Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin has signed a sweeping bill that establishes robust privacy protections in the state into law. It not only limits warrantless surveillance and helps ensure electronic privacy in Vermont, it will also hinder several federal surveillance programs that rely on cooperation and data from state and local law enforcement.
The new law bans warrantless use of stingray devices to track the location of phones and sweep up electronic communications, restricts the use of drones for surveillance by police, and generally prohibits law enforcement officers from obtaining electronic data from service providers without a warrant or a judicially issued subpoena. Continue reading »
Edward Snowden’s story is one that most know by now – the NSA contractor who went rogue and instead of going through available channels to voice his concerns, leaked sensitive government documents that revealed how the US surveillance state operates for all the world to see.
Or at least, that’s what the government’s version of the story is.
In a Vice News exclusive, based on over 800 pages of newly released documents from the NSA and countless interviews, Vice News finds that there is much more to the story that the public isn’t being told. Snowden, according to Vice News, did have both email and face-to-face contact with compliance over concerns, and the available options for Snowden may not have been adequate during the time Snowden was actually working as a contractor at the NSA. Continue reading »
What is it about whistleblowers that the powers that be can’t stand?
When I blew the whistle on the CIA’s illegal torture program, I was derided in many quarters as a traitor. My detractors in the government attacked me for violating my secrecy agreement, even as they ignored the oath we’d all taken to protect and defend the Constitution.
All of this happened despite the fact that the torture I helped expose is illegal in the United States. Torture also violates a number of international laws and treaties to which our country is signatory — some of which the United States itself was the driving force in drafting.Continue reading »
Constitutional and civil rights lawyer John Whitehead of the Rutherford Institutes notes:
On any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.
“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted…the Patriot Act. As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.” – US Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall
The President, the Head of the National Security Agency, the Department of Justice, the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, and the Judiciary, are intentionally keeping massive amounts of information about surveillance of US and other people secret from voters.
Additionally, some are, to say it politely, not being factually accurate in what they are telling the public. These inaccurate statements are either intentional lies meant to mislead the public or they are evidence that the people who are supposed to be in charge of oversight do not know what they are supposed to be overseeing. Either way, this is a significant crisis. Here are thirteen examples of what they are doing.
One. The Government seizes and searches all internet and text communications which enter or leave the USContinue reading »
Two senior U.S. intelligence officials said recently that defense and intelligence employees have an “unbelievable” amount of child pornography on their work computers and devices, and that child porn has been found on the systems of the National Security Agency, the country’s biggest intelligence organization.
Big Brother is watching you and he wants you to believe that if you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.
This is a lie, of course, and as we move deeper into the era of state sponsored technological surveillance, we see more evidence that the loss of privacy and confidence in inter-personal communications is transforming the individual into a compliant, self-policing ward of the state.Continue reading »
Let me begin by saying that unless you’ve taken the time to look into Edward Snowden, then he’s probably not who you think he is. He’s certainly not the low level data entry schmuck the media made him out to be when he spilled many of the NSA’s secrets and then had to flee the country back in 2013. The public was led to believe that Snowden was little more than the guy from IT that you call when the printer toner runs out, but being a sneaky little bastard, he managed to sneak in a zip drive one day and downloaded all kinds of top secret information. Nothing could be further from the truth. Continue reading »
Governmental control is nothing compared to what Google is up to. The company is creating a wholly new genus of capitalism, a systemic coherent new logic of accumulation we should call surveillance capitalism. Is there nothing we can do?surveillance capitalism
Google surpassed Apple as the world’s most highly valued company in January for the first time since 2010. (Back then each company was worth less than 200 billion. Now each is valued at well over 500 billion.) While Google’s new lead lasted only a few days, the company’s success has implications for everyone who lives within the reach of the Internet. Why? Because Google is ground zero for a wholly new subspecies of capitalism in which profits derive from the unilateral surveillance and modification of human behavior. This is a new surveillance capitalism that is unimaginable outside the inscrutable high velocity circuits of Google’s digital universe, whose signature feature is the Internet and its successors. While the world is riveted by the showdown between Apple and the FBI, the real truth is that the surveillance capabilities being developed by surveillance capitalists are the envy of every state security agency. What are the secrets of this new capitalism, how do they produce such staggering wealth, and how can we protect ourselves from its invasive power?
“Most Americans realize that there are two groups of people who are monitored regularly as they move about the country. The first group is monitored involuntarily by a court order requiring that a tracking device be attached to their ankle. The second group includes everyone else…”Continue reading »
The “it’s for your own protection” chickens are coming home to roost. The tyrannical powers granted to government in order to stop foreign terrorists are rapidly being turned inward against an ever servile and apathetic American public. The “war on terror” is slowly but surely transitioning into a “war on the citizenry.” A war that will only intensify as the public mood toward the status quo deteriorates further.
In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.
– James Madison, Founding Father and 4th President of these United States
Our founding fathers studied power structures over the millennia and knew exactly what they were doing when solidifying the Bill of Rights into the U.S. Constitution. All it took was a couple hundred years, an extraordinarily ignorant and apathetic American public, and a major terror attack to roll back this multi-generational gift. Continue reading »
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.Continue reading »
The Obama administration is on the verge of permitting the National Security Agency to share more of the private communications it intercepts with other American intelligence agencies without first applying any privacy protections to them, according to officials familiar with the deliberations.
The change would relax longstanding restrictions on access to the contents of the phone calls and email the security agency vacuums up around the world, including bulk collection of satellite transmissions, communications between foreigners as they cross network switches in the United States, and messages acquired overseas or provided by allies. Continue reading »
Inside the secret network behind mass surveillance, endless war, and Skynet
INSURGE INTELLIGENCE, a new crowd-funded investigative journalism project, breaks the exclusive story of how the United States intelligence community funded, nurtured and incubated Google as part of a drive to dominate the world through control of information. Seed-funded by the NSA and CIA, Google was merely the first among a plethora of private sector start-ups co-opted by US intelligence to retain ‘information superiority.’
The origins of this ingenious strategy trace back to a secret Pentagon-sponsored group, that for the last two decades has functioned as a bridge between the US government and elites across the business, industry, finance, corporate, and media sectors. The group has allowed some of the most powerful special interests in corporate America to systematically circumvent democratic accountability and the rule of law to influence government policies, as well as public opinion in the US and around the world. The results have been catastrophic: NSA mass surveillance, a permanent state of global war, and a new initiative to transform the US military into Skynet.
According to documents published by Wikileaks this week, the NSA spied on multiple world leaders on behalf of oil companies. The documents revealed that the NSA spied on the private meetings of world leaders such as UN chief Ban Ki-Moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and other European politicians.
The discussion between Ban Ki-Moon and Merkel was involving environmental pollution and the impact that fossil fuels had on the environment, and according to the WikiLeaks release, the NSA was listening in for the purpose of collecting information for oil companies. Continue reading »
A recent examination of National Security Agency documents previously released by whistleblower Edward Snowden shows that the CIA and other U.S. agencies may be killing innocent people as a result of their reliance on metadata.
The NSA’s SKYNET is a program that surveils phone metadata in order to track suspected terrorists. Through SKYNET, the security agency engages in mass surveillance of Pakistan’s mobile phone network, affecting 55 million people — but that’s not all. Once the data is gathered, it’s run through a machine learning algorithm that attempts to rate whether a particular individual is more or less likely to be a terrorist. Continue reading »
Real interview (after the introduction and the video clip) starts at 5:10 into the video:
Published on Feb 1, 2015
Jeff interviews international man of intrigue and freedom fighter John McAfee, topics include: massive corruption in central america, McAfee on the run, Belize a dictatorship, a wild ride, you are responsible for your own security, selective privacy, obtrusive and sneaky applications present real dangers, you cant rely on the government, NSA far from the only spy, homeland insecurity, the madness of the ‘war on terror’, yoga and meditation, on being alone… Continue reading »
(To read about Jon’s mega-collection, Power Outside The Matrix, click here.)
“The Matrix can be looked at as one gigantic covert op. It spills over with cover stories and lies and false trails, to conceal what is actually going on under the surface. The information- specialists have to make the surface seem true, so no one bothers to look underneath it. Keep in mind that media stories, no matter how absurd they are, tend to be believed because they’re simpler than the truth, and people want simple. If the Times says three terrorists jumped out of a mule’s ass on a quiet road and killed a group of tourists, and you come along and propose that the attack was actually the result of a multi-bank money transfer and three idiot dupes who were pumped up by an FBI informant, part of the reason your scenario is rejected is because the mule’s-ass version has only one step…” (The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
Update: the CIA has just refused a FIOA request for information about its former employee, Edward Snowden.
The request was filed on November 15 by John Young, the owner of Cryptome.org. The CIA’s response, dated December 29, refers to Young’s query seeking “records granting Edward Joseph Snowden access to classified information…[and] records indicating Mr. Snowden[‘s] compliance with controls of classified information upon leaving the CIA.” Continue reading »
In January 2014, during the scandalous aftermath of Edward Snowden’s NSA snooping revelations, one which revealed the US had been spying on its closest allies for years, Obama banned U.S. eavesdropping on leaders of close friends and allies and promised he would begin reining in the vast collection of Americans’ phone data in a series of limited reforms.
Update: CISA is now the law: OBAMA SIGNS SPENDING, TAX BILL THAT REPEALS OIL EXPORT BAN
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Back in 2014, civil liberties and privacy advocates were up in arms when the government tried to quietly push through the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act, or CISA, a law which would allow federal agencies – including the NSA – to share cybersecurity, and really any information with private corporations “notwithstanding any other provision of law.” The most vocal complaint involved CISA’s information-sharing channel, which was ostensibly created for responding quickly to hacks and breaches, and which provided a loophole in privacy laws that enabled intelligence and law enforcement surveillance without a warrant.
Ironically, in its earlier version, CISA had drawn the opposition of tech firms including Apple, Twitter, Reddit, as well as the Business Software Alliance, the Computer and Communications Industry Association and many others including countless politicians and, most amusingly, the White House itself. Continue reading »
On Friday, Congress will vote on a mutated version of security threat sharing legislation that had previously passed through the House and Senate. These earlier versions would have permitted private companies to share with the federal government categories of data related to computer security threat signatures. Companies that did so would also receive legal immunity from liability under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and other privacy laws. Today’s language, renamed the Cybersecurity Act of 2015 (Division N of the omnibus budget bill) mostly assembles the worst parts of the earlier bills to threaten privacy even further.
We have about two days to figure out what this so-called Cybersecurity Act (OmniCISA) means for consumer privacy in the US. That unfortunate timing is thanks to Speaker Paul Ryan’s decision to include language announced at 2am this morning as part of a must-pass spending bill scheduled for a vote Friday.
I know it’s hard to believe, but yes, Paul Ryan is indeed far worse than John Boehner. The fact that Republican members of Congress chose to make him Speaker of the House tells you all you need to know about the true nature of the GOP and who they really work for (it’s not you). After all, Paul Ryan’s public record speaks for itself. He voted for the banker bailouts as well as the Iraq War. He’s a very well behaved little status quo puppet. Continue reading »
US Senator Ron Wyden asked the new NSA boss – General Mike Rogers – at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing today:
As a general matter, is it correct that anytime there are copies of an encryption key — and they exist in multiple places — that also creates more opportunities for malicious actors or foreign hackers to get access to the keys?”
Data collection and invasive monitoring of American citizens has been at the forefront of government activities for decades. After revelations by Edward Snowden in recent years, the fringe conspiracy theorists who warned of Big Brother surveillance and had been laughed at by the general population were finally proven right.But despite the literal hundreds of thousands of pages of information about government snooping and the Congressional “investigations” that followed, nothing has been done to curb the unabated violations of Americans’ Constitutional rights to be secure in their homes and personal effects.
Thus, as always, the free market began developing its own solutions. Earlier this year an inventor by the name of Benjamin Caudill announced a device he dubbed the ProxyHam which was going to literally change everything about how those concerned with privacy could connect to the internet: Continue reading »
The US National Security Agency tapped the telephones of 29 Brazilian government top officials as well as waged economic espionage against the country by listening in to calls of those managing Brazilian economy, WikiLeaks claims in a new release.
A top secret NSA target list published by the whistleblowing website Wikileaks on July 4 contains 29 key Brazilian government phone numbers. The list of those selected for intensive interception includes not only President Dilma Rousseff but also her assistant, her secretary, her chief of staff, her Palace office and even the phone in her presidential jet. Continue reading »