Jun 20

Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant (Guardian, June 20, 2013):

Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ communication

Document one: procedures used by NSA to target non-US persons
Document two: procedures used by NSA to minimise data collected from US persons


The documents show that discretion as to who is actually targeted lies directly with the NSA’s analysts. Photograph: Martin Rogers/Workbook Stock/Getty

Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information “inadvertently” collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

The Guardian is publishing in full two documents submitted to the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (known as the Fisa court), signed by Attorney General Eric Holder and stamped 29 July 2009. They detail the procedures the NSA is required to follow to target “non-US persons” under its foreign intelligence powers and what the agency does to minimize data collected on US citizens and residents in the course of that surveillance.

The documents show that even under authorities governing the collection of foreign intelligence from foreign targets, US communications can still be collected, retained and used.

Continue reading »

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Jun 20

KKK member, accomplice created lethal X-ray system, FBI says (CNN, June 20, 2013):

New York (CNN) — Two New York state men have been charged in a bizarre plan to develop a mobile X-ray system that would be used from afar to silently kill people that they deemed “undesirable,” federal officials said.

Glendon Scott Crawford, 49, and Eric J. Feight, 54, were arrested Tuesday after an undercover operation by the Albany FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. They were charged with conspiracy to provide material support for use of a weapon of mass destruction, according to the criminal complaint.

Crawford and Feight were developing a device “intended to be mobile … designed to turn on remotely from some distance away” that would emit “some dangerous levels of X-ray radiation,” according to John Duncan, executive assistant U.S. attorney for the Northern District of New York.

Individuals who might have been “subject to this X-ray radiation, would not immediately know that they had been harmed until some days later when they would either be injured, or it could result in their death,” he said.

The suspects intended to use the device a Department of Justice news release said.

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Jun 16

NSA Admits To Warrantless Wiretapping According To House Judiciary Committee Member (ZeroHedge, June 16, 2013):

More confusion, or just more lies? You decide.In an exchange first caught by CNET, Rep Gerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, questioned FBI Director Robert Mueller late last week about the NSA surveillance programs.

Nadler asked Mueller if a warrant is needed to listen to the content of a domestic phone call. Mueller said a national security letter is needed to get subscriber info and a FISA warrant is needed to get content. Nadler said he was told the exact opposite.

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Jun 09

Jim Sensenbrenner is a US politician who has been a member of the Republican party in the House of Representatives since 1979, representing Wisconsin’s 5th congressional district. In 2001, he introduced the USA Patriot Act in the House


President Obama falsely claims Congress authorised all NSA surveillance. In fact, our law was designed to protect liberties


Barack Obama discusses the NSA surveillance controversy at a press conference in California, on Friday. Photograph: Evan Vucci/AP

This abuse of the Patriot Act must end (Guardian, by Jim Sensenbrenner, June 9, 2013):

We’ve gotten used to what “Big Government” looks like – Washington’s unchecked deficit spending, the Obama administration’s policing of the press and the IRS’s targeting of conservative groups. But the problem is bigger than we thought. “Big Brother” is watching. And he is monitoring the phone calls and digital communications of every American, as well as of any foreigners who make or receive calls to or from the United States.

Last week, the Guardian reported that the Obama administration is collecting records of every call made to, from or within the US, as well as records of many digital communications. President Obama has tried to deflect criticism by claiming “every member of Congress has been briefed on this program.” While some members of Congress were briefed – particularly those on the intelligence committees – most, including myself, were not.

The administration claims authority to sift through details of our private lives because the Patriot Act says that it can. I disagree. I authored the Patriot Act, and this is an abuse of that law.

I was the chairman of the House judiciary committee when the US was attacked on 11 September 2001. Five days later, the Justice Department delivered its proposal for new legislation. Although I, along with every other American, knew we had to strengthen our ability to combat those targeting our country, this version went too far. I believed then and now that we can defend our country and our liberty at the same time.

I immediately called then-House Speaker Dennis Hastert and asked him for time to redraft the legislation. I told the speaker that if the legislation moved forward as drafted, I would not only vote against it, but would actively oppose it.

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Jun 09

The NSA’s “Boundless Informant” Collects 3 Billion Intelligence Pieces From US Computer Networks In One Month (ZeroHedge, June 8, 2013):

There’s one reason why the administration, James Clapper and the NSA should just keep their mouths shut as the PRISM-gate fallout escalates: with every incremental attempt to refute some previously unknown facet of the US Big Brother state, a new piece of previously unleaked information from the same intelligence organization now scrambling for damage control, emerges and exposes the brand new narrative as yet another lie, forcing even more lies, more retribution against sources, more journalist persecution and so on.The latest piece of news once again comes from the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald who this time exposes the NSA’s datamining tool “Boundless Informant” which according to leaked documents collected 97 billion pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide in March 2013 alone, and “3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period.”

This is summarized in the chart below which shows that only the middle east has more active NSA-espionage than the US. Also, Obama may not want to show Xi the activity heatmap for China, or else the whole “China is hacking us” script may promptly fall apart.

Using simple, non-AES 256 breaking math, 3 billion per month amounts to some 100 million intrusions into the US per day, or looked at from another perspective, just a little more than the “zero” which James Clapper vouched announced earlier today is the applicable number of US citizens falling under the NSA’s espionage mandate: “Section 702 cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, or any other U.S. person, or to intentionally target any person known to be in the United States.” Oops.

But it gets worse for the NSA. As the Guardian reports, “Emmel, the NSA spokeswoman, told the Guardian: “Current technology simply does not permit us to positively identify all of the persons or locations associated with a given communication (for example, it may be possible to say with certainty that a communication traversed a particular path within the internet. It is harder to know the ultimate source or destination, or more particularly the identity of the person represented by the TO:, FROM: or CC: field of an e-mail address or the abstraction of an IP address). Thus, we apply rigorous training and technological advancements to combine both our automated and manual (human) processes to characterize communications – ensuring protection of the privacy rights of the American people. This is not just our judgment, but that of the relevant inspectors general, who have also reported this.”

In other words, Americans are absolutely the target of billions of monthly intrusions, but said data “mining” is exempted because it is difficult to identify in advance if a US citizen is implicated in any metadata chain.

Only it isn’t as it is the whole premise behind Boundless Informant. Continue reading »

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Jun 01

Secret Court Document Finds Spy Techniques Unconstitutional, Justice Department Fights To Keep It Hidden (International Business Times, May 30, 2013):

The Justice Department may soon be forced to reveal a classified document that details unconstitutional surveillance of American citizens. The Justice Department has fought to keep the document secret for about a year, but a recent court order demands that they respond to a formal request filed by the Electronic Frontier Foundation by next week, June 7, 2013.This document was first revealed last July by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to call attention to an expansion of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 2008 — which then-Sen. Barack Obama voted for . According to Wyden, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled that the government violated the Fourth Amendment. The FISC mostly operates in secret, so the actual court decision remained classified. Wyden was only able to say the FISC decision existed; he was unable to disclose any details about the actual surveillance techniques that were deemed unconstitutional or how many Americans they affected.

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Jun 01

Eric Holder perjured himself in lie about AP – DOJ intimidation scheme (Natural News, May 30, 2013):

It is said that when you lie often, sooner or later you will be caught in your own web of deceit. That may have just happened with Attorney General Eric Holder.

Last week Holder appeared before the House Government Reform and Oversight Committee to provide testimony regarding the Justice Department’s potentially improper confiscation of the phone records of 20 Associated Press reporters and editors.

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May 28

Eric Holder Under Investigation By House Judiciary Committee For Lying Under Oath (ZeroHedge, May 28, 2013):

With the euphoric market once again serving as a much needed distraction from far bigger geopolitical issues, many have forgotten the plethora of scandals the Obama administration has recently found itself engulfed in. This may change shortly, following news that the head of the US Department of Justice, Eric Holder himself, is now being investigated for lying under oath. Will he too receive an extended absence of leave (with pay) after pleading the fifth, or will the circle of lies slowly but surely start to unwind? Of course, in the New Normal it is probably not only expected, but given, that the chief legal enforcer is just a little more equal when it comes to the same justice he is tasked to enforce.

From The Hill:

The House Judiciary Committee is investigating whether Attorney General Eric Holder lied under oath during his May 15 testimony on the Justice Department’s (DOJ) surveillance of reporters, an aide close to the matter told The Hill.

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May 25

Eric Holder Vetted Search Warrant For James Rosen Emails, DOJ Confirms (Huffington Post, May 24, 2013):

Attorney General Eric Holder signed off on the decision to seek the personal emails of a Fox News reporter by suggesting he was a “co-conspirator” in a criminal leak case, the Department of Justice confirmed in a statement on Friday.

The department “took great care in deciding that a search warrant was necessary in the Kim matter, vetting the decision at the highest levels of the Department, including discussions with the Attorney General,” the DOJ said in a statement about the search warrant seeking James Rosen’s emails.

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May 25

James Rosen Emails Should Be Monitored Indefinitely, DOJ Argued (Huffington Post, May 24, 2013):

The Justice Department argued that Fox News reporter James Rosen’s emails should be monitored for an indefinite period of time, even in the absence of being able to bring charges against him, according to court filings unearthed by The New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza.

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May 17

Eric Holder Just “Doesn’t Know”…Video of the Day! (Liberty Blitzkrieg, May 17, 2013):

If you are looking for a hilarious, short video to end the workweek with…look no further! Nothing sums up the state of disorder in the the union like watching Attorney General Eric Holder stumble when confronted on his incompetence and cronyism by the almost equally corrupt Congress.  Let’s cut the guy some slack though, he was probably too busy prosecuting banker crimes to be bothered with such trivial matters…


YouTube

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May 14

AG Holder To Recuse Himself From AP Leak-Gate Investigation (ZeroHedge, May 14, 2013):

From one farce to another:

  • *HOLDER SAID TO RECUSE HIMSELF FROM AP PHONE RECORDS CASE
  • *HOLDER SAID TO RECUSE HIMSELF BECAUSE HE WAS QUESTIONED IN CASE

Yesterday, the Associated Press revealed the Department of Justice had been secretly monitoring both the personal and work phones of numerous AP editors and reporters. So just what did Holder know? For now, it is not known if Holder authorized or even knew about the investigation.

Attorney General Holder recused himself from AP subpoena (Reuters, May 14, 2013):

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on Tuesday that he recused himself from the Justice Department’s controversial decision to secretly seize telephone records of the Associated Press.

Instead, the decision to seek the media records was made by the deputy attorney general, Holder said. Jim Cole currently holds that position.

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May 13

Parents have no ‘right’ to homeschool their kids, says Justice Department (Natural News, May 13, 2013):

Individual liberty is being burned at the stake, as governments set fire to people natural rights. This time it has everything to do with homeschooling.

It all started in Germany. Uwe and Hannelore Romeike were raising their five children in the German state of Baden-Wurttemberg, when they decided to remove their children from the public education system. In 2006, the Romeike’s illegally withdrew their children from the German public schools system and began homeschooling. Believing that the public education system was undermining their Christian faith, the Romeike’s began breaking the law and teaching their kids at home. By exercising their natural rights, the Romeikes were fined over $10,000 by the German government and at one point their children were forcefully removed from their home. In 2010, after getting their children back, they chose to flee Germany and move to the United States.

Finding freedom in the US, only to be challenged again, this time by the US

Upon arrival in Tennessee, the Romeikes were granted asylum. A federal judge rebuked the German policy and ruled that the Romeike’s had a reasonable fear of persecution for their personal beliefs if they returned to Germany.

Nothing much was said about the issue until the Obama’s Administration’s Department of Justice got involved.

Attorney General, Eric Holder came out and opposed the federal court ruling, siding with the German government. He pleaded that the Romeike’s be denied their asylum. Holder believes that governments may legitimately use force and authority to make parents comply with government-sanctioned schools.

With statements like these, the United States, once a beacon for liberty, is now endorsing force and mandates in regard to education. The right to homeschool and teach one’s own children is a fundamental human right is now at stake. It doesn’t matter what beliefs each family has. It’s liberty that matters. According to Holder, that liberty should be supervised by the federal government. Continue reading »

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May 13

And nobody gives a f*** anymore!

“There will be, in the next generation or so, a pharmacological method of making people love their servitude, and producing dictatorship without tears, so to speak, producing a kind of painless concentration camp for entire societies, so that people will in fact have their liberties taken away from them, but will rather enjoy it, because they will be distracted from any desire to rebel by propaganda or brainwashing, or brainwashing enhanced by pharmacological methods. And this seems to be the final revolution.”
– Aldous Huxley, 1961

“By the skillful and sustained use of propaganda, one can make a people see even heaven as hell or an extremely wretched life as paradise.”
– Adolf Hitler


Watergate Was For Amateurs: Justice Department Spied For Months On Associated Press Reporters (ZeroHedge, May 13, 2013):

And so the final curtain falls on the myth of what was supposed to be, in its own words, the most transparent administration in history.

As it turns out, the big Friday story of Bloomberg journalists snooping on its clients was just amateur hour compared to what the AP was about to serve. In fact, the Watergate affair may soon appear like a walk in the park compared to the First Amendment shitstorm that is about to be unleashed following the just reported news that the US Department of Justice had “secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.”

First amendment? Freedom of speech and press? Surely not when it comes to the Nobel-peace prize winning President and those who dare to expose his secret ways.

And what’s worst, is that the AP breach has all the makings of a spiteful hack driven by personal vengeance against one of America’s premier news outlets.

We can’t wait to see the rest of the not so conservative media stands up in arms and defend one of their peers against an administration whose utter disdain for all checks and balances puts Stalinist Russia to shame. Or perhaps it will be merely a case of “first they came for AP’s reporters, and we said nothing…”

And while it has long been known that the NSA actively intercepts and records every single form of electronic communication, the unspoken truth is that the government can do anything it wants as long as it doesn’t get caught. It just did, and not only in Benghazi, or the IRS fiasco, but in making a complete mockery of the First Amendment.

As the NSA whistleblower told Wired Magazine over a year ago, “we are this far from a turnkey totalitarian state“, all we can add is “we are now in a full-blown totalitarian state.”

And nobody cares.

The AP story which must be read to be believed:

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press in what the news cooperative’s top executive called a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

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Apr 04

Eric Holder Gets Busy: Enron’s Skilling May Be Released From Prison Over A Decade Early (ZeroHedge, April 4, 2013):

Former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling may be the latest beneficiary of the culture of pervasive permitted, even according to some – encouraged, crime. After being sentenced to prison for 24 years in the aftermath of Enron’s spectacular 2001 bankruptcy, the former CEO may be released after serving well less than half of his term. As a result his prison term, which scheduled to end in 2028, may be cut by more than half as a result of a new agreement with the Department of Justice. It appears that AG Eric Holder is so busy not prosecuting Wall Street for being Too Big To Prosecute, he has decided it is far wiser to spend his time productively by commuting the sentences of convicted financial felons, because apparently there is nothing more important to do.

Reuters reports: “Former Enron Chief Executive Jeffrey Skilling, who is serving a 24-year sentence over the company’s spectacular collapse, may get a chance to leave prison early. The U.S. Department of Justice posted a notice indicating that prosecutors are considering entering an agreement with Skilling that could result in his being resentenced. It is unclear how much Skilling’s term could be shortened under a resentencing agreement. Wednesday’s notice gives former Enron employees, stockholders and other victims of Skilling’s fraud that led to Enron’s 2001 bankruptcy a chance to object.”

From the DOJ filing:

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Mar 25

The “Wealth Tax” Contagion Is Rapidly Spreading: Switzerland, Cyprus And Now …. (ZeroHedge, March 25, 2013):

It was only yesterday that we wrote about comparable problems to those which Russian depositors may (or may not be?) suffering in Cyprus right, this time impacting wealthy Americans and their Swiss bank accounts, where as a result of unprecedented DOJ pressure the local banks will soon breach all client confidentiality and expose all US citizens who still have cash in the former tax haven under the assumption that they are all tax evaders and violators. And in the continuum of creeping wealth taxes which first started in Switzerland, then Cyprus, and soon who knows where else, there was just one question: “The question then is: how many of the oligarchs, Russian or otherwise, who avoided a complete wipe out and total capital controls in Cyprus, will wait to find out if the same fate will befall them in Switzerland? Or Luxembourg? Or Liechtenstein? Or Singapore?” Today we got the answer, and yes it was one of the abovementioned usual suspects. The winner is…. Liechtenstein.

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Jan 24

Assistant Attorney General Admits On TV That In The US Justice Does Not Apply To The Banks (ZeroHedge, Jan 23, 2013):

Those who watched Frontline’s special on why nobody has been prosecuted on Wall Street titled appropriately “The Untouchables” didn’t learn much new. The rehash of ideas presented is what has been well known for years – namely that when it comes to prosecuting Wall Street criminals nothing will ever happen, because as Bill Gross tweeted Its not Republican in politics. Its not Dem in politics. Its money in politics” and all the money in politics comes from Wall Street, which happens to be the ultimate ruler of the United States of America, pushing levers here and pulling stringer there to give the impression the constitutional republic is still alive. It isn’t – this country has become an unchecked despotism of those in charge of money creation and who control capital – just the thing Andrew Jackson warned against. One thing we did learn, was courtesy of Assistant Attorney General Lenny Breuer who made it very clear that when it comes to the concept of justice the banks are and always have been “more equal” than others. He does so in such shocking clarity and enthusiasm that it is a miracle that this person is still employed by the US Department of Justice.

To wit from the transcript: Continue reading »

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Jan 24

Assistant Attorney General Breuer Gets DOJ Boot In “Untouchables” Aftermath (ZeroHedge, Jan 23, 2013):

Earlier today, we reported that “Assistant Attorney General Admits On TV That In The US Justice Does Not Apply To The Banks” when we commented on last night’s PBS special “The Untouchables.” Explicitly, we said that it was “Lenny Breuer who made it very clear that when it comes to the concept of justice the banks are and always have been “more equal” than others. He does so in such shocking clarity and enthusiasm that it is a miracle that this person is still employed by the US Department of Justice.” As of minutes ago that is no longer the case as his employment contract has been torn up. The WaPo reports, that Lanny A. Breuer is leaving the Justice Department “after leading the agency’s efforts to clamp down on public corruption and financial fraud at the nation’s largest banks, according to several people familiar with the matter….It is not clear when Breuer intends to leave, nor what he plans to do once he departs, but it is certain that the prosecutor’s days in office are winding down, according to people who were not authorized to speak publicly about the matter.”

From WaPo:

Breuer is widely credited with aggressively going after white-collar crime in the aftermath of the crisis. He also stepped up the division’s involvement in money laundering cases, launching a series of criminal investigations that have resulted in multimillion-dollar settlements. Continue reading »

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Jan 20

Justice Department ‘Complies’ With FOIA Request For GPS Tracking Memos; Hands ACLU 111 Fully Redacted Pages (TechDirt, Jan 17,2013)

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Sep 29

All Your Private Data Are Belong To Obama (ZeroHedge, Sep 28, 2012):

When it comes to spying, eavesdropping on its citizens as well as the complete invasion of American privacy, the first thing that comes to mind is the Patriot ACT and Dubya. And with good reason: because while the rest of the world may “hate us for our freedoms”, they certainly love us for the fact that the NSA usually can autocomplete sentences before they are written in any electronic medium (recall: NSA Whistleblower Speaks Live: “The Government Is Lying To You“). However, as it turns out that the first thing that should be coming to mind is none other than the current administration and Barack Obama. Here are the facts: as the ACLU reveals using documents released by the Justice Department following months of litigation, “federal law enforcement agencies are increasingly monitoring Americans’ electronic communications, and doing so without warrants, sufficient oversight, or meaningful accountability.” How “increasingly”? Look at the chart below and decide.

From the ACLU: Between 20909 and 2011 “the number of people whose telephones were the subject of pen register and trap and trace surveillance more than tripled. In fact, more people were subjected to pen register and trap and trace surveillance in the past two years than in the entire previous decade.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

This is how Uncle Sam spies on you: Continue reading »

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