Tag Archives: nsa

Court to NSA: Phone Spying Illegal, but Keep Doing It

The NSA’s telephone data collection program is illegal according to a Federal Appeals Court, but the ruling does not require the government to shut it down.

a federal appeals court said the controversial program exceeds what Congress has allowed and urged lawmakers to step in.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan permitted the National Security Agency program to continue temporarily as it exists, and all but pleaded for Congress to better define where the boundaries exist.

The program in question collects “meta-data” from American’s private phone conversations. The program will sunset on June 1st, but many in Congress are pushing for a straight-up renewal of the Patriot Act that would include this data collection program.

While many privacy activists hail the court decision, ultimately, nothing happened. The case will likely have to proceed to the Supreme Court before the program is stopped.

Until then – the NSA is listening.

Brits employ hacking into social media accounts as tool of National Defense

Media mogul Glenn Beck talks about government spoofing of private social media on his radio show.

Media mogul Glenn Beck talks about government spoofing of private social media on his radio show.

How much do you trust your government to do the right thing with your privacy and your freedom of speech? British citizens are finding out now that the answer to that question should be, “not very much”! It seems that a super-secret British spy agency is publishing a menu of options they have to provide politicians to hack into the social media accounts of citizens in the name of national security.

 

I learned about this first listening to Glenn Beck and have found creditable confirmation on a number of other websites. You can see Glenn’s comments on this issue here. Glenn Greenwald has an article here with a full description of the British government’s Internet capabilities. I’ve included the list here verbatim:

• “Change outcome of online polls” (UNDERPASS)

• “Mass delivery of email messaging to support an Information Operations campaign” (BADGER) and “mass delivery of SMS messages to support an Information Operations campaign” (WARPARTH)

• “Disruption of video-based websites hosting extremist content through concerted target discovery and content removal.” (SILVERLORD)

• “Active skype capability. Provision of real time call records (SkypeOut and SkypetoSkype) and bidirectional instant messaging. Also contact lists.” (MINIATURE HERO)

• “Find private photographs of targets on Facebook” (SPRING BISHOP)

• “A tool that will permanently disable a target’s account on their computer” (ANGRY PIRATE)

• “Ability to artificially increase traffic to a website” (GATEWAY) and “ability to inflate page views on websites” (SLIPSTREAM)

• “Amplification of a given message, normally video, on popular multimedia websites (Youtube)” (GESTATOR)

• “Targeted Denial Of Service against Web Servers” (PREDATORS FACE) and “Distributed denial of service using P2P. Built by ICTR, deployed by JTRIG” (ROLLING THUNDER)

• “A suite of tools for monitoring target use of the UK auction site eBay (www.ebay.co.uk)” (ELATE)

• “Ability to spoof any email address and send email under that identity” (CHANGELING)

• “For connecting two target phone together in a call” (IMPERIAL BARGE)

Now it would be great fun if you were computer hacker employed by the British or American governments monitoring the Internet activity of groups like Al Qaeda or ISIS. After all, they love to post videos of their exploits against the West there, videos for example of them blowing up American Soldiers or lopping off the heads of Christians and Jews and plopping them on spikes! Wouldn’t it be great if instead of going to the intended video posted by the terrorists, you would instead be misdirected to a video of an old lady power walking or Afghani Muslims humping a goat before getting blown up by a JDAM laser guided missile? I think it would be hilarious, but that is not likely to happen given the current political climate.

Instead of the above scenario, imagine something a little more realistic. Say you are a conservative blogger who doesn’t like Barack Obama much. Perhaps you don’t like the way he plays golf as the world burns; he sides with Palestinian terrorists instead of a free and democratic Israel; he allows Russia to run amok in Ukraine while shooting down Malaysian airliners; he invites millions of undocumented immigrants to flood the border while selling guns and other weapons to the drug coyotes who are bringing them over; he’s destroyed the economy with Obamacare; allowed an innocent Marine to rot in a Mexican prison and allowed his IRS and Justice Departments to target people who don’t agree with him. Because you have a dream of an idealized America with freedom for all, you’ve taken it upon yourself to remark on the many arrogant missteps of your government in your $5 blog and now you’ve raised the attention of the NSA, whose boss is the very president who you’ve been criticizing all this time, and he doesn’t like it.

So now the NSA or its British equivalent if you happen to be a Brit, has a solution to shut you up. They can use government paid hackers they retain on staff to hack your computer and implant hours and hours of child porn, while the FBI or IRS fabricate a reason to get a search warrant for your house and computer. And bam, you’re sitting in front of a judge and a jury with your government provided defense attorney who is late for his golf game with the president defending yourself against a child porn rap while all the time maintaining your innocence. Scary huh? And your only defense to a skeptical jury is, “I don’t look at that crap! I have no idea how it got there!”

Nice huh! And it’s not out of the way too much to imagine is it. See, when it’s just you, who is going to believe that you don’t look at child porn, or that you’ve hatched a scheme to overthrow the government or that you are cheating on your wife or whatever. You’re just you. In the meanwhile the government has all the legal machinery available to them in the form of any number of alphabet soup type agencies with which to go after you: i.e. the IRS, the DOJ, the NSA, the FBI. You’re bad and you’re fellow citizens will see it and you’ll be thrown into jail. You’re a nut who needs to locked up. It’s a communist dictator’s dream.

The only solution to this problem in my view is for everyone to get a gun and a blog and start writing. They can’t get us all, and when they go after one of us, they go after all of us. The IRS may have destroyed all of those emails and hard drives, and the DOJ won’t press any charges against the Lois Lerner types,  but then the confidence in government will never be the same as long as the average citizen is an enemy of the state just for exercising his freedom of speech. Eventually the American Spring will happen and the end of progressive government will come to an end. The faster, the better. Our founders gave us a great, accountable, limited form of government. Progressives continue to try to take that away. They say the Constitution is too limiting, it’s a list of negative rights, whatever that means. We’ve got to send a message to our government that we reject being spied on and monitored, or free speech rights being curtailed and if they keep it up, we the people are going to throw them out of office and into jail.

In Great Britain, news organizations like News of the World, owned by billionaire media tycoon Rupert Murdoch went down in flames when it was discovered that reporters were listening illegally to phone conversations in order to get the scoop on dirt in the lives of celebrities so they could print their stories first in their latest editions. You can find information about that scandal here. People went to jail for that and News of the World was forced to shutter their doors. If’ it’s illegal for journalists to threaten the privacy of citizens, then why is OK for the government to do it. It’s not, and western governments need to know it’s not OK.

Who do they think they are anyway?

Now comes the conspiracy theories! Imagine if the News of the World scandal was a made up scenario by the government to punish conservative media. It cost Murdoch and friends serious loss of reputation, money and people went to jail over it. How do you prove your government sabotaged your media organization? What if Sen. Weiner’s Twitter account was actually hacked in order to shut him up for who knows what reason? See, there is a slippery slope developing here.

By the way, if you suspect you will eventually be caught doing something illegal on the Internet, maybe you’re running an illegal scam, or you’re in charge of an online gambling ring, or the aforementioned child porn racket, just hire a conservative blogger to create a cover story for you. And save copies of everything. You may have a plausible alibi when you’re case comes to trial!

When the government and thieves alike have the power to hack into your accounts through the Internet or listen to your phone calls, no one is safe from people with nefarious intent.  If someone doesn’t like you, and has these tools at their disposal, they can destroy you, your reputation, your life.

I suspect the private sector will be coming with a solution for this. Phones will have anti-listening or jamming software on them so that no one can listen in, Internet capable computers will have anti-spoofing software included, and there will be online reputation protection services cropping up dedicated to defending you in case you’re computer is hacked.

The bottom line is there is a lot of awful things happening on the Internet. Lots of great things too. The fact is that in a free society, information needs to be freely transmitted, the good with the bad. That is the marketplace of free ideas. When that capability is shuttered, bad things happen. It is better to tolerate the bad, then let the good be silenced.

In a free society, when the truth is given an equal footing, the truth always wins. That is the concept of the Free Marketplace of Ideas.

 Crossposted from the American Millennium Online

 

NEXT with Jonathan D. Sangster Week 2

nextWhere: NEXT with Jonathan D. Sangster

What: Looking for something more than the typical mainstream take on news and entertainment? Don’t miss NEXT with Jonathan D. Sangster. Talk radio for people that are looking for more than just the same old talk – for people that are looking for what’s NEXT.

Tonight: It’s time for Week 2 of NEXT with Jonathan D. Sangster. We’ll be going over Sunday’s major head lines, the Czech elections, the NSA protest in DC, recent terrorism in Denver, obstruction in game 3 of the World Series, Favre rejecting the Rams.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Saturday Night Cigar Lounge with Taylor – August 17th

sncl_logocdnWhen:Saturday, August 17th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Saturday Night Cigar Lounge with Taylor on Blog Talk Radio

What: Saturday nights were meant for cigars and politics.

Hear Taylor and his co-host Liz Harrison talk about everything from the past week – from politics, to news, to books, and entertainment. Whatever comes to mind, and of course, sobriety is not likely.

Tonight: Tonight Taylor talks with FreedomWorks’ Kemberlee Kaye about NYC’s “Stop and Frisk” law, and the recent ruling on it. Keeping with the personal liberty theme, there will also be talk about the recent information revealed about the NSA, and how far it really has been going when it comes to spying on U.S. citizens.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

 

 

 


Jabberwonky – August 11th

JabberwonkyCDNFinal

When: Sunday, August 11th, 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Jabberwonky on Blog Talk Radio

What:

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Whether it’s “down the rabbit hole”, or “through the looking glass”, the world of politics is often referred to in the lexicon given to us by Lewis Carroll. No matter what, those terms are resurrected when referring to something that has gone terribly wrong. And that’s what’s here on Jabberwonky…

Tonight: After a little hiatus due to vacation, it’s time to talk a little bit about how our politicians decide to spend their free time – and our tax dollars. Also, more fun with the IRS, sex and politics California-style, socialism v. fascism in America, and just how screwed up is our nation’s foreign policy and security apparatus.

Listen to internet radio with CDNews Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Dispensing with the ‘It’s the Law’ Rhetoric

Over the past few months, Progressives and Democrats who favor the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) – both elected and not – have insisted that the new and expanding entitlement will go forward as planned because, after all, it is “the law of the land.” When I ponder this statement I find myself less inclined to laugh and more inclined to succumb to sadness. That a faction that holds the Constitution in such disregard would so disingenuously foist the hypocrisy of this statement in defense of what is arguably an unconstitutional law, defies humor.

A cursory recollection of how this horrific, economy-killing piece of legislation came to be, not only illustrates a fundamental transgression of the spirit of American government, it shows how the Progressive movement executes an “ends justifies the means” political game plan. Because Progressives believe that the United States should provide socialized healthcare to every living being existing legally in the United States (and some who do not), they purposefully circumvented the legislative process, crafting the legislation with special interest groups – including labor unions, Progressive think tank operatives and foreign aligned special interest groups, behind closed doors and excluding members of the minority party. They then moved the legislation forward – at times threatening to “deem it passed” – along party lines, ignoring the protests of the minority party and howls of discontent from the American citizenry, and into law.

Today, as Republicans in the US House, which has the constitutionally mandated power of the purse, threaten to exclude any aspect of Obamacare from the funding of government operations – which is their constitutional right to do, Progressives and toady Democrats protest that the ACA is “the law of the land.” The proclamation would have even the slightest bit of weight if these same hypocrites always acquiesced to “the law of the land.” The fact is that they transgress the “law of the land” as a matter of policy; to advance an agenda that is often times anathema to the American system of government and the rule of law.

One can look back to the first Obama Administration’s abdication of the rule of law when newly installed Attorney General Eric Holder approved of political appointees at the Justice Department quashing the prosecution of New Black Panther Party members who executed one of the most egregious instances of voter intimidation in modern history. The “law of the land” mandated that the DoJ prosecute these constitutional transgressors to “the fullest extent” of the law. If “the law of the land” was so precious to these Obama-ite Progressives and Democrats, they would have been exploring ways to include charges of racial discrimination (as the perpetrators were Black and targeting White voters) and hate crimes. But, “the law of the land” wasn’t so important as to be followed in this instance.

One could look into the non-enforcement of immigration laws by the Obama Administration to evidence their selective support of “the law of the land.” For the entire tenure of Mr. Obama’s presidency we have witnessed border patrol members and their union representatives catalog a litany of directives emanating from DHS obfuscating efforts to secure our nation’s borders and hold to justice those who have broken our laws to exist here. Yet, in a post-911 world, when we hold proof-positive in our hands that Hezbollah, Hamas and al Qaeda are working with Mexican and South American drug cartels, the “law of the land” isn’t so important to the Progressives and their sycophant Democrats so as to be honored.

The several Congressional investigations into operational and political malfeasance executed under the Obama Administration provide ample evidence that the Executive Branch Progressives have little use for “the law of the land” when it does not suit their need or the advancement of their ideological, globalist or social justice agendas. The US Constitution gives the power of oversight – including subpoena powers – to Congress. Yet today the Obama Administration routinely obstructs congressional investigators, usurping “the law of the land”:

▪ Fast & Furious saw the Holder Justice Department illegally facilitating the movement of banned weapons across the Mexican border. And even in the face of the deaths of US Border Patrol Agents, the Obama Administration – to this day – thwarts efforts to fully investigate the program.

▪ The politically motivated use of the Internal Revenue Service to target what can only be described as opposition groups, i.e. TEA Party, Conservative and Libertarian advocacy groups, stands as one of the more serious misuses of a federal agency to affect politics in the history of the country. In fact, it was the second count in the impeachment indictment leveled against former-Pres. Richard Nixon. Yet, the Obama Administration shows little interest in assisting congressional investigators in their pursuit of protecting the American citizenry from their own government’s unlawful actions. (Note to Mr. Obama…President Nixon at least had the nobility to resign).

▪ The expansion – not just the continuation – of the NSA domestic surveillance program arguably usurps the Fourth Amendment protections provided the citizenry, but under the guise of protecting the country, even some members of Congress who have Top Secret clearances are kept in the dark on the program by members of the Obama Administration.

▪ And as four brave Americans – Amb. Christopher Stevens, Ty Woods, Sean Smith & Glen Doherty – lay cold in their graves, exclusively because Mr. Obama and his Progressive crew couldn’t be exposed for their putting politics ahead of protecting American assets overseas; American soil in the form of Embassy grounds, the “most transparent” administration in American history hides behind anything that will give them cover so as not to act in the spirit of “the law of the land”; so as not to afford the justice “the law of the land” is owed those four dead Americans (Note to former-Secretary of State and potential 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton: Yes, it does matter, to every American but the Progressive elected class, evidently).

But getting back to Obamacare being “the law of the land,” and the fact that these Progressive ideologues intend to inflict this economy-killing, divisive, wealth-redistributing program onto the American people, regardless of the fact that it has never – never – been popular with over half of the nation, and that it now falls well short of providing health insurance to “every American,” I have two questions:

1) If “the law of the land” is so very important to follow, then how is it that these same people ignore the fact that “the law of the land” allows the House of Representatives to refuse to fund the entitlement program?

2) If the “law of the land” is so sacrosanct then how can these Progressive elitist oligarchs decry any part of the US Constitution – the literal “law of the land” – as malleable; as subject to dictates of the day?

The truth be told, the only time “the law of the land” means anything to Progressives is when it serves their purpose. In any other case it is an edict to be scorned, rebuked, castigated and/or ignored. That Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the White House Communications Office and President Obama himself shamelessly hide behind the “It’s the law of the land” declaration in their defense of the legitimate House effort to save the country from this legislative mistake would be laughable if it weren’t so deadly serious.

So, let’s dispense with this rhetoric, shall we?

This Is Your Future: Ordering a Pizza In 2015, NSA Style

This is your future, America!

YouTube Description:

As your personal data from hospitals, insurance companies, banks, retailers, phone carriers, traffic records and every other manner of electronic interaction is merged into massive databases, it will soon be possible for not just the government, but companies you patronize on a daily basis to know your most intimate secrets.

All of this information will be used to build detailed profiles of your personal habits and qualifications for certain services. Just as your credit report is used to determine your financial worth and capability, a computer will soon determine what you are or not allowed to do.

Edward Snowden could be bound for Venezuela

edward-snowdenToday has been a slightly confusing time for anyone paying attention to the Edward Snowden situation. He remains not quite on Russian soil, holed up in an airport hotel outside Moscow, could theoretically go to Venezuela, but apparently hasn’t made a definite decision on that. Some of the confusion was fed by Russian MP Aleksey Pushkov, who tweeted out of turn about the NSA leaker.

“Predictably, Snowden has agreed to [Venezuelan President Nicolas] Maduro’s offer of political asylum. Apparently, this option appeared most reliable to Snowden,” Pushkov, the head of the lower house’s Committee on Foreign Affairs tweeted.

However, the post was deleted from the MP’s page on the microblog just minutes after it appeared.

“Information about Snowden accepting Maduro’s offer of asylum comes from [Russian TV channel] Vesti 24 newscast at 18:00. Contact them for all questions,” Pushkov tweeted shortly afterwards.

In spite of reports that Snowden apparently accepted the offer from Venezuela, WikiLeaks claims that isn’t the case. In the flurry of coverage, there are also conjectures about the logistics of getting to Venezuela in the first place, especially since the plane carrying President Evo Morales of Bolivia was diverted just over suspicion that Snowden was on board. The U.S. has threatened that the NSA leaker must not be permitted to fly anywhere but back to the states, and it remains unclear how he could get anywhere else, with the threat of retribution hanging over any nation that permits a flight to cross their aerospace. So, Snowden still has gone from “Catch Me If You Can” to “The Terminal”, at least until he can figure out travel arrangements that won’t land him back in the U.S.

Snowden reveals western states shared information with NSA

Abode of Chaos (CC)

Abode of Chaos (CC)

The righteous indignation of European states in the wake of Edward Snowden’s release that the U.S. was spying on them isn’t as upright as it may seem. The latest revelation is that while they were being monitored, they were also benefiting from U.S. intelligence operations. While this may not seem very earth-shattering in the current atmosphere of rampant invasions of privacy worldwide, it brings up another issue – contingency plans if such operations ended up in the public eye.

As reported by AFP:

In remarks published in German, Snowden said an NSA department known as the Foreign Affairs Directorate coordinated work with foreign secret services.

The partnerships are organised so that authorities in other countries can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” if it becomes public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy,” he said.

The interview was conducted by US cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras using “encrypted emails shortly before Snowden became known globally for his whistleblowing”, Spiegel said.

On cooperation with Germany’s BND foreign intelligence agency, Snowden said the NSA provides “analysis tools” for data passing through Germany from regions such as the Middle East.

While there has been talk that these latest revelations about U.S. intelligence operations having a chilling effect on upcoming trade negotiations, leaders need to weigh the value of such an action. The implication at this point could be that they are upset not only about being spied on by the U.S., but also about the fact that they have plans to protect themselves from being associated directly with their own intelligence operations that involve invading the privacy of private citizens worldwide. Snowden has significantly changed the situation by releasing information that even implies that such plans exist.

Snowden remains in a Russian airport hotel, while three South American nations have suggested that they are willing to offer him asylum. Whether or not he will be able to take advantage of those offers is uncertain.

Hammered Radio – Special Edition – NSA/Snowden SCOTUS Panel

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When: Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Hammered Radio – Special Edition – NSA/Snowden SCOTUS Panel

Tonight: This is a Special Edition of Hammered Radio – NSA/Snowden SCOTUS Roundtable discussion. Stevie J West and Steve Hamilton will be speaking with our special Guests:

Mandy Nagy – Investigative Writer for Legal Insurrection & Breitbart ‘The Convo.’ @Liberty_Chick on twitter

Kira Ayn Davis – Contributor at http://ijreview.com , video blogger, and host of “The Dark Side with Kira Davis” on FTR Radio. @KiraAynDavis on twitter

Susie Moore – Lawyer, Host of Gillespie on FTR Radio, and blogger. @SmoosieQ on twitter

This will be an exciting show as Mandy discusses Edward Snowden’s history, actions, and possible outcomes of his actions. Kira will also help us understand why this has become such a divisive subject between various Conservative Groups. And, we will get into the NSA itself. Are their actions legal, constitutional? How far should our government go to “protect” us and when does it cross the line into invasion of privacy?

We’re also talkikng about the landmark SCOTUS rulings this week and Susie will share her thoughts and understandings on their impact.

We have a lot to cover and a great panel to help shed light on this complicated and changing situation. Callers Welcome, see you there :)

Hong Kong Responds To US Over Snowden

edward_snowdenThe government of Hong Kong has told the US it wasn’t going to stop Edward Snowden from leaving the country. From their statement, “Since the documents provided by the US Government did not fully comply with the legal requirements under Hong Kong law, the HKSAR Government has requested the US Government to provide additional information so that the Department of Justice could consider whether the US Government’s request can meet the relevant legal conditions. As the HKSAR Government has yet to have sufficient information to process the request for provisional warrant of arrest, there is no legal basis to restrict Mr Snowden from leaving Hong Kong.”

Basically, they gave the US (and the Obama Administration) the finger.

Edward Snowden Heads To Russia

edward_snowden

Update: BBC says Snowden is IN Russia.

The South China Morning Post is now reporting Edward Snowden is on his way to Moscow. No idea if this is true, but the SCMP is one of the few papers to actually talk to Snowden while he’s been holed up in Hong Kong. The Obama Administration was trying to get Snowden extradited to the US to face espionage charges, but now that could be all tossed away. Snowden isn’t expected to stay in Russia by the way, he’s supposed to be off to Iceland or Ecuador.

Of course, if Snowden is on his way to Moscow, let’s see how the US-Russia relations are doing. Ever since “flexibility,” of course.

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