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– Worst Spying In World History – Worse Than Any Dystopian Novel – Is Occurring RIGHT NOW (Washington’s Blog, Feb 21, 2015):
NSA Spying Worse than Stasi or Nazi Germany, J. Edgar Hoover … Or Orwell’s 1984
We noted in 2012 that Americans are the most spied upon people in world history.
Spying by the NSA is also worse than in Nazi Germany:
– Top NSA Officials: U.S. Has Turned Into Stasi Germany or Soviet Union (Washington’s Blog, June 30, 2014):
What the Heck Happened to America?
Senior NSA executive Thomas Drake is an expert on spying in Stasi Germany … having studied it for years.
Drake told Washington’s Blog that the U.S. has adopted the Stasi model:
In the annals of internet conspiracy theories, none is more pervasive than the one speculating paid government plants infiltrate websites, social network sites, and comment sections with an intent to sow discord, troll, and generally manipulate, deceive and destroy reputations. Guess what: it was all true.
And this time we have a pretty slideshow of formerly confidential data prepared by the UK NSA equivalent, the GCHQ, to confirm it, and Edward Snowden to thank for disclosing it. The messenger in this case is Glenn Greenwald, who has released the data in an article in his new website, firstlook.org, which he summarizes as follows: “by publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.” Call it Stasi for “Generation Internet.”
Greenwald’s latest revelation focuses on GCHQ’s previously secret unit, the JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group).
– The Obama Administration Plans to Embed “Government Researchers” to Monitor Media Organizations (Liberty Blitzkrieg, Feb 20, 2014):
Last week, I highlighted the fact that the latest Press Freedom Index showcased a 13 point plunge in America’s press freedom to an embarrassing #46 position in the global ranking. If the authoritarians in the Obama Administration have their way, this country is set to fall much further in next year’s index.
Incredibly, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is set to roll out something called the Critical Information Needs study, which will embed government “researchers” into media organizations around the nation to make sure they are doing their job properly.
No this isn’t “conspiracy theory.” It is so real, and represents such a threat to the First Amendment, that a current FCC commissioner, Ajit Pai, recently wrote an Op-Ed in the Wall Street Journal, warning Americans of this scheme. He writes:
– NSA seeks to ‘convert’ students into intelligence work (RT, Dec 10, 2013):
The US National Security Agency has hundreds of teens and college students on its payroll, thanks to a recruiting effort aimed at wooing would-be writers and aspiring producers into the intelligence community.
In an effort to identify prospects for its college internship program and its “High School Work Study Program,” the agency places advertisements on employment websites each autumn and contacts campuses throughout the US.
NSA recruiters are seeking college upperclassmen with at least a 3.0 grade point average who are pursuing “writing, editing, journalism” or “television production, motion picture production, or 3-D animation,” among other fields, according to a report published in Salon on Tuesday. Young men and women are tempted with a “competitive salary” and government-subsidized housing near the NSA headquarters at Ft. Meade, Maryland.
– NSA revelations of privacy breaches ‘the tip of the iceberg’ – Senate duo (Guardian, Aug 16, 2013):
Leading critics of NSA Ron Wyden and Mark Udall say ‘public deserves to know more about violations of secret court orders’
Two US senators on the intelligence committee said on Friday that thousands of annual violations by the National Security Agency on its own restrictions were “the tip of the iceberg.”
“The executive branch has now confirmed that the rules, regulations and court-imposed standards for protecting the privacy of Americans’ have been violated thousands of times each year,” said senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, two leading critics of bulk surveillance, who responded Friday to a Washington Post story based on documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
“We have previously said that the violations of these laws and rules were more serious than had been acknowledged, and we believe Americans should know that this confirmation is just the tip of a larger iceberg.”
– Secret Service: Contact Us to ‘Report a Tweet’ (CNS News, Aug 6, 2013):
On a day when terror threats continued to dominate the U.S. headlines, the Secret Service — a division of the Homeland Security Department since 2003 — tweeted the following message:
“Contact your nearest field office with time-sensitive or critical info or to report a tweet,” said one message.
That tweet from the Secret Service links to telephone numbers for every Secret Service office in the U.S. or its territories (there are 117 of them) and all 20 Secret Service offices overseas.
In a separate tweet on Tuesday morning, the Secret Service asked, “Have you seen any of our Most Wanted?” This tweet links to a list of suspects, most wanted for theft or fraud. None are listed as suspected terrorists.
This is not the first time the Secret Service has asked its Twitter followers to tell on other subscribers.
– XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’ (Guardian, July 31, 2013):
• XKeyscore gives ‘widest-reaching’ collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
• NSA’s XKeyscore program – read one of the presentations
A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.
The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.
The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.
“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.
US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”
But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.
– JULY 25, 2013… (ZeroHedge, July 25, 2013):
“In a time of universal deceit – telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
– GEORGE ORWELL
“In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.”
– GEORGE ORWELL
“Terrorism is the best political weapon for nothing drives people harder than a fear of sudden death.”
– Adolf Hitler
“Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly repressive measures, until it becomes a source of terror to all its citizens and creates a country where everyone lives in fear.”
– Harry S. Truman
“The easiest way to gain control of the population is to carry out acts of terror. The public will clamor for such laws if their personal security is threatened.”
– Joseph Stalin
– Richard Stallman: “Facebook is a Monstrous Surveillance Engine” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 17, 2013):
“If you want to have the possibility of some privacy someday, you’d better join the fight now, because now a bunch of other people are joining the fight. Now is the moment when you can make a difference. If you wait until the day you wish you had some privacy and only then try to do something…well, that day you will be one of a few people doing it and that won’t be enough. You’ve got to help make a critical mass when other people are doing it – and that’s now.”“We call Windows 8.1 ‘Windows PRISM Edition’ because it’s designed to require people to send data to Microsoft servers, and of course, Microsoft will hand over any of that data to the US government on request. It puts the users in PRISM.”
– Richard Stallman in the interview embedded below
If you don’t know who Richard Stallman, aka RMS is, it’s time to to get up to speed. I can’t think of a better way to do that than by watching the video interview below. He starts off explaining why he doesn’t own a mobile phone (it can continue to listen to you even when it’s turned off), and then goes on to answer almost every technology question imaginable to a layperson. Definitely worth the time.
– Congressman: Did You Think This Program Could be Indefinitely Kept Secret from the American People? Government Attorney: “Well we Tried” (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 18, 2013):
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), the chairman of the committee, said he was surprised that the programs had been kept secret for so long.
“Do you think a program of this magnitude gathering information involving a large number of people involved with telephone companies could be indefinitely kept secret from the American people?” Goodlatte asked.
“Well,” ODNI general counsel Robert S. Litt said with a slight smile, “we tried.”
– From a Washington Post article yesterday
The backlash in Congress against the government’s monstrous spy program and the ridiculous notion that a secret court (the FISA court) grants any sort of oversight is growing, and it is a bipartisan effort.
More from the Washington Post:
Lawmakers of both parties expressed deep skepticism Wednesday about the government’s bulk collection of Americans’ telephone records and threatened not to renew the legislative authority that has been used to sanction a program described as “off the tracks legally.”
“This is unsustainable, it’s outrageous and must be stopped immediately,” said Rep. John Conyers Jr. (Mich.), the highest-ranking Democrat on the panel.
– German Artist Faces Criminal Charges for Projecting Kim Dotcom Image on U.S. Embassy (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 13, 2013):
In case you missed it, last Sunday German artist Oliver Bienkowski projected a giant image of Kim Dotcom on the U.S. embassy in Berlin coupled with the phrase “United Stasi of America.” The entire thing lasted about 30 seconds and was extremely good natured and humorous. However, it seems German “authorities” don’t appreciate being out-Stasied by the USSA, and in an attempt to demonstrate their authoritarianism are looking to criminally charge Mr. Bienkowski. After all, in the Western “civilized” world these days, freedom of speech leads to criminal charges, while the theft of trillions leads to bonuses and promotions. From ArsTechnica:
A German artist may now potentially face criminal charges in Germany after he projected a huge image onto the walls of the United States Embassy in Berlin last Sunday.
The image was of fellow German Kim Dotcom, the embattled founder of Megaupload, along with the phrase “United Stasi of America,” referring to the secret police of former East Germany. Oliver Bienkowski videoed the event and set the video to a song that Dotcom had previously recorded, entitled “Mr. President,” which includes lines like: “What about free speech, Mr. President?”
His possible crime? Violation of Paragraph 103 of the German Penal Code (Google Translate), which forbids insulting foreign heads of state, members of foreign governments, or other foreign diplomatic staff in Germany—and is punishable by “up to three years in prison.” If combined with libel charges, that sentence can increase to up to five years.
Watch the video yourself to witness this heinous crime of human expression.
– US creating ‘global security state’: Oliver Stone (PressTV, July 5, 2013):
Outspoken filmmaker Oliver Stone has sharply criticized the United States for creating the “global security state” by eavesdropping techniques, saying that “the world is in danger with our tyranny.”
In a press conference in the Czech Republic on Thursday, the director also blasted President Barack Obama for his policies regarding American whistleblower Edward Snowden, The Wrap reported.
– France Intelligence Agency Spies On Phone Calls, Emails, Social Media Activity: Report (Huffington Post/Reuters, July 4, 2013):
PARIS, July 4 (Reuters) – France’s external intelligence agency spies on the French public’s phone calls, emails and social media activity in France and abroad, the daily Le Monde said on Thursday.
It said the DGSE intercepted signals from computers and telephones in France, and between France and other countries, although not the content of phone calls, to create a map of “who is talking to whom”. It said the activity was illegal.
“All of our communications are spied on,” wrote Le Monde, which based its report on unnamed intelligence sources as well as remarks made publicly by intelligence officials.
“Emails, text messages, telephone records, access to Facebook and Twitter are then stored for years,” it said.
The activities described are similar to those carried out by the U.S. National Security Agency, as described in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
– Senators accuse government of using ‘secret law’ to collect Americans’ data (Guardian, June 28, 2013):
A bipartisan group of 26 US senators has written to intelligence chiefs to complain that the administration is relying on a “secret body of law” to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens.
The senators accuse officials of making misleading statements and demand that the director of national intelligence James Clapper answer a series of specific questions on the scale of domestic surveillance as well as the legal justification for it.
In their strongly-worded letter to Clapper, the senators said they believed the government may be misinterpreting existing legislation to justify the sweeping collection of telephone and internet data revealed by the Guardian.
– Wesley Clark, the NSA and Internet Censorship (Veterans Today, June 28, 2013)
– Memories of Stasi color Germans’ view of U.S. surveillance programs (McClatchy, June 26, 2013):
BERLIN — Wolfgang Schmidt was seated in Berlin’s 1,200-foot-high TV tower, one of the few remaining landmarks left from the former East Germany. Peering out over the city that lived in fear when the communist party ruled it, he pondered the magnitude of domestic spying in the United States under the Obama administration. A smile spread across his face.
“You know, for us, this would have been a dream come true,” he said, recalling the days when he was a lieutenant colonel in the defunct communist country’s secret police, the Stasi.
In those days, his department was limited to tapping 40 phones at a time, he recalled. Decide to spy on a new victim and an old one had to be dropped, because of a lack of equipment. He finds breathtaking the idea that the U.S. government receives daily reports on the cellphone usage of millions of Americans and can monitor the Internet traffic of millions more.
“So much information, on so many people,” he said.
East Germany’s Stasi has long been considered the standard of police state surveillance during the Cold War years, a monitoring regime so vile and so intrusive that agents even noted when their subjects were overheard engaging in sexual intercourse. Against that backdrop, Germans have greeted with disappointment, verging on anger, the news that somewhere in a U.S. government databank are the records of where millions of people were when they made phone calls or what video content they streamed on their computers in the privacy of their homes.
Even Schmidt, 73, who headed one of the more infamous departments in the infamous Stasi, called himself appalled. The dark side to gathering such a broad, seemingly untargeted, amount of information is obvious, he said.
“It is the height of naivete to think that once collected this information won’t be used,” he said. “This is the nature of secret government organizations. The only way to protect the people’s privacy is not to allow the government to collect their information in the first place.”
And that is exactly what those surveillance systems have been created for.
– U.S. Surveillance Is Not Aimed at Terrorists (Bloomberg, June 23, 2013):
The debate over the U.S. government’s monitoring of digital communications suggests that Americans are willing to allow it as long as it is genuinely targeted at terrorists. What they fail to realize is that the surveillance systems are best suited for gathering information on law-abiding citizens.
People concerned with online privacy tend to calm down when told that the government can record their calls or read their e-mail only under special circumstances and with proper court orders. The assumption is that they have nothing to worry about unless they are terrorists or correspond with the wrong people.
The infrastructure set up by the National Security Agency, however, may only be good for gathering information on the stupidest, lowest-ranking of terrorists. The Prism surveillance program focuses on access to the servers of America’s largest Internet companies, which support such popular services as Skype, Gmail and iCloud. These are not the services that truly dangerous elements typically use.
Snowden exposed the U.S. government illegally and unconstitutionally spying on its citizens, …
… gets charged for spying.
Now that makes perfect sense, doesn’t it?
– China’s Xinhua news agency condemns US ‘cyber-attacks’ (BBC News, June 23, 2013):
China’s official Xinhua news agency has condemned the US over continuing revelations about Washington’s surveillance activities by intelligence fugitive Edward Snowden.
In a commentary, it said the US had turned out to be the “biggest villain in our age”.
Xinhua says the latest allegations in the South China Morning Post, along with previous disclosures, are “clearly troubling signs”.
“They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber-attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age,” says Xinhua.
“It owes too an explanation to China and other countries it has allegedly spied on. It has to share with the world the range, extent and intent of its clandestine hacking programs.”
Xinhua says the Snowden developments provide support for China’s position on cybersecurity.
“Both the United States and China, together with many other countries, are victims of hacking. For the uncharted waters of the Internet age, these countries should sit down and talk through their suspicions,” says Xinhua.
“With good intentions, they can even work for the establishment of certain rules that help define and regulate Internet activities and mechanisms that can work out their differences when frictions do arise.”
– China slams US as world’s biggest villain for cyber espionage (PressTV, June 23, 2013):
China’s official news agency has slammed the United States as the world’s “biggest villain” following new revelations about Washington’s cyber espionage against Chinese companies and institutions.
“These, along with previous allegations, are clearly troubling signs. They demonstrate that the United States, which has long been trying to play innocent as a victim of cyber attacks, has turned out to be the biggest villain in our age,” said a commentary published in the Xinhua news agency on Sunday.