to its StingRay and KingFish surveillance equipment from public disclosure because the records contained “trade secrets” and information about “law enforcement techniques.”

Harris argued the documents sought — user manuals requested by TheBlot Magazine under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) — qualified for exemption because the documents had previously been kept secret in criminal cases.

TheBlot filed the FOIA request with the FCC last September. A heavily redacted copy of a 2010 user manual covering both StingRay and KingFish devices was delivered by the FCC last week and is being published here for the first time.

http://www.theblot.com/exclusive-stingray-maker-asked-fcc-to-block-release-of-spy-gear-manual-7739514?2

Major coup for AE9/11Truth – American Institute of Architects green lights Building 7 vote

Sometimes it really pays to be persistent.

That’s what Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth found out this week when the organization achieved something truly remarkable. It succeeded in getting a commitment from the largest association of architects in the U.S. to debate and vote on a resolution supporting an investigation into the destruction of World Trade Center Building 7 on Sept. 11, 2001.

The vote will take place at the annual convention of the American Institute of Architects, May 14-16, in Atlanta, GA. (If you’re not sure how much of a big deal this convention is, the keynote speaker is former president Bill Clinton.)

After several failed attempts to get the AIA to even consider looking into Building 7, AE tried a different approach in early 2015. Instead of simply appealing to the AIA leadership, they used the organization’s own rules to create a resolution that, pending approval by the AIA resolution committee, would come to the floor of the convention where it would be debated and voted on by delegates.

That approval came this week. The committee made only minor changes to the resolution so that it conformed to AIA style. The substance remained unchanged.

“We’re ecstatic about this,” says AE9/11Truth founder Richard Gage, who will be attending the convention with a team from the organization.

https://truthandshadows.wordpress.com/2015/03/26/aia-green-lights-building-7-vote/

WikiLeaks Releases Secret Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP)

WikiLeaks releases today the "Investment Chapter" from the secret negotiations of the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) agreement. The document adds to the previous WikiLeaks publications of the chapters for Intellectual Property Rights (November 2013) and the Environment (January 2014).

The TPP Investment Chapter, published today, is dated 20 January 2015. The document is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks editor said: "The TPP has developed in secret an unaccountable supranational court for multinationals to sue states. This system is a challenge to parliamentary and judicial sovereignty. Similar tribunals have already been shown to chill the adoption of sane environmental protection, public health and public transport policies."

Current TPP negotiation member states are the United States, Japan, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Malaysia, Chile, Singapore, Peru, Vietnam, New Zealand and Brunei. The TPP is the largest economic treaty in history, including countries that represent more than 40 per cent of the world´s GDP.

The Investment Chapter highlights the intent of the TPP negotiating parties, led by the United States, to increase the power of global corporations by creating a supra-national court, or tribunal, where foreign firms can "sue" states and obtain taxpayer compensation for "expected future profits". These investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) tribunals are designed to overrule the national court systems. ISDS tribunals introduce a mechanism by which multinational corporations can force governments to pay compensation if the tribunal states that a country's laws or policies affect the company's claimed future profits. In return, states hope that multinationals will invest more. Similar mechanisms have already been used. For example, US tobacco company Phillip Morris used one such tribunal to sue Australia (June 2011 – ongoing) for mandating plain packaging of tobacco products on public health grounds; and by the oil giant Chevron against Ecuador in an attempt to evade a multi-billion-dollar compensation ruling for polluting the environment. The threat of future lawsuits chilled environmental and other legislation in Canada after it was sued by pesticide companies in 2008/9. ISDS tribunals are often held in secret, have no appeal mechanism, do not subordinate themselves to human rights laws or the public interest, and have few means by which other affected parties can make representations.

The TPP negotiations have been ongoing in secrecy for five years and are now in their final stages. In the United States the Obama administration plans to "fast-track" the treaty through Congress without the ability of elected officials to discuss or vote on individual measures. This has met growing opposition as a result of increased public scrutiny following WikiLeaks' earlier releases of documents from the negotiations.

https://wikileaks.org/tpp-investment/press.html

Exclusive: TSA’s Secret Behavior Checklist to Spot Terrorists

Fidgeting, whistling, sweaty palms. Add one point each. Arrogance, a cold penetrating stare, and rigid posture, two points.

These are just a few of the suspicious signs that the Transportation Security Administration directs its officers to look out for — and score — in airport travelers, according to a confidential TSA document obtained exclusively by The Intercept.

The checklist is part of TSA’s controversial program to identify potential terrorists based on behaviors that it thinks indicate stress or deception — known as the Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques, or SPOT. The program employs specially trained officers, known as Behavior Detection Officers, to watch and interact with passengers going through screening.

The document listing the criteria, known as the “Spot Referral Report,” is not classified, but it has been closely held by TSA and has not been previously released. A copy was provided to The Intercept by a source concerned about the quality of the program.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/27/revealed-tsas-closely-held-behavior-checklist-spot-terrorists/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Vietnam Veterans: VA denying justice to C-123 veterans

The Vietnam Veterans of America has put out a statement attacking the VA for delaying its decision on benefits for C-123 reservist veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.

For more than five years, retired Air Force Reserve Major Wes Carter has led the fight to get the Department of Veterans Affairs to acknowledge that the C-123 Provider military cargo planes which transported Agent Orange to and from Vietnam had, in fact, been contaminated with dioxin. A number of reputable scientists and epidemiologists at federal agencies have gone on record, endorsing Carter’s stance that these craft remained hazardous to the health of the 2,100 crew members, flight nurses, and maintenance workers who serviced them between 1972 and 1982.

“Yet the VA, in all its wisdom, maintained that these men and women who had been exposed to Agent Orange ought not be eligible to receive the same healthcare and disability compensation benefits that boots-on-the-ground veterans of Vietnam receive,”

https://www.vetshq.com/2015/03/vietnam-veterans-va-denying-justice-to-c-123-veterans/

Secrecy Cloaks History of U.S. Nuclear Presence in Western Europe

Recent declassification decisions by a committee representing the Department of Defense and Department of Energy have simultaneously advanced and set back the cause of transparency for the history of the U.S. nuclear posture. In response to a request by the National Security Archive, the Formerly Restricted Data Declassification Working Group (FRD DWG) have declassified the numbers, in the thousands, of nuclear weapons carried on U.S. Navy surface ships during the Cold War, from 1953 to 1991. Yet, they denied a related request—for declassification of the numbers, which also ran into the thousands, of U.S. nuclear weapons deployed to NATO Europe during the Cold War. Even though the NATO deployments have long been overtaken by events—only a few hundred remain in Western Europe—they are likely to remain secret for the indefinite future.

https://nsarchive.wordpress.com/2015/03/24/are-the-british-more-open-about-nuclear-history-than-the-u-s/

U.S. DEA agents had sex parties funded by drug cartels: watchdog

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents had alleged "sex parties" with prostitutes over several years, said a report published on Thursday and stemming from a review of allegations of misconduct by several DEA agents in Colombia.

The alleged parties were funded by local drug cartels, said the report by the Justice Department's Office of the Inspector General, an agency internal watchdog.

The report raised concerns about inadequate reporting of allegations of misconduct and sexual harassment by several law enforcement agencies, including the DEA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Marshals Service and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

Among the DEA allegations, 10 agents - an assistant regional director and nine special agents - had the alleged sex parties "at government-leased headquarters," and three of the special agents "were provided money, expensive gifts, and weapons from drug cartel members," according to the report.

by REUTERS

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 24 - Ray McGovern

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The undercover war on your internet secrets: How online surveillance cracked our trust in the web

Over the last two years a steady stream of documents leaked by Snowden have laid bare how intelligence agencies in the US and the UK have waged a secret war against privacy on the internet. How they have worked to undermine the technologies used by billions of people every day to protect everything from mundane messages — or webcam chats — to their most secret thoughts.

One of the most significant technologies being targeted by the intelligence services is encryption.

Online, encryption surrounds us, binds us, identifies us. It protects things like our credit card transactions and medical records, encoding them so that — unless you have the key — the data appears to be meaningless nonsense.

Encryption is one of the elemental forces of the web, even though it goes unnoticed and unremarked by the billions of people that use it every day.

http://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-undercover-war-on-your-internet-secrets-how-online-surveillance-cracked-our-trust-in-the-web/

Netanyahu’s Spying Denials Contradicted by Secret NSA Documents

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday vehemently denied a Wall Street Journal report, leaked by the Obama White House, that Israel spied on U.S. negotiations with Iran and then fed the intelligence to Congressional Republicans. His office’s denial was categorical and absolute, extending beyond this specific story to U.S.-targeted spying generally, claiming: “The state of Israel does not conduct espionage against the United States or Israel’s other allies.”

Israel’s claim is not only incredible on its face. It is also squarely contradicted by top secret NSA documents, which state that Israel targets the U.S. government for invasive electronic surveillance, and does so more aggressively and threateningly than almost any other country in the world. Indeed, so concerted and aggressive are Israeli efforts against the U.S. that some key U.S. Government documents – including the top secret 2013 intelligence budget – list Israel among the U.S.’s most threatening cyber-adversaries and as a “hostile” foreign intelligence service.

One top secret 2008 document features an interview with the NSA’s Global Capabilities Manager for Countering Foreign Intelligence, entitled “Which Foreign Intelligence Service Is the Biggest Threat to the US?” He repeatedly names Israel as one of the key threats.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/25/netanyahus-spying-denial-directly-contradicted-secret-nsa-documents/

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pentagon loses track of $500 million in weapons, equipment given to Yemen

The Pentagon is unable to account for more than $500 million in U.S. military aid given to Yemen, amid fears that the weaponry, aircraft and equipment is at risk of being seized by Iranian-backed rebels or al-Qaeda, according to U.S. officials.

With Yemen in turmoil and its government splintering, the Defense Department has lost its ability to monitor the whereabouts of small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles and other supplies donated by the United States. The situation has grown worse since the United States closed its embassy in Sanaa, the capital, last month and withdrew many of its military advisers.

In recent weeks, members of Congress have held closed-door meetings with U.S. military officials to press for an accounting of the arms and equipment. Pentagon officials have said that they have little information to go on and that there is little they can do at this point to prevent the weapons and gear from falling into the wrong hands.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/pentagon-loses-sight-of-500-million-in-counterterrorism-aid-given-to-yemen/2015/03/17/f4ca25ce-cbf9-11e4-8a46-b1dc9be5a8ff_story.html

Wisconsin Cops Will Now Forcibly Take DNA For ALL Misdemeanors

Civil Suit Filed over Chicago ‘Black Site’

Three men detained at Chicago police's "black site" known as Homan Square filed the first civil rights suit over the police warehouse.
John Vergara, Carlos Ruiz and Jose Garcia claim they were arrested without cause by defendant officers J.V. Dal Ponte, B. Srisutch, P.J. Nigro, and others on Sept. 29, 2011.
The Homan Square site made national headlines this month when several alleged victims claimed Chicago police use it as a CIA-type jail, imprisoning, interrogating and abusing people there without paperwork that would show they were even arrested.

http://www.courthousenews.com/2015/03/24/chicago-cops-run-a-black-site-men-claim.htm

New Documents Show Homeland Security Released 165,900 Convicted Criminal Aliens throughout U.S. as of April 26, 2014

Judicial Watch today released 76 pages of Department of Homeland Security (DHS) documents revealing that as of April 26, 2014, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had released 165,900 convicted criminal aliens throughout the United States, including many convicted of such violent crimes as homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and aggravated assault. (Reports recently detailed that ICE released another 30,000 in the most recent fiscal year, which brings the grand total of known criminals released by the Obama administration to 195,900.)

http://www.judicialwatch.org/press-room/press-releases/judicial-watch-new-documents-show-homeland-security-released-165900-convicted-criminal-aliens-throughout-u-s-as-of-april-26-2014/

Monday, March 23, 2015

EXCLUSIVE: Communication Security Establishment's cyberwarfare toolbox revealed

Top-secret documents obtained by the CBC show Canada's electronic spy agency has developed a vast arsenal of cyberwarfare tools alongside its U.S. and British counterparts to hack into computers and phones in many parts of the world, including in friendly trade countries like Mexico and hotspots like the Middle East.

The little known Communications Security Establishment wanted to become more aggressive by 2015, the documents also said.

Revelations about the agency's prowess should serve as a "major wakeup call for all Canadians," particularly in the context of the current parliamentary debate over whether to give intelligence officials the power to disrupt national security threats, says Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Lab, the respected internet research group at University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.

"These are awesome powers that should only be granted to the government with enormous trepidation and only with a correspondingly massive investment in equally powerful systems of oversight, review and public accountability," says Deibert.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/communication-security-establishment-s-cyberwarfare-toolbox-revealed-1.3002978

Documents Reveal Canada’s Secret Hacking Tactics

Canada’s electronic surveillance agency has secretly developed an arsenal of cyberweapons capable of stealing data and destroying adversaries’ infrastructure, according to newly revealed classified documents.

Communications Security Establishment, or CSE, has also covertly hacked into computers across the world to gather intelligence, breaking into networks in Europe, Mexico, the Middle East and North Africa, the documents show.

The revelations, reported Monday by CBC News in collaboration with The Intercept, shine a light for the first time on how Canada has adopted aggressive tactics to attack, sabotage and infiltrate targeted computer systems.

The latest disclosures come as the Canadian government debates whether to hand over more powers to its spies to disrupt threats as part of the controversial anti-terrorism law, Bill C-51.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/23/canada-cse-hacking-cyberwar-secret-arsenal/

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Is NYC’s new gunshot detection system recording private conversations?

ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection system that has been installed in over 90 cities across the country. By placing a series of microphones around high-crime neighborhoods, the system is able to pinpoint the location of where a gunshot took place with surprising accuracy, leading to faster response times from police.

This week, 300 of the microphones were activated in Brooklyn and the Bronx as part of a citywide pilot program.

But cases in which microphones have picked up incriminating evidence have raised the eyebrows of privacy advocates, who note that there could be Fourth Amendment implications.

“We are always concerned about secondary uses of technology that is sold to us for some unobjectionable purpose and is then used for other purposes,” Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy and Technology Project, told Take Part. “If [ShotSpotter] is recording voices out in public, it needs to be shut down.”

http://fusion.net/story/107298/is-nycs-new-gunshot-detection-system-recording-private-conversations/

The CIA Just Declassified the Document That Supposedly Justified the Iraq Invasion

For the first time, the public can now read the hastily drafted CIA document [pdf below] that led Congress to pass a joint resolution authorizing the use of military force in Iraq, a costly war launched March 20, 2003 that was predicated on "disarming" Iraq of its (non-existent) WMD, overthrowing Saddam Hussein, and "freeing" the Iraqi people.

https://news.vice.com/article/the-cia-just-declassified-the-document-that-supposedly-justified-the-iraq-invasion

NEW ZEALAND SPIED ON WTO DIRECTOR CANDIDATES

New Zealand launched a covert surveillance operation targeting candidates vying to be director general of the World Trade Organization, a top-secret document reveals.

A top-secret document obtained by The Intercept and the New Zealand Herald reveals how GCSB used the XKEYSCORE Internet surveillance system to collect communications about the WTO director general candidates.

XKEYSCORE is run by the National Security Agency and is used to analyze billions of emails, Internet browsing sessions and online chats that are vacuumed up from about 150 different locations worldwide. GCSB has gained access to XKEYSCORE because New Zealand is a member of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/22/new-zealand-gcsb-spying-wto-director-general/

We Were Lied To About 9/11 - Episode 23 - Senator Bob Graham

Saturday, March 21, 2015

The Future of Freedom: A Feature Interview with NSA Whistleblower William Binney

A 36-year veteran of America’s Intelligence Community, William Binney resigned from his position as Director for Global Communications Intelligence (COMINT) at the National Security Agency (NSA) and blew the whistle, after discovering that his efforts to protect the privacy and security of Americans were being undermined by those above him in the chain of command.

The NSA data-monitoring program which Binney and his team had developed -- codenamed ThinThread -- was being aimed not at foreign targets as intended, but at Americans (codenamed as Stellar Wind); destroying privacy here and around the world. Binney voices his call to action for the billions of individuals whose rights are currently being violated.

William Binney speaks out in this feature-length interview with Tragedy and Hope's Richard Grove, focused on the topic of the ever-growing Surveillance State in America.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3owk7vEEOvs

Friday, March 20, 2015

Police Can't Hide Key Docs on Cell Phone Trackers, Court Rules

A local judge in New York state has just given privacy advocates a big win in their fight for more transparency surrounding the controversial “StingRay” cell phone tracking device, ordering the police to release a series of key documents governing their use on Tuesday.

StingRays are basically fake cell towers that trick cell phones into connecting to them, giving police departments the ability to snoop information from the connected devices and track them. They have been ​extremely controversial over the last few years because police departments, as well as the FBI, have ​refused to disclose almost any information about them.

In particular, Judge Patrick NeMoyer, of the Supreme Court of Buffalo, New York, ordered the Erie County Sheriff’s Office to publish a letter between the police and the FBI that essentially acts as a non-disclosure agreement, requiring police departments to promise to the feds that they will not to disclose any information about their use of StingRays as an “apparent precondition” to acquiring these devices.

The existence of this kind of letter—essentially a gag order—has been reported before, but this is the first time a judge has ordered its full release, according to Nate Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the organization that’s been fighting against the Erie County Sheriff’s Office in this particular case.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/police-cant-hide-key-docs-on-cell-phone-trackers-court-rules

Senate Intelligence Committee Advances Surveillance Bill in Secret Session

The Senate Intelligence Committee advanced a terrible cybersecurity bill called the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act of 2015 (CISA) to the Senate floor last week. The new chair (and huge fan of transparency) Senator Richard Burr may have set a record as he kept the bill secret until Tuesday night. Unfortunately, the newest Senate Intelligence bill is one of the worst yet.

Cybersecurity bills aim to facilitate information sharing between companies and the government, but their broad immunity clauses for companies, vague definitions, and aggressive spying powers make them secret surveillance bills. CISA marks the fifth time in as many years that Congress has tried to pass "cybersecurity" legislation. Join us now in killing this bill.

https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2015/03/senate-intelligence-committee-advances-terrible-cybersecurity-bill-surveillance

Leaked Document Reveals Upcoming Biometric Experiments at US Customs

The ​facial recognition pilot program launched last week by US Customs and Border Protection, which civil liberties advocates say could lead to new potentially privacy-invading programs, is just the first of three biometric experiments that the feds are getting ready to launch.

The three experiments involve new controversial technologies like iris and face scanner kiosks, which CBP plans to deploy at the Mexican border, and facial recognition software, according to a leaked document obtained by Motherboard.

All three pilots are part of a broader Customs and Border Protection (CBP) program to modernize screenings at American entry and exit ports, including at the highly politicized Mexican border, with the aid of new biometric technologies. The program is known as Apex Air Entry and Exit Re-Eng​ineering (AEER) Project, according to the leaked slides.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/leaked-document-reveals-upcoming-biometric-experiments-at-us-customs

Lawyers for CIA Leaker Cite Selective Prosecution After Petraeus Plea Deal

Lawyers for Jeffrey Sterling, a former CIA official convicted earlier this year of leaking classified information to a New York Times reporter, have requested a reconsideration of his conviction because two former generals, David Petraeus and James Cartwright, have received far more lenient treatment for what they call similar offenses.

“The principal difference between Mr. Sterling and Generals Petraeus and Cartwright are their respective races and rank,” the new filing states. “Like General Cartwright, General Petraeus is a white, high ranking official … The government must explain why the justice meted out to white generals is so different from what Mr. Sterling faced.”

In January, Sterling was convicted by a jury on nine criminal counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, for leaking classified information to Times reporter James Risen about a CIA effort to undermine Iran’s nuclear program. Sterling is to be sentenced in April and faces a maximum sentence of decades in jail. In a statement after the verdict was announced, Attorney General Eric Holder called the guilty verdict a “just and appropriate outcome.”

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/20/lawyer-cia-leaker-cites-selective-prosecution-petraeus-plea/

Thursday, March 19, 2015

William Binney on The Alex Jones Show - March 18,2015

Court: NSA Spying May Continue Even If Congress Lets Authority Expire

The National Security Agency may be allowed to continue scooping up American phone records indefinitely even if congressional authority for the spying program expires later this year, according to a recently declassified court order.

The legal underpinning of the NSA's bulk collection of U.S. call data resides in a provision of the post-9/11 USA Patriot Act that is scheduled to sunset on June 1. The common understanding among lawmakers and the intelligence community is that the surveillance program will halt unless Congress reauthorizes Section 215 of the Patriot Act in some fashion.

But a passage buried on the last pages of an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court declassified last week leaves open the door for the program—exposed publicly by Edward Snowden nearly two years ago—to continue even if lawmakers let Section 215 lapse.

"If Congress, conversely, has not enacted legislation amending [Section 215] or extending its sunset date," writes Judge James Boasberg, "the government is directed to provide a legal memorandum … addressing the power of the Court to grant such authority beyond June 1, 2015."

http://www.nationaljournal.com/tech/court-nsa-spying-may-continue-even-if-congress-lets-authority-expire-20150318

The DEA Is Seizing Cash Without Warrants In Its Version Of Stop-and-Frisk

Federal drug agents may be racially profiling and unjustly seizing cash from travelers in the nation’s airports, bus stations and train stations. A new report released by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Justice examined the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)’s controversial use of “cold consent.”

In a cold consent encounter, a person is stopped if an agent thinks that person’s behavior fits a drug courier profile. Or an agent can stop a person cold “based on no particular behavior,” according to the Inspector General report. The agent then asks people they have stopped for consent to question them and sometimes to search their possessions as well. By gaining consent, law enforcement officers can bypass the need for a warrant.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/instituteforjustice/2015/03/19/the-dea-is-seizing-cash-without-warrants-in-its-version-of-stop-and-frisk/

Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden live on Stage at the CeBIT Global Conferences March 15,2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Wolf Is Guarding the Hen House: The Government’s War on Cyberterrorism

Nothing you write, say, text, tweet or share via phone or computer is private anymore. As constitutional law professor Garrett Epps points out, “Big Brother is watching…. Big Brother may be watching you right now, and you may never know. Since 9/11, our national life has changed forever. Surveillance is the new normal.”

This is the reality of the internet-dependent, plugged-in life of most Americans today.

A process which started shortly after 9/11 with programs such as Total Information Awareness (the predecessor to the government’s present surveillance programs) has grown into a full-fledged campaign of warrantless surveillance, electronic tracking and data mining, thanks to federal agents who have been given carte blanche access to the vast majority of electronic communications in America. Their methods completely undermine constitution safeguards, and yet no federal agency, president, court or legislature has stepped up to halt this assault on our rights.

For the most part, surveillance, data mining, etc., is a technological, jargon-laden swamp through which the average American would prefer not to wander. Consequently, most Americans remain relatively oblivious to the government’s ever-expanding surveillance powers, appear unconcerned about the fact that the government is spying on them, and seem untroubled that there is no way of opting out of this system. This state of delirium lasts only until those same individuals find themselves arrested or detained for something they did, said or bought that runs afoul of the government’s lowering threshold for what constitutes criminal activity.

All the while, Congress, the courts, and the president (starting with George W. Bush and expanding exponentially under Barack Obama) continue to erect an electronic concentration camp the likes of which have never been seen before.

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/the_wolf_is_guarding_the_hen_house_the_governments_war_on_cyberterrorism

Niels Harrit present WTC dust and WTC7 collapse in High Court

US sets new record for denying federal files under Freedom of Information Act

The US has set a new record for denying and censoring federal files under the Freedom of Information Act, analysis by the Associated Press reveals.

For the second consecutive year, the Obama administration more often than ever censored government files or outright denied access to them under the open-government legislation.

The government took longer to turn over files when it provided any, said more regularly that it couldn’t find documents, and refused a record number of times to turn over files quickly that might be especially newsworthy.

It also acknowledged in nearly one in three cases that its initial decisions to withhold or censor records were improper under the law – but only when it was challenged.

Its backlog of unanswered requests at year’s end grew remarkably by 55% to more than 200,000.

The government’s new figures, published Tuesday, covered all requests to 100 federal agencies during fiscal 2014 under the Freedom of Information law, which is heralded globally as a model for transparent government. They showed that despite disappointments and failed promises by the White House to make meaningful improvements in the way it releases records, the law was more popular than ever.

http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/mar/18/us-new-record-denying-files-freedom-of-information-foia

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Irish Holocaust - Chris Fogarty - Red Ice Radio February 16, 2015


Chris joins us to speak about the Irish Holocaust and the cover-up that is accomplished by the same British terrorism and bribery that perpetrated the genocide. He explains the dark time during 1845-1850 when Ireland starved because its food, from 40 to 70 shiploads per day, was removed at gunpoint by 12,000 British constables reinforced by the British militia. Chris describes how the British completely took over 95% of Ireland�s territory, extracting all goods and wiping out at least half of the indigenous population. We�ll discuss the lie of Ireland�s �potato famine,� the official story used to explain the deaths of over 5.2 million people, which is propagated to this day � even by the Irish government, academia, and the Catholic Church. Chris gives details of his extensive research into the locations of British food removal regiments and over 170 mass graves across Ireland. He�ll explain the fear of persecution and intimidation that continues to infect Irish society in modern times. We end by considering Ireland�s long history of ethnic cleansing, the role of the government and Catholic hierarchy, and the notion that the IRA are terrorists. February 16, 2015

http://www.redicecreations.com/radio/2015/02/RIR-150216.php


The Irish Holocaust - Chris Fogarty - People's Internet Radio March 1, 2015



http://www.irishholocaust.org/

Senate Intelligence Committee Approves “a Surveillance Bill by another Name”

Sharing is caring—except when it’s snooping.

The Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday approved the Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Protection Act, which would facilitate the sharing of information from private companies to the government. The putative reason for the legislation is to stop cyberattacks, but some are concerned it will allow transfers of large amounts of personal information to the government.

The vote was 14-1 with Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) the lone holdout. “Cyberattacks and hacking against U.S. companies and networks are a serious problem for the American economy and for our national security,” Wyden said in a statement. “It makes sense to encourage private firms to share information about cybersecurity threats. But this information sharing is only acceptable if there are strong protections for the privacy rights of law-abiding American citizens.” Wyden called the bill “a surveillance bill by another name.”

http://www.allgov.com/news/top-stories/senate-intelligence-committee-approves-a-surveillance-bill-by-another-name-150316?news=855962

The Sting: How the FBI Created a Terrorist

Informant-led sting operations are central to the FBI’s counterterrorism program. Of 508 defendants prosecuted in federal terrorism-related cases in the decade after 9/11, 243 were involved with an FBI informant, while 158 were the targets of sting operations. Of those cases, an informant or FBI undercover operative led 49 defendants in their terrorism plots, similar to the way Osmakac was led in his.

In these cases, the FBI says paid informants and undercover agents are foiling attacks before they occur. But the evidence suggests — and a recent Human Rights Watch report on the subject illustrates — that the FBI isn’t always nabbing would-be terrorists so much as setting up mentally ill or economically desperate people to commit crimes they could never have accomplished on their own.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/16/howthefbicreatedaterrorist/

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Edits to Wikipedia pages on Bell, Garner, Diallo traced to NYPD 1 Police Plaza

Computers operating on the New York Police Department’s computer network at its 1 Police Plaza headquarters have been used to alter Wikipedia pages containing details of alleged police brutality, a review by Capital has revealed.

“The matter is under internal review,” an NYPD spokeswoman, Det. Cheryl Crispin, wrote in an email to Capital after examples of the changes were presented to the NYPD.

The edits and changes were linked to the NYPD through a series of Internet Protocol addresses, or IP addresses, which can be publicly tracked by various websites. (Here, for example, is one website that shows a number of IP addresses registered to the NYPD.) IP addresses can locate where a computer is when it connects to the Internet.

Computer users identified by Capital as working on the NYPD headquarters' network have edited and attempted to delete Wikipedia entries for several well-known victims of police altercations, including entries for Eric Garner, Sean Bell, and Amadou Diallo. Capital identified 85 NYPD addresses that have edited Wikipedia, although it is unclear how many users were involved, as computers on the NYPD network can operate on the department’s range of IP addresses.

NYPD IP addresses have also been used to edit entries on stop-and-frisk, NYPD scandals, and prominent figures in the city’s political and police leadership.

http://www.capitalnewyork.com/article/city-hall/2015/03/8563947/edits-wikipedia-pages-bell-garner-diallo-traced-1-police-plaza

C.I.A. Cash Ended Up in Coffers of Al Qaeda

In the spring of 2010, Afghan officials struck a deal to free an Afghan diplomat held hostage by Al Qaeda. But the price was steep — $5 million — and senior security officials were scrambling to come up with the money.

They first turned to a secret fund that the Central Intelligence Agency bankrolled with monthly cash deliveries to the presidential palace in Kabul, according to several Afghan officials involved in the episode. The Afghan government, they said, had already squirreled away about $1 million from that fund.

Within weeks, that money and $4 million more provided from other countries was handed over to Al Qaeda, replenishing its coffers after a relentless C.I.A. campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan had decimated the militant network’s upper ranks.

“God blessed us with a good amount of money this month,” Atiyah Abd al-Rahman, the group’s general manager, wrote in a letter to Osama bin Laden in June 2010, noting that the cash would be used for weapons and other operational needs.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/15/world/asia/cia-funds-found-their-way-into-al-qaeda-coffers.html

Friday, March 13, 2015

The CIA and America’s Presidents

Many people still think of the CIA as an agency designed to help American presidents make informed decisions about matters outside the United States. That was the basis for President Truman’s signing the legislation which created the agency, and indeed it does serve that role, generally rather inadequately, but it has become something far beyond that.

Information is certainly not something to which any reasonable person objects, but the CIA has two houses under its roof, and it is the operational side of the CIA which gives it a world-wide bad reputation. The scope of undercover operations has evolved to make the CIA into a kind of civilian army, one involving great secrecy, little accountability, and huge budgets – altogether a dangerous development indeed for any country which regards itself as a democracy and whose military is forbidden political activity. After all, the CIA’s secret operational army in practice is not curtailed by restrictions around politics, many of its tasks having been quite openly political. Yes, its charter forbids operations in the United States, but those restrictions have been ignored or bent countless times both in secret programs like Echelon (monitoring telephone communications by five English-speaking allies who then share the information obtained, a forerunner to the NSA’s recently-revealed collection of computer data) and years of mail-opening inside the United States or using substitutes to go around the rule, as was likely the case with the many Mossad agents trailing the eventual perpetrators of 9/11 inside the United States before the event.

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/03/13/the-grand-illusion-about-terrorism/

The Orwellian Re-Branding of “Mass Surveillance” as Merely “Bulk Collection”

Just as the Bush administration and the U.S. media re-labelled “torture” with the Orwellian euphemism “enhanced interrogation techniques” to make it more palatable, the governments and media of the Five Eyes surveillance alliance are now attempting to re-brand “mass surveillance” as “bulk collection” in order to make it less menacing (and less illegal). In the past several weeks, this is the clearly coordinated theme that has arisen in the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand as the last defense against the Snowden revelations, as those governments seek to further enhance their surveillance and detention powers under the guise of terrorism.

This manipulative language distortion can be seen perfectly in yesterday’s white-washing report of GCHQ mass surveillance from the servile rubber-stamp calling itself “The Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament (ISC)”(see this great Guardian Editorial this morning on what a “slumbering” joke that “oversight” body is). As Committee Member MP Hazel Blears explained yesterday (photo above), the Parliamentary Committee officially invoked this euphemism to justify the collection of billions of electronic communications events every day.

The Committee actually acknowledged for the first time (which Snowden documents log ago proved) that GCHQ maintains what it calls “Bulk Personal Datasets” that contain “millions of records,” and even said about pro-privacy witnesses who testified before it: “we recognise their concerns as to the intrusive nature of bulk collection.” That is the very definition of “mass surveillance,” yet the Committee simply re-labelled it “bulk collection,” purported to distinguish it from “mass surveillance,” and thus insist that it was all perfectly legal.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/13/orwellian-re-branding-mass-surveillance-merely-bulk-collection/



The CIA’s Cocaine Blues

Thursday, March 12, 2015

"Police State America" with John Whitehead - Guns and Butter, for March 11, 2015

The Corporate State; American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Offices of Inspector General (OIG); SWAT Teams; No-Knock Raids; the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track; the New York Prototype; MRAPs; Operation Vigilant Eagle; Atlas Four Androids; TSA and VIPR Teams; Google and the NSA; Fusion Centers (from June 2014)

http://www.kpfa.org/archive/id/111987

UK Parliament Committee, Calling For Reform, Shows Its “Evidence” to Justify Mass Surveillance

The Intelligence and Security Committee of the UK Parliament (ISC) issued a lengthy report today on the surveillance practices of GCHQ. Invoking the now-standard Orwellian tactic of claiming that “bulk collection” is not “mass surveillance,” the Committee predictably cleared GCHQ of illegality, but it did announce that it has “serious concerns” over the agency’s lack of transparency and oversight. Citing the Snowden disclosures, it called for a significant overhaul of the legal framework governing electronic surveillance.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/12/uk-parliament-finally-offers-evidence-mass-surveillance-stops-terror-attacks/

The 9/11 Commission Didn’t Believe the Government … So Why Should We?

9/11 Commissioners Admit They Never Got the Full Story

The 9/11 Commissioners publicly expressed anger at cover ups and obstructions of justice by the government into a real 9/11 investigation:

9/11 Commission co-chair Lee Hamilton says “I don’t believe for a minute we got everything right”, that the Commission was set up to fail, that people should keep asking questions about 9/11, and that the 9/11 debate should continue

The 9/11 Commission chair said the Commission was “set up to fail

The Commission’s co-chairs said that the CIA (and likely the White House) “obstructed our investigation”

9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey said that “There are ample reasons to suspect that there may be some alternative to what we outlined in our version . . . We didn’t have access . . . .”

9/11 Commissioner Timothy Roemer said “We were extremely frustrated with the false statements we were getting”

9/11 Commissioner Max Cleland resigned from the Commission, stating: “It is a national scandal”; “This investigation is now compromised”; and “One of these days we will have to get the full story because the 9-11 issue is so important to America. But this White House wants to cover it up”. When asked in 2009 if he thought there should be another 9/11 commission, Cleland responded: “There should be about fifteen 9/11 commissions

The Senior Counsel to the 9/11 Commission (John Farmer) – who led the 9/11 staff’s inquiry – said “At some level of the government, at some point in time…there was an agreement not to tell the truth about what happened“. He also said “I was shocked at how different the truth was from the way it was described …. The tapes told a radically different story from what had been told to us and the public for two years…. This is not spin. This is not true.”

No wonder the Co-Chair of the congressional investigation into 9/11 – Bob Graham – and 9/11 Commissioner and former Senator Bob Kerrey are calling for either a “PERMANENT 9/11 commission” or a new 9/11 investigation to get to the bottom of it.

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/911-commissioners-didnt-believe-government.html

Florida prisons riddled with corruption, staffers tell senators

In a blistering condemnation of Florida's prison system, several current and former prison inspectors told state lawmakers on Tuesday that they were repeatedly ordered to ignore evidence of crimes committed by corrupt officials because doing so would give the Department of Corrections a “black eye.”

Three inspectors and one former inspector, speaking publicly for the first time, testified under oath about interference by unnamed agency officials as they attempted to weed out inmate abuse, medical neglect, gang violence and organized crime.

In testimony before the Senate Criminal Justice Committee, the inspectors cited cases where they were told to withhold information from prosecutors, to close investigations into staffers who were politically connected and to avoid bringing criminal charges no matter how much evidence they had.

“We are at the point where we can no longer police ourselves,” said John Ulm, a veteran law enforcement officer who works in the Inspector General’s Office.

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/special-reports/florida-prisons/article13200422.html

Powerful Member of Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law Has NEVER SENT AN EMAIL

Dinosaur Makes Law for Modern World

Lindsay Graham – a member of the powerful Senate Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law – admitted Sunday that he has never sent an email in his entire life:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2015/03/powerful-member-senate-subcommittee-privacy-technology-law-never-sent-email.html

POSTAL SERVICE CAUGHT DEPLOYING FACE-SCANNING CAMERAS

Within an hour of FOX31 Denver discovering a hidden camera, which was positioned to capture and record the license plates and facial features of customers leaving a Golden Post Office, the device was ripped from the ground and disappeared.

FOX31 Denver investigative reporter Chris Halsne confirmed the hidden camera and recorder is owned and operated by the United State Postal Inspection Service, the law enforcement branch of the U.S. Postal Service.

The recording device appeared to be tripped by any vehicle leaving the property on Johnson Road, but the lens was not positioned to capture images of the front door, employee entrance, or loading dock areas of the post office.

http://kdvr.com/2015/03/11/mysterious-spy-cameras-collecting-data-at-post-offices/

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Wikimedia Sues NSA Over Its Mass Surveillance Program

This is big news. Wikimedia Foundation, the organization behind Wikipedia, has announced that it is suing the NSA (with help from the ACLU) over its mass surveillance program. While the full lawsuit hasn't yet been posted, the lawsuit targets the "upstream" collection under Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Because this gets confusing if you're not spending a lot of time with this, let's break out some of the different surveillance programs:

Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act: under this program the NSA is collecting all the phone metadata on calls in the US.

Executive Order 12333: this is what enables the NSA to hack into pretty much anything overseas -- including things like Google, Yahoo and Microsoft's data centers.

PRISM: Actually part of Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act. Allows for (slightly) targeted collections of information via a court order from the FISA Court, demanding specific types of information (rather than "all" information).

Upstream collection: Also under Section 702, but this is the program that lets the NSA tap into backbone fiber optic cables, such as from AT&T and others, and slurp up all traffic in case there's anything "interesting" happening that it can classify as "foreign intelligence information."

It's the upstream collection that Wikimedia is challenging in this lawsuit, arguing (among other things) that it violates both the First and Fourth Amendments.

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150310/04065330265/wikimedia-sues-nsa-over-its-mass-surveillance-program.shtml

THE CIA CAMPAIGN TO STEAL APPLE’S SECRETS

The security researchers presented their latest tactics and achievements at a secret annual gathering, called the “Jamboree,” where attendees discussed strategies for exploiting security flaws in household and commercial electronics. The conferences have spanned nearly a decade, with the first CIA-sponsored meeting taking place a year before the first iPhone was released.

By targeting essential security keys used to encrypt data stored on Apple’s devices, the researchers have sought to thwart the company’s attempts to provide mobile security to hundreds of millions of Apple customers across the globe. Studying both “physical” and “non-invasive” techniques, U.S. government-sponsored research has been aimed at discovering ways to decrypt and ultimately penetrate Apple’s encrypted firmware. This could enable spies to plant malicious code on Apple devices and seek out potential vulnerabilities in other parts of the iPhone and iPad currently masked by encryption.

The CIA declined to comment for this story.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/10/ispy-cia-campaign-steal-apples-secrets/

Monday, March 9, 2015

Federal snitch Sabu now writing for Daily Dot

Jeremy Hammond sits in prison in a Federal Correctional Institute doing time for providing a series of vital leaks from Stratfor to the world. He was put there by hacker turned federal snitch, Hector Monsegur.

At one time, Monsegur was known as Sabu. Now, he’s just known as “that rat bastard.” The Daily Dot was once known as a clearinghouse for information related to Anonymous, now it has been declared an enemy of the collective.

The snitch wrote an article reviewing a TV show about (get this): hackers working with cops. In it, this Junior G-man clumsily inserted a paragraph aimed at creating some doubt as to whether or not he really is the guy that rolled over like a trained dog when federal agents showed up.

http://thefifthcolumnnews.com/2015/03/federal-snitch-sabu-now-writing-for-daily-dot/

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Reports on United States/Russia/China/Britain/Israel Nuclear Arsenals

These are the most up-to-date reports from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on the nuclear arsenals of the world’s biggest superpowers. This post will continually be updated with the most recent reports as they are published, including those of other major players such as France, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and any others, when they become available.


Nuclear Notebook - Nuclear Arsenals of The World
http://thebulletin.org/nuclear-notebook-multimedia



Snowden files: Inside Waihopai's domes


The Waihopai intelligence base looks oddly alien and out of place: huge white "golf ball" radomes like a moon station and silent buildings within two fences of razor wire, all dropped in the midst of vineyards and dry hills in New Zealand's Marlborough landscape.

Documents about the Waihopai station leaked by US National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the facility is as alien as is seems.

Everything inside the top secret station except the staff is foreign.

The electronic eavesdropping systems, the computer programmes that automatically index and search the captured communications, and the databases where details of a whole region's communications are stored: they are all standardised parts of the global surveillance system run by the NSA.

The Waihopai base functions as a cog in that spying machine, the alliance's main eye on the South Pacific region.

The Sunday Star-Times analysed the documents in collaboration with US news website The Intercept, which obtained them from Snowden. The leaked files reveal in unprecedented detail the New Zealand-based station's targets, inner workings and links to the international network of spy facilities run by the Five Eyes.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/67082905/snowden-files-inside-waihopais-domes

DOCUMENTS SHINE LIGHT ON SHADOWY NEW ZEALAND SURVEILLANCE BASE


Near the heartland of New Zealand’s renowned wine country, there is a place that visitors are not allowed to go. The peculiar large white domes that protrude from the earth in the Waihopai Valley are surrounded by razor wire and shrouded in secrecy.

But now, newly revealed documents from the National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden shine a light on what is behind the security perimeter. The buildings there are crammed with sophisticated NSA spying technology, used by New Zealand to sweep up text messages, emails, phone calls, and other communications in bulk across the Asia-Pacific.

The documents, revealed Saturday by the Sunday Star-Times in collaboration with The Intercept, show how closely New Zealand has worked with the NSA to maintain surveillance coverage of the region. The files also offer an unprecedented insight into the Waihopai base, exposing how it’s been integrated into a global eavesdropping network.

The spying station intercepts data from satellites, and is operated by Government Communications Security Bureau, or GCSB, New Zealand’s equivalent of the NSA. Waihopai is part of a group of surveillance stations used by the so-called Five Eyes, an alliance that New Zealand is part of alongside the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/07/new-zealand-ironsand-waihopai-nsa-gcsb/

The CIA coined the Term 'Conspiracy Theorist' in 1967

Friday, March 6, 2015

Why Did No One Tell Army Officials at the Pentagon That the U.S. Was Under Attack on 9/11?

A dozen Army personnel, including many senior officers, went ahead with a routine, previously scheduled meeting at 9:00 a.m. on September 11, 2001, in an area of the Pentagon that was severely damaged when the building was attacked at 9:37 a.m., even though a hijacked plane had crashed into the World Trade Center 14 minutes earlier and this incident had been reported on television since 8:49 a.m. Strangely, the officers were unaware of the crash when they went into their meeting and no one interrupted the meeting to let them know the U.S. was under attack after a second hijacked aircraft hit the World Trade Center at 9:03 a.m. They were consequently still continuing their meeting as if nothing was wrong, oblivious to the crisis that was taking place, when the Pentagon was hit and a huge fireball erupted into their room.

Furthermore, as well as failing to alert the officers in the meeting to what had happened at the World Trade Center, the officers' colleagues appear to have failed to do anything significant toward implementing a military response to the attacks in New York. Instead, many of them continued their usual duties after learning two aircraft had crashed into the World Trade Center and it became clear that the U.S. was in the middle of a major terrorist attack. Additionally, they appear to have made no attempt to get out of the Pentagon and to somewhere safer, even though the building was a likely target for terrorists.

http://shoestring911.blogspot.com/2015/03/why-did-no-one-tell-army-officials-at.html

http://911blogger.com/news/2015-03-06/why-did-no-one-tell-army-officials-pentagon-us-was-under-attack-911#comments

We’re All Spies Now: CIA Director Announces Major Restructuring

The director of the CIA announced this week a major overhaul of the agency’s organizational structure ending the traditional separation between spies and analysts, while also creating a new division to handle cyberwarfare.

Director John Brennan officially announced the restructure to agency employees on Friday. Thousands of spies and CIA analysts will be reassigned to new posts, marking one of the most significant changes to the agency’s core structure in its 67-year history.

“Never has the need for the full and unfettered integration of our capabilities been greater,” Brennan said in a declassified statement to his employees.

Under the new model, spies and analysts will be integrated and assigned to 10 new mission centers, which, according to Brennan, “will bring the full range of operational, analytic, support, technical, and digital personnel and capabilities to bear on the nation’s most pressing security issues and interests.” Describing the new mission centers, Brennan said, “Assistant Directors will be accountable for integrating and advancing the mission — in all of its various forms — and for overall mission accomplishment in their respective geographic or functional area.”

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/06/spies-now-cia-director-announces-major-restructuring/

The Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive


Welcome to the Snowden Digital Surveillance Archive

This archive is a collection of all documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that have subsequently been published by news media.

Our aim in creating this archive is to provide a tool that would facilitate citizen, researcher and journalist access to these important documents. Indexes, document descriptions, links to original documents and to related news stories, a glossary and comprehensive search features are all designed to enable a better understanding of state surveillance programs within the wider context of surveillance by the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) along with its partners in the Five Eyes countries – U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

Our hope is that this resource will contribute to greater awareness of the broad scope, intimate reach and profound implications of the global surveillance infrastructures and practices that Edward Snowden’s historic document leak reveals.

The Snowden Archive is the result of a research collaboration between Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE) and the Politics of Surveillance Project at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Partners and supporters of this initiative include the Surveillance Studies Centre, Queen's University; the Digital Curation Institute, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto; and the Centre for Free Expression, Faculty of Communications and Design, Ryerson University.

https://snowdenarchive.cjfe.org/greenstone/cgi-bin/library.cgi




http://cjfe.org/asksnowden

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Benghazi Committee Subpoenas Hillary Clinton’s Private Emails for Investigation


A House investigative committee issued subpoenas late Wednesday afternoon to the State Department, seeking a deeper look into former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton’s nearly exclusive use of personal e-mails to do her official business during her tenure, the committee confirmed Wednesday.

The House Select Committee on Benghazi, which first discovered Clinton’s use of a personal e-mail based on a home server in its inquiry into a fatal 2012 terrorist attack on a U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, is asking for all e-mails related to the attack from all Clintonemail.com accounts and any other staff members’ personal accounts.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/house-committee-to-subpoena-clintons-private-emails/2015/03/04/b4cec61c-c29b-11e4-9ec2-b418f57a4a99_story.html

Warren: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch Received $6 Trillion Backdoor Bailout from Fed


Yesterday, the Senate Banking Committee held the first of its hearings on widespread demands to reform the Federal Reserve to make it more transparent and accountable.

Senator Elizabeth Warren put her finger on the pulse of the growing public outrage over how the Federal Reserve conducts much of its operations in secret and appears to frequently succumb to the desires of Wall Street to the detriment of the public interest. Warren addressed the secret loans that the Fed made to Wall Street during the financial crisis as follows:

“During the financial crisis, Congress bailed out the big banks with hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money; and that’s a lot of money. But the biggest money for the biggest banks was never voted on by Congress. Instead, between 2007 and 2009, the Fed provided over $13 trillion in emergency lending to just a handful of large financial institutions. That’s nearly 20 times the amount authorized in the TARP bailout.

“Now, let’s be clear, those Fed loans were a bailout too. Nearly all the money went to too-big-to-fail institutions. For example, in one emergency lending program, the Fed put out $9 trillion and over two-thirds of the money went to just three institutions: Citigroup, Morgan Stanley and Merrill Lynch.

“Those loans were made available at rock bottom interest rates – in many cases under 1 percent. And the loans could be continuously rolled over so they were effectively available for an average of about two years.”

One of the key reasons that the Fed wanted to keep this information buried from the public is that Citigroup was insolvent during the period it was receiving loans from the Fed.

http://wallstreetonparade.com/2015/03/warren-citigroup-morgan-stanley-merrill-lynch-received-6-trillion-backdoor-bailout-from-fed/

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Internet privacy, funded by spooks: A brief history of the BBG


For the past few months I’ve been covering U.S. government funding of popular Internet privacy tools like Tor, CryptoCat and Open Whisper Systems. During my reporting, one agency in particular keeps popping up: An agency with one of those really bland names that masks its wild, bizarre history: the Broadcasting Board of Governors, or BBG.

The BBG was formed in 1999 and runs on a $721 million annual budget. It reports directly to Secretary of State John Kerry and operates like a holding company for a host of Cold War-era CIA spinoffs and old school “psychological warfare” projects: Radio Free Europe, Radio Free Asia, Radio Martí, Voice of America, Radio Liberation from Bolshevism (since renamed “Radio Liberty”) and a dozen other government-funded radio stations and media outlets pumping out pro-American propaganda across the globe.

Today, the Congressionally-funded federal agency is also one of the biggest backers of grassroots and open-source Internet privacy technology. These investments started in 2012, when the BBG launched the “Open Technology Fund” (OTF) — an initiative housed within and run by Radio Free Asia (RFA), a premier BBG property that broadcasts into communist countries like North Korea, Vietnam, Laos, China and Myanmar. The BBG endowed Radio Free Asia’s Open Technology Fund with a multimillion dollar budget and a single task: “to fulfill the U.S. Congressional global mandate for Internet freedom.”

http://pando.com/2015/03/01/internet-privacy-funded-by-spooks-a-brief-history-of-the-bbg/

Snowden revelations / The price of the Five Eyes club: Mass spying on friendly nations


Leaked Snowden files show most of GCSB's targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as Government suggests

New Zealand's electronic surveillance agency, the GCSB, has dramatically expanded its spying operations during the years of John Key's National Government and is automatically funnelling vast amounts of intelligence to the US National Security Agency, top-secret documents reveal.

Since 2009, the Government Communications Security Bureau intelligence base at Waihopai has moved to "full-take collection", indiscriminately intercepting Asia-Pacific communications and providing them en masse to the NSA through the controversial NSA intelligence system XKeyscore, which is used to monitor emails and internet browsing habits.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11411759

NEW ZEALAND SPIES ON NEIGHBORS IN SECRET ‘FIVE EYES’ GLOBAL SURVEILLANCE


New Zealand’s electronic eavesdropping agency is spying on its neighbors and sharing communications it intercepts in bulk with the National Security Agency through a controversial Internet mass surveillance system, according to newly revealed secret documents.

Government Communications Security Bureau, New Zealand’s equivalent of the NSA, has been sweeping up the data from across the Asia-Pacific region, targeting island nations such as Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, Fiji, Tonga and France’s overseas territories New Caledonia and French Polynesia. Each of these small nations and territories maintains friendly relations with New Zealand.

The surveillance, reported Wednesday by the New Zealand Herald in collaboration with The Intercept, is being carried out by GCSB from an intelligence base in New Zealand’s Waihopai Valley (pictured above). Intercepted data collected at the Waihopai site is being shared through an NSA surveillance system called XKEYSCORE, which is used to analyze vast amounts of emails, internet browsing sessions and online chats that are intercepted from some 150 different locations worldwide.

The documents on the spying, obtained by The Intercept from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, shine a light on New Zealand’s role in the so-called Five Eyes, a surveillance alliance that includes electronic eavesdropping agencies from New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/04/new-zealand-gcsb-surveillance-waihopai-xkeyscore/

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Obamacare case: All eyes on 2 justices

The future of Obamacare again falls on the shoulders of John Roberts and Anthony Kennedy.

As the Obama administration and Obamacare opponents prepare for another Supreme Court showdown Wednesday, both sides are tailoring their arguments to win over the chief justice, who cast the saving vote for the Affordable Care Act in 2012, and Kennedy, the perennial swing vote on the Supreme Court.

The court is likely to split largely along ideological lines with Kennedy or Roberts casting crucial votes. Some Obamacare backers are even making a pitch to Justice Antonin Scalia to look at a broad reading of the law, although winning him over seems like a long shot.

The challengers — four Virginia residents who don’t want to abide by the mandate that Americans buy health insurance — argue that the Obama administration is illegally giving out Obamacare subsidies. They say a phrase in the text of the massive law — that subsidies go to “exchanges established by the state” — only allows the money to go to residents of the 16 states, plus Washington, D.C., that set up their own insurance exchanges. If the plaintiffs prevail, more than 7 million people now receiving the subsidies in 34 states would lose them.

http://www.politico.com/story/2015/03/obamacare-supreme-court-case-john-roberts-anthony-kennedy-115673.html

Hillary Clinton Used Personal Email Account at State Dept., Possibly Breaking Rules

Hillary Rodham Clinton exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state, State Department officials said, and may have violated federal requirements that officials’ correspondence be retained as part of the agency’s record.

Mrs. Clinton did not have a government email address during her four-year tenure at the State Department. Her aides took no actions to have her personal emails preserved on department servers at the time, as required by the Federal Records Act.

It was only two months ago, in response to a new State Department effort to comply with federal record-keeping practices, that Mrs. Clinton’s advisers reviewed tens of thousands of pages of her personal emails and decided which ones to turn over to the State Department. All told, 55,000 pages of emails were given to the department. Mrs. Clinton stepped down from the secretary’s post in early 2013.

Her expansive use of the private account was alarming to current and former National Archives and Records Administration officials and government watchdogs, who called it a serious breach.

“It is very difficult to conceive of a scenario — short of nuclear winter — where an agency would be justified in allowing its cabinet-level head officer to solely use a private email communications channel for the conduct of government business,” said Jason R. Baron, a lawyer at Drinker Biddle & Reath who is a former director of litigation at the National Archives and Records Administration.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/03/us/politics/hillary-clintons-use-of-private-email-at-state-department-raises-flags.html

PETRAEUS PLEA DEAL REVEALS TWO-TIER JUSTICE SYSTEM FOR LEAKS

David Petraeus, the former Army general and CIA director, admitted today that he gave highly-classified journals to his onetime lover and that he lied to the FBI about it. But he only has to plead guilty to a single misdemeanor that will not involve a jail sentence thanks to a deal with federal prosecutors. The deal is yet another example of a senior official treated leniently for the sorts of violations that lower-level officials are punished severely for.

https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2015/03/03/petraeus-plea-deal-reveals-two-tier-justice-system-leaks/

Disgraced CIA chief David Petraeus signs plea deal admitting to giving classified information to his mistress biographer

*David Petraeus has agreed to plead guilty to one charge of unauthorized removal and retention of classified information, it emerged on Tuesday
*The charge alleges he took notebooks containing classified information to where his biographer and mistress Paula Broadwell was staying in 2011
*The plea deal shows the government has recommended he face no prison time and instead gets two years probation and a $40,000 fine
*But the charge carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison, a $100,000 fine and five years of probation
*He had an affair with Broadwell between late 2011 and summer 2012, and stepped down from the CIA after the relationship emerged

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2977759/Former-CIA-director-Petraeus-pleads-guilty-federal-charge-DOJ.html

Monday, March 2, 2015

The Internet Of Things: A Dystopian Nightmare Where Everyone And Everything Will Be Monitored On The Internet

Can you imagine a world where your home, your vehicles, your appliances and every single electronic device that you own is constantly connected to the Internet? This is not some grand vision that is being planned for some day in the future. This is something that is being systematically implemented right now. In 2015, we already have “smart homes”, vehicles that talk to one another, refrigerators that are connected to the Internet, and televisions that spy on us. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and that opens up some wonderful possibilities. But there is also a downside. What if we rapidly reach a point where one must be connected to the Internet in order to function in society? Will there come a day when we can’t even do basic things such as buy, sell, get a job or open a bank account without it? And what about the potential for government abuse? Could an “Internet of Things” create a dystopian nightmare where everyone and everything will be constantly monitored and tracked by the government? That is something to think about.

http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/internet-things-dystopian-nightmare-everyone-everything-will-monitored-internet