During a conference held to award Journalist Glenn Greenwald the Siebenpfeiffer Prize for Journalism, Greenwald reported a conversation in which German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel. In this the Vice Chancellor commented to him that the United States threatened Germany with withholding vital intelligence of terrorist activity if the nation granted asylum to Edward Snowden or otherwise allowed him to travel to Germany.
The event shows the extreme measures the Administration is willing to take regarding whistleblowers and others labeled as threats.
Under the pre-text of combatting terrorism, the European Commission is mulling a proposed regulation that would require telecommunications companies and internet service providers to retain records of European Citizens’ communications. Courts struck down on constitutional privacy grounds a previous law.
The measure comes just after the deadly terrorist attacks stemming from the Charlie Hebdo rampage in Paris in early January. The situation does appear to a lesser degree reminiscent of the changes in government approaches to privacy in the wake of terrorist outrages in other nations such as those in the United States in 2001 and the railway attacks in Spain and the United Kingdom.
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw) Weekend Contributor
The instances of reported abuse of our country’s laws by our Intelligence services seems never-ending. The National Security Agency, or NSA is at the top of the list when it comes to violations of our laws and even its own rules and procedures that are allegedly designed to protect our privacy.
Pursuant to a court order in a case brought by the ACLU, the NSA is required to provide a list of its abuses on a quarterly basis. Of course, the NSA redacts most of what it puts in its own disclosures. Continue reading “NSA Abuses Never End”→
Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)- Weekend Contributor
Thanks to the disclosures made by whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know how far our government went to hide the warrantless surveillance by the NSA. “If you blinked this week, you might have missed the news: two Senators accused the Justice Department of lying about NSA warrantless surveillance to the US supreme court last year, and those falsehoods all but ensured that mass spying on Americans would continue. But hardly anyone seems to care – least of all those who lied and who should have already come forward with the truth. Continue reading “Did The Justice Department Lie to the Supreme Court…And Get Away With It?”→
There is an interesting ruling from U.S. Magistrate Judge James Francis in New York. The case stems from a search warrant sought by the government for the contents of an individual’s e-Mail account that was hosted by Microsoft but stored on a server located in Dublin, Ireland.
Magistrate Francis stated that internet service providers such as Microsoft or Google cannot refuse to turn over customer information and emails stored in other countries when issued a valid search warrant from U.S. law enforcement agencies.
In a statement, Microsoft said it challenged the warrant because the U.S. government should not be able to search the content of email held overseas.
Statistical analysis has shown that in the past ten years a great threat has been lurking under every dandelion, apple blossom, and tulip growing in the United States, one that is seemingly innocent but is proven to be even more deadly than we could have imagined. And it is with us nearly everywhere during half the year. Your children playing in your back yard, they are especially at risk to this menacing brood. This threat is not to be taken lightly, as it is even greater than terrorism, which you all know is the worst threat our politicians tell us there is.
My fellow Americans we need to look at the degree our government has gone to protect us from terrorism. The NSA monitors seemingly every e-Mail, telephone call, video uplink, and cellphone record it can to address this threat along with billions and billions of dollars for nebulous programs, fought long wars, all to protect us from terrorism. But if this effort is warranted to protect us from terrorism, it is only reasonable that an even greater effort should be waged to protect us from a worse threat: Bees. Continue reading “Should The NSA Bug Beehives?”→
Last Sunday, former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden was interviewed for the German television network ARD. The interview was big news in Germany and much of the world in both print and broadcast media. However, the interview appears to have been blocked intentionally by US government authorities. In fact, the media in the US appears to have gone to ‘radio silence’ about it. It has been posted on YouTube several times, but is taken down almost immediately. The video site Vimeo has it embedded, but as I write this, Vimeo is under a DDoS attack. LiveLeak also has it, and that video is embedded in this report by Jay Syrmopoulos for Ben Swann’s news page.
Mr. Snowden spoke candidly in a thirty-minute English language interview with the reporter from ARD.
Recently, several high ranking members of the U.S. Congress have made public statements voicing proffering NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden might have had assistance from a foreign power, namely Russia. The announcements have been contemporaneous with President Obama’s speech about the NSA and reforms he proposes. While it has not been proven decisively if Edward has or has not one has to wonder what the intentions of such announcements by Congress are and if these announcements are consistent with others who have been alleged to be acting at the behest of foreign powers and if this is more propaganda than standard counter-intelligence practices. Continue reading “Did Edward Snowden Receive Help From A Foreign Government or is The U.S. Government Alleging He Did To Discredit Him?”→
When the faceless analyzers locked deep inside the NSA finally get around to divining just how privacy died in this country they won’t start with Friday’s decision by Judge William Pauley, III in ACLU v. Clapper finding the NSA data mining of American’s communications perfectly constitutional or even go back to the horrible events of September 11, 2001 when fear ran freedom from the playing field. No, the truth is that privacy began to die farther back in an obscure case during the nation’s bicentennial year. As most of us were gathering up our red, white, and blue bunting, buying fireworks, and marveling at the first technological salvo of the commercial computer age known as The Cray-1 , a robbery case in Maryland would form the first cancerous cell in the assault on the body politic’s right to be left free from government snooping.
Submitted by Charlton Stanley (aka Otteray Scribe) Guest Blogger
First there was WikiLeaks, then there was Edward Snowden. The drip, drip, drip of information about secretive spy agencies continues. There have been bombshell revelations about the extent to which government agencies like the FBI, CIA, NSA and others are invading our most private communications. Of course, spies do what spies do, and that is to spy on whoever or whatever they can get away with. Few people understood the implications of PRISM when news of the program was leaked. Additionally, I suspect that despite revelations of its existence, the full extent of its capability and reach will never be known by the public.
The NSA reportedly paid tech companies millions of dollars to cover the cost of compliance with their “requests” for back-door access to the software package.