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Florida man shot dead in street, dragnet launched for potential serial killer — RT...

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The Merry Life of Dragnet Surveillance

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video

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DARPA's 'Aerial Dragnet' to monitor low-flying drones in urban areas

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NSA Dragnet: Snowden Leak Reveals Mass Spying During G8, G20 Summits

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Video: “Stop Watching Us”. The NSA’s Dragnet Surveillance of Our Communications

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Defund the NSA: Groups Urge Congress End Dragnet Surveillance

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Defund the NSA: Groups Urge Congress to Vote Down Funding for Dragnet Surveillance

(Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images)The U.S. ...

Obama FBI Nominee Defends NSA’s Dragnet Surveillance

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New Documents Shed Light on NSA’s Dragnet Surveillance

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ACLU Sues Obama Administration Over NSA 'Dragnet' Surveillance Revealed in Historic Leaks

Following this past week's groundbreaking NSA leaks, the ACLU has now filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the agency's vast phone spying practices–a...

ACLU Sues NSA Over 'Dragnet' Surveillance Revealed in Historic Leaks

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How $40 Can Land You in Prison for Seven Years and on the Sex...

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‘Boycotts to Achieve Political Change Are Forms of Political Speech’

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There's an Effort Around the Country to Curtail People's Fundamental First Amendment Rights

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Edward Snowden Comes to Defense of Jailed NSA Contractor Reality Winner

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Obama expands NSA spying

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Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails

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Hillary Clinton’s Damning Emails

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US government delays hearing in Apple iPhone encryption case

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Snowden condemns Britain’s new surveillance bill

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UK government to legalise universal state surveillance

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US allies not excluded from spying program: Analyst

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Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

Appeals Court Strikes Down Bulk NSA Phone Spying

by Stephen Lendman

On June 11, 2013, the ACLU challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records (ACLU v. Clapper)."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215 - the so-called "business records" provision.

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It authorizes the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. 

It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

At the time of its suit, the ACLU said "(w)hatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans."

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers." 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them. Governing this way is called tyranny.

The US Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. It held Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act doesn't permit bulk collection of Americans' phone records. A three-judge panel ruled unanimously - overturning a lower court decision.

The Obama administration argued that the ACLU lacked "standing" to challenge NSA surveillance practices, and Congress "precluded" judicial review except by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court most often only hearing government arguments.

The appeals court rejected this reasoning, saying:

"If the government is correct, it could use Section 215 to collect and store in bulk any other existing metadata available anywhere in the private sector, including metadata associated with financial records, medical records, and electronic communications (including e‐mail and social media information) relating to all Americans." 

"Such expansive development of government repositories of formerly private records would be an unprecedented contraction of the privacy expectations of all Americans."

ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo called the ruling "a resounding victory for the rule of law."

"For years, the government secretly spied on millions of innocent Americans based on a shockingly broad interpretation of its authority." 

"The court rightly rejected the government’s theory that it may stockpile information on all of us in case that information proves useful in the future." 

"Mass surveillance does not make us any safer, and it is fundamentally incompatible with the privacy necessary in a free society."

ACLU deputy legal director/lead counsel in the case Jameel Jaffer explained:

"This ruling focuses on the phone-records program, but it has far broader significance, because the same defective legal theory that underlies this program underlies many of the government’s other mass-surveillance programs." 

"The ruling warrants a reconsideration of all of those programs, and it underscores once again the need for truly systemic reform."

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) executive director Cindy Cohn called the ruling "a great and welcome decision and ought to make Congress pause to consider whether the small changes contained in the USA Freedom Act are enough."  

''The 2nd Circuit rejected on multiple grounds the government's radical reinterpretation of Section 215 that underpinned its secret shift to mass seizure and search of Americans' telephone records.''

“While the court did not reach the constitutional issues, it certainly noted the serious problems with blindly embracing the third-party doctrine - the claim that you lose all constitutional privacy protections whenever a third-party, like your phone company, has sensitive information about your actions."

EFF's legislative analyst Mark Jaycox added:

"Now that a court of appeal has rejected the government's arguments supporting its secret shift to mass surveillance, we look forward to other courts - including the Ninth Circuit in EFF's Smith v. Obama case - rejecting mass surveillance as well." 

"With the deadline to reauthorize section 215 looming, we also call on Congress to both expressly adopt the interpretation of the law given by the court and to take further steps to rein in the NSA and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court."

One court victory doesn't mean overall triumph. The right-wing Supreme Court may have final say - or Congress able to legislatively circumvent High Court or other judicial rulings with no administration opposition by either party.

US governance serves powerful entrenched interests at the expense of popular ones. It's fundamentally anti-democratic, anti-freedom. 

Odds strongly favor no change in business as usual. Sacrificing precious liberties for greater security assures losing both.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.


It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

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Reactions to Obama’s NSA Address

Reactions to Obama's NSA Address

by Stephen Lendman

Hundreds of Stop Watching Us activists protested outside the Justice Department. They did so before he spoke.

They wore STOP SPYING glasses. They held signs saying "Stop Spying on Us." "Big Brother In Chief." "Obama = Tyranny." 

CODEPINK members were there. On Thursday, co-founder Medea Benjamin said:

"Though President Obama is scheduled to lay out reforms for the NSA spying program, we have little reason to believe they will be sufficient of implemented."

"The intelligence agencies in the US are totally out of control - from mass dragnet spying, to killing by remote control…" and it's time for transparency and accountability."

Bill of Rights Defense Committee executive director Shahid Buttar said:

"Despite pledging to stop Bush era abuses, President Obama has repeatedly chosen to leave the NSA free to monitor the American people en masse." 

"More than any other issue, his administration's complicity in mass surveillance will come to define its legacy."

It's certain unless he "chooses to finally support reforms like the USA FREEDOM Act, which would end bulk collection, and start a longer process needed to remove the officials caught lying to Congress, and fix the broken secret FISA court process."

Clearly, he has no intention of doing it. A same day article said the worst of business as usual will continue.

Skepticism and then some followed Obama's address. Center for Constitutional Rights President Emeritus Michael Ratner said:

"I didn't expect a lot, but I think we got almost nothing in terms of actually reining in what I call this national surveillance state."

"We have a right to privacy." Not according to Obama. "So you have this vast surveillance apparatus."

"And then you have a speech that basically lauds the people who are spies, talks about them really as, oh, they're your neighbor. They don't want to do anything wrong to you. They're only out to protect you."

His address was a shameless PR stunt. It was smoke and mirrors. It was long on rhetoric. It was short on substance. It delivered empty promises. 

It was filled "with a lot of BS about oversight (and) transparency," said Ratner. It was "completely meaningless."

Obama wants us to trust the government "which we've shown can't (be) trust(ed)."

Former Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson called Obama's address "disappointing, but not surprising."

"It is simply not realistic to expect the federal government to voluntarily relinquish powers it has granted itself, even when (they're) unconstitutional."

"And when the government has convinced itself that it is OK to sweep up the phone calls, texts and emails of hundreds of millions of Americans, it is no surprise that the President is not really proposing to change anything."

TechFreedom president Berin Szoka said Obama's "speech will probably be remembered most for the much-needed reforms it didn't announce."

Law Professor Jonathan Turley called Obama's address "a nothing burger served hot and with a sympathetic smile."

"It was much of the same. Another review board composed of government officials. Another promise for the Executive Branch to review itself."

"I was underwhelmed. It seemed like another attempt to reinvent privacy in a new surveillance friendly image."

Mass surveillance "will continued and the intelligence community will retain its authority with little outside independent limits."

Obama's reform is "basically 'trust us, we're your government' (including a reminder that NSA people are your neighbors)."

His speech was "more spin than substance." It was typical Obama.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT) said Obama's "proposed reforms (far) short of what is needed, particularly in terms of actionable solutions."

CDT director Greg Nojeim said:

"(W)e were disappointed in (Obama's) failure to offer a clear path forward on (vital) reforms."

His "proposed changes do not fully address the fundamental problem of bulk collection of personal metadata and fail to adequately protect the rights of people around the world."

Partnership for Civil Justice Fund co-founders Carl Messineo and Mara Verheyden-Hilliard said:

"Rather than dismantling the NSA's unconstitutional mass surveillance programs, or even substantially restraining them, President Obama today has issued his endorsement of them."

"The speech today was 'historic' in the worst sense. It represents a historic failure by a president to rein in mass government illegality and violations of fundamental rights."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) said Obama's so-called reforms have "have a long way to go. Now it's up to Congress and courts" to act.

EFF Legal Director Cindy Cohn said:

"Mass non-targeted surveillance violates international human rights law." 

"It is disproportionate because it sweeps up the communications and communications records of million of innocent people first and only sorts out second what is actually needed."

"(T)he NSA must be forbidden from engaging in mass, untargeted surveillance in the US or abroad." 

ACLU executive director Anthony Romero said:

Obama's "decision not to end bulk collection and retention of all Americans' data remains highly troubling."

Glushko-Canadian Internet Policy & Public Interest Clinic staff lawyer Tamir Israel said:

"Protecting foreigners' privacy rights" is essential. Recognizing it "in principle is unhelpful, as (Obama's) Directive leaves the US foreign intelligence apparatus' capacity to indiscriminately spy on all the activities of all foreigners all the time largely untouched."

Privacy International Legal Director Carly Nyst said:

"The reforms proposed by President Obama fundamentally ignore those who are spied on simply because they don't have an American passport." 

"We need genuine, effective changes that account for the way the world now communicates. Secret international intelligence-sharing arrangements must come to an end and human rights must be properly guaranteed to humans, not just American citizens."

Amnesty International executive director Steven Hawkins said:

"The big picture takeaway from today's speech is that the right of privacy remains under grave threat both here at home and around the world."

Access executive director Brett Solomon said:

"The human right to privacy is universal. The rights of persons outside of the United States are as fundamental as the rights of U.S. citizens." 

"However, the President’s defense of ongoing overseas intelligence collection programs ensures that the citizens of the world will continue to be subject to mass surveillance."

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange called Obama's speech "embarrassing." He spoke "for almost 45 minutes and sa(id) almost nothing."

"He's been very reluctant to make any concrete reforms, and unfortunately, today we see very few" presented.

On January 17, London's Guardian headlined Obama NSA reforms receive mixed response in Europe and Brazil," saying:

"Europeans were largely underwhelmed by Barack Obama's speech on limited reform of US espionage practices, saying the measures did not go far enough to address concerns over American snooping on its European allies."

NSA supporters loved Obama's speech. House and Senate intelligence committee chairpersons Rep. Mike Rogers (R. MI) and Diane Feinstein (D. CA) issued a joint statement, saying:

"Today President Obama gave a strong speech in defense of the need to collect and use intelligence in order to protect the nation and to prevent terrorist attacks around the world." 

"We strongly agree with his comments in support and praise of the professionals in our intelligence community who do this work while upholding the civil liberties and privacy rights of all Americans."

Democrats largely supported Obama's speech. Republicans offered mixed reactions. Speaker John Boehner said:

"I look forward to learning more about how the new procedure for accessing data will not put Americans at greater risk." 

"And the House will review any legislative reforms proposed by the administration." It "will not erode the operational integrity of critical programs that have helped keep America safe."

Senator Rand Paul dissented strongly, saying:

"The Fourth Amendment requires an individualized warrant based on probable cause before the government can search phone records and e-mails." 

"I intend to continue the fight to restore Americans' rights through my Fourth Amendment Restoration Act and my legal challenge against the NSA. The American people should not expect the fox to guard the hen house."

The Financial Times called Obama "defiant on US surveillance activities."

Wall Street Journal editors said he delivered "a conflicted address…His new anti-terror proposals will do little to secure American privacy but they might make the country less safe."

New York Times editors support the worst of Obama's policies. They praised his speech. It "was in large part an admission that he had been wrong," they said.

He "announced important new restrictions on the collection of information about ordinary Americans…He called for greater oversight of the intelligence community..."

He "acknowledged that intrusive forms of technology posed a growing threat to civil liberties." At the same time, "his reforms (lacked) specifics..."

Calling "on Congress to create a panel of independent advocates (is) a huge improvement" over current practice.

Times editors largely defended the worst of lawless mass surveillance. They left rule of law principles unaddressed. They ignored America's fast track toward tyranny. They betrayed their readers in the process.

The Chicago Tribune defended Obama saying:

His "proposals outlined Friday are modest enough to give Americans some confidence that their privacy will be better protected without creating a greater risk to their security."

Los Angeles Times editors called Obama's "NSA reforms a significant step."

His "overarching theme...was that, with the best of intentions, the government over which (he) presides has gone too far in taking advantage of advanced technology."

He must "restore the proper balance between security and privacy."

Since mid-2013, the Washington Post discussed Snowden documents in detail. Numerous articles explained how NSA violates personal privacy.

Unless Obama acts to change current policy, intrusive "programs will carry on unabated," said WaPo.

Obama tried putting lipstick on a pig. Expect nothing substantive ahead to change. Washington is a cesspool of lawlessness. Things are worse than ever now.

Congress and federal courts are in lockstep with the worst  administration policies. Rule of law principles don't matter. 

Government by diktats threatens everyone. Freedom is fast disappearing. It's happening in plain sight. 

Obama did more to destroy it than any previous president. It takes a giant leap of faith to think he'll reverse things.

He waged war on democratic values. He did so from day one in office. He's a duplicitous con man. He broke every major promise made. 

He wants Americans to trust him. He gives chutzpah new meaning. He intends business as usual. 

Sustained in-his-face public outrage is the only chance to stop him. Inertia so far keeps it contained.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.


http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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ACLU v. Clapper Ruling

ACLU v. Clapper Ruling

by Stephen Lendman

A previous article said the following:

On June 11, the ACLU filed suit. It challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215. It's known as the "business records" provision. 

It permits collecting "any tangible thing...relevant" to alleged foreign intelligence or terrorism related investigations. It way oversteps. It's unconstitutional. 

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It does so by authorizing the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

"Whatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans," said ACLU.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers." 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them.
Governing this way is called tyranny.

On December 16, Federal District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon ruled against NSA spying.

He called it "almost Orwellian" and much more, saying:

"The threshold issue is whether plaintiffs have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government indiscriminately collects their telephone metadata along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all of that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes, and investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets."

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval." 

"Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment." 

It's core constitutional law. It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Mass NSA surveillance does it lawlessly.

It has nothing to do with national security. Claims otherwise ring hollow. America spies for control. It does so for economic advantage. Espionage is longstanding policy.

Corporate secrets are stolen. So are political ones. Top foreign government and business officials are spied on. Virtually everyone is fair game.

Domestic spying is longstanding. It's unconstitutional. It doesn't matter. Two federal judges disagreed. If ACLU appeals to the Supreme Court, it'll likely lose.

It's stacked with right-wing extremists. Five current justices are Federalist Society members: Chief Justice John Roberts, Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and Clarence Thomas.

Elena Kagan is ideologically sympathetic. As dean of Harvard Law School, she hired Bush's outgoing Office of Legal Counsel director, Jack Goldsmith. Francis Boyle called him a war criminal.

Kagan bragged about putting him on staff. Boyle quoted her saying she "love(s) the Federalist Society." It's ideologically over-the-top. It's extremely right-wing.

With these type justices on America's High Court, ordinary people haven't a chance. Nor judicial fairness.

In September 2012, Congress overwhelmingly passed the 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act. 

Obama signed it into law. He called doing so a national security priority. He lied. It reflects police state lawlessness. It extends the 2008 FISA Amendments Act (FAA). It's for another five years.

It authorizes warrantless spying. It does so without naming names or probable cause. It violates Fourth Amendment protections. 

Overseas phone calls, emails, and other communications of US citizens and permanent residents may be monitored without authorization. Perhaps domestic ones covertly. 

Probable cause isn't needed. Anything goes is policy. Constitutional protections don't matter. Police states operate this way.

ACLU lawyers filed suit. It passed through lower courts to the Supremes. In October 2012, High Court justices heard oral arguments. Clapper v. Amnesty International challenged the constitutionality of warrantless spying.

On February 26, the Supreme Court ruled. It dismissed ACLU's case. It violated constitutional protections doing so. 

It ruled against lawyers, journalists, human rights groups, and others challenging protections too important to lose.

It said they couldn't prove surveillance was "certainly impending." They didn't have required standing to sue, they claimed. 

Saying so was absurd on its face. It's a standard never before used. Imposing it denies the legitimate right to sue. Doing so reflects police state justice.

It wasn't the first time fundamental rights were denied. It won't be the last. Warrantless electronic spying is intrusive. It's institutionalized.

Congress approves. So does Obama. America's Supremes violated the public trust. They've done it many times before. They'll do it again. Lawless NSA spying is safe in their hands.

In ACLU v. Clapper, Judge William Pauley heard arguments. ACLU called for the program to be ended. Ahead of the hearing, its legal director, Jameel Jaffer, said:

"This vast dragnet is said to be authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, but nothing in the text or legislative history of that provision remotely suggests that Congress intended to empower the government to collect information on a daily basis, indefinitely, about every American’s phone calls."

"This kind of dragnet surveillance is precisely what the fourth amendment was meant to prohibit."

"The constitution does not permit the NSA to place hundreds of millions of innocent people under permanent surveillance because of the possibility that information about some tiny subset of them will become useful to an investigation in the future."

ACLU argued against blanket seizure of its phone records. Doing so violates its core constitutional rights. It compromises its ability to work with journalists, advocacy groups, whistleblowers and others.

It claimed standing because NSA has access to its phone records. It didn't matter. Judge Pauley rejected its challenge. He called mass NSA surveillance legal.

He called it a valuable tool against terrorism. He said it "only works because if collects everything." He either lied or doesn't understand what's going on.

He claimed meta-data collection "represents the government's counter-punch" against Al Qaeda's terror network.

"The collection is broad, but the scope of counterterrorism investigations is unprecedented," he said.

Mass phone data collection "significantly increases the NSA's capability to detect the faintest patterns left behind by individuals affiliated with foreign terrorist organizations." 

"Armed with all the metadata, NSA can draw connections it might otherwise never be able to find."

Without them, he claimed, "the civil liberties of every citizen" would be "imperil(ed)." 

"The question for this court is whether the government's bulk telephony metadata program is lawful. This court finds it is." 

"But the question of whether that program should be conducted is for the other two coordinate branches of government to decide."

Judge Pauley nonsensically said mass telecommunications surveillance could have perhaps prevented 9/11.

"The government learned from its mistake and adapted to confront a new enemy: a terror network capable of orchestrating attacks across the world," he claimed.

"It launched a number of counter-measures, including a bulk telephony metadata collection program - a wide net that could find and isolate gossamer contacts among suspected terrorists in an ocean of seemingly disconnected data."

It bears repeating. NSA mass surveillance has nothing to do with national security. Pauley knows nothing about spying. His ruling reads like an NSA press handout. His legal judgment leaves much to be desired. 

Most other federal judges are no better. Police state lawlessness remains in good hands. Judge Leon is an exception who proves the rule. 

He's an unheard voice in the wilderness. We need lots more to make a difference. We need them throughout the judiciary. 

We need them on the highest court in the land. We need them in all government branches. We need what we don't have.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/aclu-v-clapper-ruling/

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Mission Accomplished, Says Snowden

Mission Accomplished, Says Snowden

by Stephen Lendman

On December 23, he told the Washington Post:

"For me, in terms of personal satisfaction, the mission’s already accomplished. I already won." 

"As soon as the journalists were able to work, everything that I had been trying to do was validated. Because, remember, I didn’t want to change society. I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself."

"All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed. That is a milestone we left a long time ago. Right now, all we are looking at are stretch goals."

WaPo called Snowden "an orderly thinker, with an engineer's approach to problem-solving."

"He had come to believe that a dangerous machine of mass surveillance was growing unchecked."

Woefully inadequate congressional oversight and rubber-stamp FISA court rulings reflect a "graveyard of judgment," he said. 

NSA's business is "information dominance," he stressed. He didn't know if others would share his views.

"But when you weigh that against the alternative, which is not to act, you realize that some analysis is better than" none, he said. 

"Because even if your analysis proves to be wrong, the marketplace of ideas will bear that out." 

"If you look at it from an engineering perspective, an iterative perspective, it's clear that you have to try something rather than do nothing."

He succeeded beyond anything he could have imagined. He captured world attention. Millions consider him heroic. There's no turning back now.

On June 22, a Justice Department criminal complaint charged him with espionage and felony theft of government property.

He signed NSA's Standard Form 312. He called it a civil contract. "The oath of allegiance is not an oath of secrecy," he said.

"This is an oath to the Constitution. That is the oath that I kept that (NSA chief) Keith Alexander and (Director of National Intelligence) James Clapper did not."

He's irresponsibly accused of disloyalty. "I am not trying to bring down the NSA," he stressed.

"I am working to improve" it. "I am still working for the NSA right now. They are the only ones who don't realize it."

"The system failed comprehensively, and each level of oversight, each level of responsibility that should have addressed this, abdicated their responsibility," he said.

Some of his NSA colleagues feel the same way. They were "astonished to learn we are collecting more in the United States on Americans than we are on Russians in Russia."

"What the government wants is something they never had before," he stressed.

"They want total awareness. The question is, is that something we should be allowing?" Does Washington have the right to invade everyone's privacy?

Should NSA be permitted to eliminate private spaces altogether? Do rule of law principles no longer matter? Is freedom a convenient illusion?

Snowden dismisses disloyalty accusations. He didn't pass on state secrets to Russia and China, he stressed.

"If I defected at all," he said, "I defected from the government to the public."

It bears repeating. Millions call him a hero. He connected important dots. He's the gift that keeps on giving. 

On December 20, Der Spiegel reported more. It headlined "How GCHQ Monitors Germany, Israel and the EU," saying:

Snowden documents "show that Britain's GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters) signals intelligence has targeted European, German and Israeli politicians for surveillance."

Suspicions surfaced last summer, said Der Spiegel. Snowden documents confirm them. They provide "concrete evidence."

GCHQ and NSA operate jointly. They target UNICEF and other UN organizations. Medecins du Monde is a French organization. It sends doctors and other medical professions to conflict zones.

It's on NSA/GCHQ's target list. So is Economic Community of West African States' (ECOWAS) head Kadre Desire Ouedraogo. Communications with his colleagues are monitored.

Targeting Angela Merkel, Brazil's Dilma Rousseff, and other world leaders was disclosed earlier. New revelations show Israeli officials are watched.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was targeted. So was former Defense Secretary Ehud Barak and his chief of staff, Yoni Koren. More on surveilling Israel below.

European Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia's name showed up on NSA/GCHQ's target list.

Last October, UK Prime Minister David Cameron endorsed an EU statement. It condemned NSA/GCHQ spying on world leaders. 

He did so knowing it was ongoing at the time. He lied claiming opposition. He could stop it through parliamentary action. Legislation could declare it illegal.

Political Britain is in bed with GCHQ the way Washington endorses unconstitutional NSA spying.

Disclosures show both agencies are rogue operations. They go way beyond what's lawful. They do it with impunity.

Snowden documents provide no insight into why organizations and individuals unrelated to national security are targeted. 

He called doing so NSA's "total awareness" obsession. It wants privacy entirely eliminated. It wants the ability to monitor everyone, everywhere, at all times. It wants no one escaping its dragnet.

US law prohibits economic spying. NSA does it anyway. 

Under Britain's Intelligence and Security Act, GCHQ may work "in the interests of national security, with particular reference to the defence and foreign policies of Her Majesty's government; in the interests of the economic wellbeing of the United Kingdom; and in support of the prevention and the detection of serious crime."

Critics raise serious questions. National security is left undefined. So is protecting economic well-being beyond helping UK companies defend themselves against intellectual property theft or cyber-attacks.

Earlier Snowden documents showed NSA and GCHQ conduct industrial espionage. They do so for economic advantage. They do it illegally. They do it anyway. They do it with impunity.

When questioned, both agencies lie. They claim they operate lawfully. Clear evidence proves otherwise.

Documents show NSA/GCHQ spying is remarkably comprehensive. No government or other officials of interest are left behind. Ordinary people are mass surveilled. 

According to Der Spiegel:

"In addition to many political and 'diplomatic targets,' (target) lists contain African leaders, their family members, ambassadors and businesspeople." 

"They also include representatives of international organizations, such as those of United Nations agencies like the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the UN Institute for Disarmament Research (UNIDIR)." 

"A noticeably large number of diplomatic missions to the United Nations in Geneva are also listed."

"Even non-governmental organizations like Doctors of the World (Medicins du Monde) appear on the British intelligence agency lists, along with a representative of the Swiss IdeasCentre and others." 

"Individual companies can also be found on the list, especially in the fields of telecommunications and banking." 

"The partly government-owned French defense contractor Thales, along with Paris-based energy giant Total, is also mentioned."

NSA and GCHQ constantly search for new targets. They want nothing of potential importance escaping their dragnet.

Netanyahu criticized NSA spying on Israel, saying:

"With regard to things published in the past few days, I have asked for an examination of the matter."

"In the close ties between Israel and the United States, there are certain things friends mustn't do to each other." They're "not acceptable to us." 

Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz said he assumes it's spied on by allies. He stopped short of admitting Israel's extensive spying operation.

Israeli MK Nachman Shai lied saying:

"Israel is a friendly state to the US." (It) stopped all espionage" on America 30 years ago.

False! Israel spies aggressively. It does so on all allies. In 2011, former CIA counterintelligence specialist/military intelligence officer Philip Giraldi said Israel steals everything it gets its hands on. It includes military and industrial secrets.

"The reality of Israeli spying is indisputable. (It) always features prominently in annual FBI reports."

Washington's Government Accountability Office (GAO) said Israel "conducts the most aggressive espionage operation against the United States of any US ally."

The Pentagon accused Israel of "actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States." 

"An Israeli citizen working in the US who has access to proprietary information is likely to be a target of such espionage."

FBI whistleblower John Cole said Justice Department officials ordered dozens of Israeli espionage cases dropped. At issue was political pressure.

Despite longstanding ties, "US national security officials consider Israel to be, at times, a frustrating ally and a genuine counterintelligence threat," he added.

The CIA considers Israel its main Middle East counterintelligence threat. Its operations are highly sophisticated. 

Netanyahu claiming allies don't spy on us doesn't wash. Israel violates fundamental rule of law principles. It does so as egregiously as America.

Obama exceeds the worst of his predecessors. So does Netanyahu. Both leaders threaten world peace and security. Lawless spying reflects the tip of their rogue governance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/mission-accomplished-says-snowden/

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Federal Judge Rules Against Mass Surveillance

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by Stephen Lendman

On December 16, Federal District Court of the District of Columbia Judge Richard Leon issued a damning 68-page ruling. He called NSA spying unconstitutional. It's "almost Orwellian," he said.

"The threshold issue is whether plaintiffs have a reasonable expectation of privacy that is violated when the Government indiscriminately collects their telephone metadata along with the metadata of hundreds of millions of other citizens without any particularized suspicion of wrongdoing, retains all of that metadata for five years, and then queries, analyzes, and investigates that data without prior judicial approval of the investigative targets."

"I cannot imagine a more 'indiscriminate' and 'arbitrary' invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval." 

"Surely, such a program infringes on 'that degree of privacy' that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment." 

It prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. Doing so violates core constitutional law. Mass NSA surveillance does it writ large.

It has nothing to do with national security. America's only enemies are ones it invents. NSA spies globally. It watches everyone. It monitors allies. It's about control. 

It's for economic advantage. It's to be one up on foreign competitors. It's for information used advantageously in trade, political, and military relations.

Domestic spying is longstanding. It's institutionalized. It's unconstitutional. It doesn't matter. Nothing before was done to stop it. Judge Leon took an important first step

ACLU Deputy Legal Director Jameel Jaffer commented on his ruling, saying:

"This is a strongly worded and carefully reasoned decision that ultimately concludes, absolutely correctly, that the NSA’s call-tracking program can’t be squared with the Constitution."

"As Judge Leon notes, the government's defense of the program has relied almost entirely on a 30-year-old case that involved surveillance of a specific criminal suspect over a period of two days."

"The idea that this narrow precedent authorizes the government to place every American under permanent surveillance is preposterous."

"We hope that Judge Leon's thoughtful ruling will inform the larger conversation about the proper scope of government surveillance powers, especially the debate in Congress about the reforms necessary to bring the NSA's surveillance activities back in line with the Constitution."

"The bipartisan USA Freedom Act, which has 130 co-sponsors already, would address the constitutional problems that Judge Leon identifies."

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) calls the proposed measure "a substantial improvement to America's laws regarding mass surveillance."

At the same time, it's "a floor, not a ceiling." It addresses a small portion of NSA abuses and "overreaching government secrecy."

It leaves important unfinished business. EFF endorses passage. Lots more needs to be done, it stressed.

Judge Leon's ruling marks the first successful NSA legal challenge. Conservative activist Larry Klayman and Charles Strange filed suit (Klayman v. Obama). Strange's son was killed in Afghanistan.

Months earlier, ACLU filed a similar suit (ACLU v. Clapper). It challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215. It's known as the "business records" provision. 

It permits collecting "any tangible thing...relevant" to alleged foreign intelligence or terrorism related investigations. It way oversteps. It's unconstitutional. 

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It does so by authorizing the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

"Whatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans," said ACLU.

On November 22, US District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge William Pauley heard arguments. He hasn't yet ruled.

Judge Leon granted plaintiffs' request for a preliminary injunction. He ordered the Obama administration to stop collecting their phone data. 

He ruled whatever it currently has must be destroyed. At the same time, he stayed his ruling. He cited potential "significant national security interests at stake."

He gave Obama's Justice Department time to appeal. He said his decision applies only to plaintiffs. It doesn't affect NSA's mass data-mining.

At the same time, his ruling is an important first step. For years, he said, constitutional issues were adjudicated under "a cloak of secrecy."

He referred to the unaccountable FISA court. It's virtually rubber-stamp. It mocks judicial fairness and legitimacy. 

Judge Leon's ruling is an important step in the right direction. "While Congress has great latitude to create statutory scheme like FISA," he said, "it may not hang a cloak of secrecy over the Constitution."

EFF called his decision "historic." Ruling for Klayman and Strange symbolically condemns mass surveillance.

Obama's Justice Department relies on two Supreme Court rulings. In Miller v. United States (1976), the Supreme Court ruled:

"The Fourth Amendment does not prohibit the obtaining of information revealed to a third-party and conveyed by him to Government authorities, even if it is revealed on the assumption that it will be used only for a limited purpose and the confidence placed in the third-party will not be betrayed." 

The Court added that information revealed to another source "takes the risk (of being) conveyed" to someone else.

In Smith v. Maryland (1979), the High Court extended the so-called third party doctrine to telephone communications. 

It said in "expos(ing) that information" to phone company equipment, individuals "assumed the risk that the company would reveal to police the numbers dialed."

In US v. Jones (2012), Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor acknowledged the need to update Fourth Amendment protections, saying:

"People disclose the phone numbers that they dial or text to their cellular providers, the URLS that they visit and the e-mail addresses with which they correspond to their Internet service providers, and the books, groceries and medications they purchase to online retailers." 

"I would not assume that all information voluntarily disclosed to some member of the public for a limited purpose is, for that reason alone, disentitled to Fourth Amendment protection."

In United States v. US District Court (the so-called Keith case) (1972), a unanimous Supreme Court ruling upheld Fourth Amendment protections in cases involving domestic surveillance targeting a domestic threat.

Judge Leon addressed Smith v. Maryland, saying:

"The question before me is not the same question that the Supreme Court confronted in Smith." It's "a far cry from the issue in this case."

He differentiated between then and now. Obtaining limited information on one person is vastly different from daily mass surveillance. He was blunt stating:

"This short-term, forward looking (as opposed to historical), and highly-limited data collection is what the Supreme Court was assessing in Smith." 

"The NSA telephony metadata program, on the other hand, involves the creation and maintenance of a historical database containing five years' worth of data." 

"And I might add, there is the very real prospect that the program will go on for as long as America is combatting terrorism, which realistically could be forever."

"Admittedly, what metadata is has not changed over time." 

"As in Smith, the types of information at issue in this case are relatively limited: phone numbers dialed, date, time, and the like." 

"But the ubiquity of phones has dramatically altered the quantity of the information that is now available, and more importantly, what that information can tell the Government about people’s lives."

"Put simply, people in 2013 have an entirely different relationship with phones than they did thirty-four years ago."

"Whereas some may assume that these cultural changes will force people to 'reconcile themselves' to an 'inevitable' 'diminution of privacy that new technology entails,' I think it is more likely that these trends have resulted in a greater expectation of privacy and a recognition that society views that expectation as reasonable."

In other words, privacy intrusions today are simple. They happen with digital age technology ease. Greater diligence is required to protect rights too important to lose. 

Courts and Congress are obligated to do so. Judge Leon's ruling represents an important first step in the right direction. Lots more needs to be done.

A Final Comment

Edward Snowden issued a statement. He praised Judge Leon's ruling, saying:

"I acted on my belief that the NSA's mass surveillance programs would not withstand a constitutional challenge, and that the American public deserved a chance to see these issues determined by open courts." 

"Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans. rights. It is the first of many."

Separately, he offered to help Brazil investigate harmful NSA spying. He'll do it in return for permanent political asylum. He said so in an open letter to all Brazilians. Folha de S. Paulo published it. 

It's a Brazilian daily broadsheet. Snowden in part said:

"I've expressed my willingness to assist where it's appropriate and legal, but, unfortunately, the US government has been working hard to limit my ability to do so." 

"Until a country grants me permanent political asylum, the US government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak out."

Brazilian senators asked Snowden for help. He's willing to provide it.

"I don't want to live in a world where everything that I say, everything I do, everyone I talk to, every expression of creativity or love or friendship is recorded." 

"That's not something I'm willing to support, it's not something I'm willing to build, and it's not something I'm willing to live under."

It remains to be seen if Brazil takes him up on his offer. Snowden urged it, concluding:

"If Brazil hears only one thing from me, let it be this: when all of us band together against injustices and in defense of privacy and basic human rights, we can defend ourselves from even the most powerful systems."

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/fedeeral-judge-rules-mass-surveillance/

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ACLU v. Clapper

ACLU v. Clapper

by Stephen Lendman 

On June 5, London's Guardian headlined "NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily."


Numerous reports followed based on information Edward Snowden revealed. He connected important dots for millions.

Institutionalized spying on Americans isn't new. It's longstanding. Little was revealed publicly. Too few people knew. It's far more invasive than most suspect. Core constitutional rights are violated.

On June 11, the ACLU filed suit. It challenged "the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's mass collection of Americans' phone records."

It argued that doing so violates Fourth and First Amendment rights, saying: 

"Because the NSA's aggregation of metadata constitutes an invasion of privacy and an unreasonable search, it is unconstitutional under the Fourth Amendment." 

"The call-tracking program also violates the First Amendment, because it vacuums up sensitive information about associational and expressive activity."

NSA claims authorization under the Patriot Act's Section 215. It's known as the "business records" provision. 

It permits collecting "any tangible thing...relevant" to alleged foreign intelligence or terrorism related investigations. It way oversteps. It's unconstitutional. 

It permits warrantless searches without probable cause. It violates fundamental First Amendment rights. It does so by mandating secrecy. 

It prohibits targeted subjects from telling others what's happening to them. It compromises free expression, assembly and association. 

It does so by authorizing the FBI to investigate anyone based on what they say, write, or do with regard to groups they belong to or associate with.

It violates Fourth and Fifth Amendment protections by not telling targeted subjects their privacy was compromised. It subverts fundamental freedoms for contrived, exaggerated, or nonexistent security reasons.

"Whatever Section 215's 'relevance' requirement might allow, it does not permit the government to cast a seven-year dragnet sweeping up every phone call made or received by Americans," said ACLU.

The 1978 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) authorized surveillance relating to "foreign intelligence information" between "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers." 

It restricts spying on US citizens and residents to those engaged in espionage in America and territory under US control. 

No longer. Today anything goes. America is a total surveillance society. Obama officials claim no authority can challenge them.  Governing this way is called tyranny.

The 2008 FISA Amendments Act authorized warrantless spying. The 2012 FISA Amendments Reauthorization Act renewed doing so for another five years.

Phone calls, emails, and other communications are monitored secretly without court authorization. 

Probable cause isn't needed. So-called "foreign intelligence information" sought means virtually anything. Vague language is all-embracing.

Hundreds of millions of Americans are targeted. Major telecom and Internet companies cooperate. They do so willingly. They were granted retroactive immunity.

All three branches of government are involved. They're complicit in sweeping lawlessness. Congressional leaders are regularly briefly. Bipartisan ones are fully on board. So are US courts. 

In 2008, the ACLU challenged the FISA Amendment's Act constitutionality. It did so on behalf of a broad coalition of human rights groups, attorneys, labor, legal and media organizations.

Their work requires them to communicate with people worldwide. In 2009, a federal judge dismissed the suit. It did so claiming ACLU's clients couldn't prove their communications were being monitored.

In 2011, an appeals court reversed the ruling. The Obama administration appealed to the Supreme Court. In October 2012, it heard oral arguments.

On February 26, 2013, it ruled 5 - 4 against ACLU. It held its plaintiffs lacked standing to challenge warrantless spying.

On November 22, London's Guardian headlined "NSA bulk data collection violates constitutional rights, ACLU argues."

It did so in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge William Pauley heard arguments. ACLU called for the program to be ended. Ahead of the hearing, its legal director, Jameel Jaffer, said:

"This vast dragnet is said to be authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, but nothing in the text or legislative history of that provision remotely suggests that Congress intended to empower the government to collect information on a daily basis, indefinitely, about every American’s phone calls."

"This kind of dragnet surveillance is precisely what the fourth amendment was meant to prohibit."

"The constitution does not permit the NSA to place hundreds of millions of innocent people under permanent surveillance because of the possibility that information about some tiny subset of them will become useful to an investigation in the future."

ACLU argued that blanket seizure of its phone records violates its constitutional rights. Doing so compromises its ability to work with journalists, advocacy groups, whistleblowers and others.

It argued it has standing because Washington has access to its phone records. Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery claimed otherwise.

ACLU has no standing, he said, because it can't prove NSA surveillance harmed its activities, members or clients.

"The program is carefully calibrated for the purpose of" counterterrorism, he claimed. He lied saying it's "not the kind of indiscriminate use of the data that the plaintiffs suggest."

He said congressional intelligence committees were fully briefed. Pauley was skeptical. He cited "veteran congressman" Representative James Sensenbrenner (R. WI).

He submitted an amicus brief. It said "he had no idea of what was happening" when he voted to reauthorize the Patriot Act's Section 215.

Delery argued that sweeping NSA surveillance is constitutional. Not according to ACLU lawyer Alex Abdo. Sustained/sweeping invasion of its privacy violates its Fourth Amendment rights, he said.

Jaffer argued that if current NSA practices continue, authorization other than from Section 215 may permit bulk collection of virtually everything, everywhere, for any claimed reason.

"The Supreme Court has admonished many times that the Congress doesn't hide elephants in mouse-holes," he said. "I think that's what the government is proposing here."

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is a Washington-based public interest research center. It focuses on civil liberties issues. It's dedicated to protecting privacy rights.

On November 18, it headlined "Supreme Court Declines EPIC's Challenge to NSA Domestic Surveillance Program, Leaves in Place Order of Surveillance Court."

EPIC argued against a secret FISA court order requiring Verizon to give NSA access to all its customer records. Doing so exceeded its legal authority, it said.

"It is simply not possible that every phone record in the possession of Verizon is relevant to a national security investigation," it stressed. The High Court rejected its argument without explanation.

Expect more challenges ahead. Shareholder pressure groups want telecom companies to provide more information on what they provide NSA.

Trillion Asset Management and New York State Common Retirement Fund filed motions. They call for AT&T and Verizon to disclose more about their "metrics and discussion regarding requests for customer information by US and foreign governments."

In February 2012, NSA's five page document explained its "SIGINT (signals intelligence) Strategy." It said US laws don't meet its needs.

It explained a four year strategy to "aggressively pursue legal authorities and a policy framework mapped more fully to the information age."

"The interpretation and guidelines for applying our authorities, and in some cases the authorities themselves, have not kept pace with the complexity of the technology and target environments, or the operational expectations levied on NSA's mission," it stressed.

It wants unrestricted mass surveillance authority. It wants to be able  to collect data from "anyone, anytime, anywhere." It'll decrypt codes intended to keep personal information private.

It intends to "revolutionize" analysis of data it collects. It wants to "radically increase (its) operational impact."

It doesn't clarify what legal or policy changes it may seek. Its powers are nominally granted by Congress, executive authority and the FISA court.

It already operates extrajudicially. It has broad latitude to do so. It's report argues for more flexibility. It wants greater than ever sweeping authority. It wants to "dramatically increase its mastery of the global network."

An NSA statement said:

"NSA's Sigint strategy is designed to guide investments in future capabilities and close gaps in current" ones. 

"In an ever-changing technology and telecommunications environment, NSA tries to get in front of issues to better fulfill the foreign-intelligence requirements of the US government."

Critics like ACLU, the Center for Constitutional Rights, EPIC and others cite core constitutional rights violations. Modern technology facilitates police state lawlessness.

Everyone is vulnerable. There's no place to hide. Freedom is fast disappearing. Alleged security concerns ring hollow. They're cover for what's too precious to lose.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour


http://www.dailycensored.com/aclu-v-clapper/

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The Pentagon accused Israel of "actively engag(ing) in military and industrial espionage in the United States."

US national security officials consider Israel at times a genuine counterintelligence and espionage threat. France perhaps feels the same way about America. Add Germany to the list.

On October 24, the Washington Post headlined "Germans launch probe into allegations of US spying."

Reports about NSA listening to her phone calls is the latest diplomatic row. Germany's Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle summoned US ambassador John Emerson to explain.

"For us, spying on close friends and partners is totally unacceptable," he said. "This undermines trust and this can harm our friendship. We need the truth now."

Merkel said "trust needs to be reestablished" with Washington.
German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere called what's gone on "really bad. We can't simply return to business as usual."

White House press secretary Jay Carney lied saying:

"The US is not monitoring and will not monitor communications of the chancellor."

At the same time, he added:

"We are not going to comment publicly on every specified, alleged intelligence activity." 

"And, as a matter of policy, we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations." 

"We have diplomatic relations and channels that we use in order to discuss these issues that have clearly caused some tension in our relationships with other nations around the world, and that is where we were having those discussions."

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied claiming Washington isn't involved in "some big dragnet." What's ongoing "are intelligence activities…with a defined purpose," she said.

"We want to make sure that we’re striking the proper balance between the legitimate security concerns and countering legitimate security threats, and protecting the privacy that all people around the world think is important, and we certainly do as well."

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper is a confessed perjurer. He admitted lying to Congress about NSA spying. On October 22, he said:

"Recent articles published in the French newspaper Le Monde contain inaccurate and misleading information regarding US foreign intelligence activities."  

"The allegation that the National Security Agency collected more than 70 million “recordings of French citizens’ telephone data” is false."

"While we are not going to discuss the details of our activities, we have repeatedly made it clear that the United States gathers intelligence of the type gathered by all nations."  

"The US collects intelligence to protect the nation, its interests, and its allies from, among other things, threats such as terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction."

"The United States values our longstanding friendship and alliance with France and we will continue to cooperate on security and intelligence matters going forward."

Merkel is currently under fire for mishandling earlier reports about NSA spying. According to German Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information Peter Schaar:

"The report that the chancellor's mobile phone was also tapped shows how absurd the attempt was to end the debate about the surveillance of everyday communications in this country."

"In light of the new revelations, it was downright irresponsible not to have pushed harder to get to the truth."

Schaar referred to German Chancellery chief of staff Ronald Pofalla's August statement. At the time, he downplayed clear evidence about NSA targeting Germany and other EU nations.

Green Party parliamentary floor leader Anton Hofreiter demanded Merkel "make public what she knew and when."

Does she or doesn't she know NSA monitors her cell phone calls? Publicly she calls it a "grave breach of trust."

Other EU leaders expressed outrage. They threatened to delay trade negotiations. European parliament president Martin Schulz said:

"This is a moment when we should pause and think over how the free trade pact is being approached. For us, a line has been reached." US intelligence agencies are "out of control."

German officials launched an official investigation. On Wednesday, Merkel spoke to Obama. He lied saying Washington "is not monitoring and will not monitor" her communications.

Major Italian newspapers said a parliamentary committee was told Washington monitored internal telecommunications, emails and text messages.

Prime Minister Enrico Letta raised the issue with John Kerry. The Secretary of State lied saying Obama's goal was striking a balance between security and privacy.

Foreign leaders protest too much. They know more than they admit. Official outrage is mostly for domestic consumption. Allies spying on each other isn't new. 

According to former French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner:

"Let's be honest. We eavesdrop too. Everyone is listening to everyone else. But we don't have the same means as the United States, which makes us jealous."

At the same time, security expert Constanze Stelzenmueller said there's a "general assumption that certain kinds of people were off limits."

"No one has a problem with spying on the bad guys. But when you start spying on your partner in leadership, who is presumably not a terrorist, that raises a lot of questions about trust."

London's Guardian said "(w)ith each leak, American soft power hemorrhages, and hard power threatens to seep away with it."

Merkel is known as a frequent cell phone communicator. She often sends text messages that way.

Last summer, her upgrading it to a modified BlackBerry Z10 made national headlines.

On October 24, Der Spiegel headlined "Frenemies: Spying on Allies Fits Obama's Standoffish Profile," saying:

Diplomats aren't surprised about US spy agencies monitoring allies like Merkel. She and Obama aren't close friends. Obama "failed to foster close relationships with other heads of state," said Der Spiegel.

It "caus(ed) much frustration around the world."

"Complaints about Merkel's 'lost friend' are misplaced. Obama doesn't want to be a friend."

The atmosphere during a recent unnamed EU head of state Washington visit was called "frosty by those in the entourage." 

"Obama didn't find the time for even a little small talk. (I)t seemed to some like an appointment with a lawyer."

Obama was "initially uncomfortable" about Washington's so-called "special relationship" with Britain.

An unnamed African head of state remarked after visiting Washington that he longed for the days of George Bush. At least with him, he said, you knew where you stood.

Israel was upset that Obama didn't visit during his first term. He's upset other heads of state.

"So much non-diplomacy is new among US presidents," said Der Spiegel. Reagan wooed Margaret Thatcher.

GHW Bush confided in Helmut Kohl. Clinton was close to Tony Blair. GW Bush had "a whole team of 'buddies.' " He entertained them at his ranch.

In 2010, Washington Post columnist Jackson Diehl said Obama has no close friends among world leaders. "But what for," asked Der Spiegel? "He has the NSA."

On October 23, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined "NSA Spying in Congress: Stop the Intelligence Committee and What to Watch for in Upcoming Bills."

Congress was busy during the 16 day government shutdown. Various NSA related bills are being considered. A "still secret" House and Senate intelligence one aims to continue unrestrained telecommunications monitoring.

It'll "likely provide some window dressing transparency, while shoring up the legal basis for the spying," said EFF.

Since Snowden's documents were released, House and Senate intelligence committee chairs Rep. Mike Rogers (R. MI) and Senator Diane Feinstein defended NSA spying.

"While we have opinions about what the best way forward is, the only sure way to not go backwards, or seal the status quo into stone, is to stop the bill currently in the works by the Intelligence Committee chairs," said EFF.

It wants congressional legislation enacted against mass spying. It should either reverse Patriot Act provision 215 or act in some other way.

Section 215 pertains to alleged suspects. It authorizes government access to "any tangible item." 

Its language is vague and deceptive. It permits meta-data-mining.
Virtually anything can be monitored. Warrantless searches without probable cause are authorized. 

Information obtained can include financial records and transactions, education and medical records, phone conversations, emails, other Internet use, and whatever else Washington wants access to.

At issue are serious constitutional violations. First and Fourth Amendment rights are compromised. Other constitutional protections are at risk.

Anyone can be spied on for any reason or none at all. No probable cause, reasonable grounds, or suspicions are needed.

Lawless practices need fixing, said EFF. FISA Court operations need curbing. Increased transparency is vital. Intrusive National Security Letters (NSLs) are troubling.

They've been around since the mid-1980s. Pre-9/11, they had more limited authority to secure records and other personal information on alleged terrorists and spies. 

The USA Patriot Act's Section 505 changed things. It permits expanded FBI's authority to obtain personal customer records from ISPs, financial institutions, credit companies, and other sources without prior court approval.

At issue only is claiming information sought relates to alleged terrorism or espionage investigations. No proof is needed.

Innocent people are targeted. Virtually anything in public or private records can be obtained. 

Gag orders prevent targeted individuals or groups from revealing the information demanded. NSL use continues increasing exponentially. Doing so reflects police state tyranny.

Congressional action can change things. Legislation is being proposed to do so. Passage appears unlikely. Hardliners want status quo maintained. Future prospects look dim.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs Fridays at 10AM US Central time and Saturdays and Sundays at noon. All programs are archived for easy listening.

http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

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Eavesdropping Chief Keith Alexander Stepping Down from NSA

Keith Alexander (Getty Images)Director of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, will step down from his post in the coming months, according to...

Snowdened? Top NSA Officials to Leave Spy Agency Posts

Keith Alexander (Getty Images)Director of the National Security Agency, General Keith Alexander, will step down from his post in the coming months, according to a Pentagon spokesperson.

Alexander, who as head of the NSA has guided the agency's controversial dragnet spying programs in recent years, has formalized plans to leave by next April at the latest, Reuters reports Thursday.

Likewise, Alexander's deputy, John Inglis, is due to retire by the end of the year, according to U.S. officials.

"This has nothing to do with media leaks," NSA spokeswoman Vanee Vines told Reuters. "The decision for his retirement was made prior; an agreement was made with the (Secretary of Defense) and the Chairman for one more year - to March 2014."

That may or may not be so, according to observers, but the real issue is whether or not either official—or anyone ever—will be held accountable for the controversial behavior of the spy agency in recent years.

As chief of the nation's largest and most secretive intelligence agency—sometimes referred to as the "No Such Agency"— Alexander had largely escaped media attention until this year's explosive revelations made possible by whistleblower Edward Snowden. The leaked details of numerous NSA programs put Alexander—and the testimony he offered in front of a series of public congressional hearings—at the center of the global media debate about the legally suspect surveillance operations of the U.S. government.

Mike Masnick, editor at TechDirt, concedes that the departures were likely planned, but doesn't necessarily think that's a good thing.

That Alexander and Inglis weren't forced out by the Snowden revelations, Masnick says, "is unfortunate, as it really does seem like there should be some punishment for the widespread excesses and abuses that have been revealed by Snowden."

Despite widespread anger over the revelations that the NSA has been spying on innocent people in the U.S. and around the world, Alexander has continuously defended the NSA's tactics.

Asked whether the National Security Agency should collect all communications of U.S. residents at a recent Senate Intelligence Committee hearing, Alexander replied, "I believe it is in the nation's best interest to put all the phone records into a lock-box – yes."

Alexander's approach to to his job was recently described in a Foreign Policy exposé as an "all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine." And Alexander's peers see him as a "cowboy willing to play fast and loose with legal limits in order to construct a system of ubiquitous surveillance," as former Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald who broke the Snowden leaks, summarized.

Upon hearing of Alexander's departure, Greenwald tweeted:

As for who should replace Alexander, Masnick argued there was at least an opportunity for President Obama to make a change at the agency that could make amends for some of the agency's worst proclivities under current leadership.

"It seems unlikely that this will happen," he said, "but the President has said that he wants to rebuild the trust of Americans in the NSA and the wider intelligence community, and the choices he makes for who will lead the NSA are a real opportunity to at least take a step in that direction. No one actually expects him to, say, pick a civil liberties activist, but there are people out there who have experience in the intelligence community and who also have shown a respect and appreciation for privacy and civil liberties. Furthermore, finding someone who can present the case for reform -- one which recognizes that "collect it all" is not just bad policy, but bad for actually finding useful information -- would be a big step forward."

According to Reuters, however, one of the top officials now under consideration is Vice Admiral Michael Rogers, currently serving as commander of the U.S. Navy's 10th Fleet and U.S. Fleet Cyber Command and described by one unnamed official as someone very "well thought of" by those in the military's cyber-warfare and "information dominance" circles.

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NSA Reading Content of Americans’ International Communications

Thursday saw yet another revelation in the ongoing exposure of a cluster of unconstitutional surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency (NSA) and...

Latest NSA Revelations Debunk Obama's "No Spying on Americans" Claim

President Obama with Tonight Show host Jay Leno. (Screenshot)"There is no spying on Americans," said President Obama to talkshow host Jay Leno on Tuesday...

NSA loophole allows warrantless search for US citizens’ emails and phone calls

James Ball and Spencer Ackerman theguardian.com August 9, 2013 The National Security Agency has a secret backdoor into its vast databases under a...

What It Means to Be An NSA “Target”: New Information Shows Why We Need...

Mark Rumold EFF.org August 9, 2013 An important New York Times investigation from today reporting that the NSA “is searching the contents of vast...

‘Gitmo Clock’ counts seconds since Obama’s unfulfilled pledge to free prisoners

Activists calling for closure of Guantanamo Bay prison have launched an online clock, which counts the time since President Obama’s latest promise to set...

Connections Between Michael Hastings, Edward Snowden And Barrett Brown–The War With The Security State

At the time of his death in a mysterious one-car crash and explosion, journalist Michael Hastings was researching a story that threatened to expose powerful entities and government-connected figures. That story intersected with the work of two controversial government critics—the hacker Barrett Brown and the on-the-run surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Obama thinks people don’t need to know

When former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the existence of a massive spying program siphoning up Americans' personal phone records earlier this...

Obama thinks people don’t need to know

When former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden leaked the existence of a massive spying program siphoning up Americans' personal phone records earlier this...

NSA searching emails crossing border

US intelligence officials say the National Security Agency is searching the contents of Americansâ„¢ Internet communications that cross the border, looking for citizens who...

Are Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks Winning?

August 7, 2013  | ...

Are Snowden, Greenwald and Wikileaks Winning?

August 7, 2013  | ...

Feds Instruct Law Enforcement to Cover Up Investigations of Americans

Agencies of the federal government are sharing the massive database of personal information being obtained by surveillance, and police are being taught how to...

Snowden cyber defenders may terrorize US like Al-Qaeda, ex-NSA chief warns

Michael Hayden, the former head of CIA and NSA, speculated on the possibility of a massive hacker attack on America perpetrated by "sex-starved" activists...

5 Ways the War on Terror Has Changed Your Life

The leaks from National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden over the summer have made one thing abundantly clear: the war on terror has come to affect every single American.

Critics Slam NSA Spy Mongers for Exploiting Intelligence Warnings

As US embassies remain closed across the Middle East, North Africa, and Central Asia in response to a reported terror threat, critics are blasting...

FBI suspected in hacking anonymity software Tor to arrest child porn suspect

Security experts have accused US law enforcement of taking advantage of a flaw in the Firefox Internet browser then exploiting it to identify and...

Ron Paul: Why Won’t They Tell Us the Truth About NSA Spying?

Ron PaulInfowars.comAugust 5, 2013 In 2001, the Patriot Act opened the door to US...

'The Tide Has Turned': NSA Protesters Back to the Streets for #1984Day

Restore the Fourth protesters, July 4, 2013 (Restore the Fourth via Facebook)Thousands of people are expected to rally in cities across the U.S. on...

Americans rally against NSA spying

Activists protested Sunday against the National Security Agencyâ„¢s surveillance programs that track Americansâ„¢ phone and email records.Thousands of people held rallies across the United...

The US terror scare

  5 August 2013 ...

FBI using hacker techniques to spy on Americans

  By ...

‘The Tide Has Turned’: NSA Protesters Back to the Streets for #1984Day

Thousands of people are expected to rally in cities across the U.S. on Sunday in protest of the National Security Agency's recently exposed dragnet surveillance programs, in what organizers from the group Restore the Fourth are calling 1984 Day.

The Presumed Innocence of Capitalism and Lac-Mégantic

“If the soul is left in darkness, sins will be committed. The guilty one is not he who commits the sin, but he who...

Amid Growing Concern on Spying, a Vague Terror Warning

Several US missions in predominantly Muslim countries usually open on Sundays. (Photo: EPA)The US State Department, citing unspecified security concerns, has ordered many of...

Edward Snowden gains temporary asylum in Russia

  By ...

NSA Paying UK Spy Agency to Surveil Americans

(Photograph: Kieran Doherty/Reuters)The United States government is paying the UK government's spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (or GCHQ), to do much of their...

NSA Chief: Agency Stands for 'Freedom,' Hecklers Call Bullshit

Alexander at Black Hat conference, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (Reuters / Steve Marcus)National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander was heckled by an...

'Read the Constitution!' Hecklers Tell NSA Chief During Speech

Alexander at Black Hat conference, Wednesday, July 31, 2013 (Reuters / Steve Marcus)National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander was heckled by an...

The Earth’s Most Wanted Man Finds a Refuge

On June 23, he arrived in Moscow. He applied for asylum. He’s been stuck in Sheremetyevo Airport transit zone limbo. Putin was clear and unequivocal....

Russia Grants Snowden One-Year Asylum

Russia Grants Snowden One-Year Asylum by Stephen Lendman On June 23, he arrived in Moscow. He applied for asylum. He's been stuck in Sheremetyevo Airport transit...

Snowden’s Father Calls Out Obama On Nuremburg Crimes

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comAugust 1, 2013 Predictably, the corporate media, the official propaganda outlet for the...

Reps Who Voted Against Amash Got Millions in Defense Industry Donations

"Follow the money." That was the infamous counsel given by the informant “Deep Throat” to the reporters investigating the Watergate scandal. That direction seems to...

Senate to Vote Wednesday on Paul Proposal to Cut Aid to Egypt

Sometime today (Wednesday, July 31), the U.S. Senate is scheduled to a vote on a measure introduced by Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) aimed at...

The Internet As We Know It Is On Its Deathbed

The original vision of the Internet, where information and media is freely shared, without one’s computer strokes and searches being metered, tracked, traced, archived,...

Ted Cruz Stands With Rand in Feud with Chris Christie

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie believes liberty is a “very dangerous thought.” Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) answered for the libertarian wing of the GOP,...

America’s Real Subversives — The FBI and NSA, Spying on the Public

As the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington approaches, commemorating that historic gathering where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous "I have a dream" speech, it is important to recall the extent to which King was targeted by the government's domestic spying apparatus.

America's Real Subversives — The FBI and NSA, Spying on the Public

July 29, 2013  | ...

Pro-NSA Congressmen get more money

US Congress members who voted against ending the National Intelligence Agencyâ„¢s surveillance program received more than twice the money from defense contractors than those...

Who Voted in Congress to Defund the NSA Domestic Spying Program and Who Didn’t

It was a very interesting vote with a majority of Republicans joining the Obama Administration and many Dems in support of the continued funding of the NSA spying program which dragnets the data of American citizens without a warrant.

‘Big Data’ Dynamo: How Giant Tech Firms Help the Government to Spy on Americans

As the secret state continues trawling the electronic communications of hundreds of millions of Americans, lusting after what securocrats euphemistically call “actionable intelligence,”...

Truthdigger of the Week: Rep. Justin Amash

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdigger_of_the_week_justin_amash_20130727/ Posted on Jul 27, 2013 ...

NSA ‘blackmails’ members of Congress

An American investigative journalist says the US National Security Agency Å“possesses highly embarrassing communications” of some members of Congress, using the records to Å“blackmail”...

America: Super-Bully Nation

America: Super-Bully Nation by Stephen Lendman Count the ways. Obama's waging financial war on humanity. He's waging multiple direct and indirect hot ones. He bears full...

After We Stop the Machine, How Do We Create a New World?

July 26, 2013  | ...

FBI, NSA, America’s real subversives

As the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington approaches, commemorating that historic gathering where Martin Luther King Jr gave his famous "I...

Lawmakers Who Upheld NSA Phone Spying Received Double the Defense Industry Cash

The numbers tell the story – in votes and dollars. On Wednesday, the house voted 217 to 205 not to rein in the NSA’s...

Chris Christie Finds Liberty a "Dangerous Idea"

On the eve of a House vote Wednesday on his amendment to curb the National Security Agency's daily dragnet collection of Americans' phone records,...

UK ‘Porn’ Filter Will Blacklist Non-Porn Websites

Rights group slams system as “sleepwalk into censorship” Paul Joseph WatsonInfowars.comJuly 26, 2013 The...

Chris Christie Finds Liberty a "Dangerous Idea."

On the eve of a House vote Wednesday on his amendment to curb the National Security Agency's daily dragnet collection of Americans' phone records,...

Poll: US Public Hates NSA Spying

(Reuters/Kacper Pempel/Files)The majority of U.S. citizens do not trust the National Security Agency with their personal communication data and would like the NSA to...

UC’s Alarming Choice

Last week, the UC Regents confirmed Janet Napolitano’s nomination as the next president of the University of California (UC) system. This selection is historic: She...

NSA Opponents Call Out White House for Hypocrisy of "Informed" Debate on Spying

(Photo: Press TV)The Obama Administration is fiercely campaigning against a proposed legislative measure in the House–up for debate Wednesday–to curb NSA secret spying, on...

NSA holds emergency hearing to fight off anti-surveillance amendment in Congress

The National Security Agency has invited certain members of Congress to a top secret, invitation only meeting to discuss a proposed amendment that could...

Mood shifting, Congress may move to limit NSA spying

David Lightman, Kate Irby and Ben Kamisar McClatchy July 21, 2013   Congress is growing increasingly wary of controversial National Security Agency domestic surveillance programs,...

NSA Spokesman Accidentally Admits that the Government Is Spying On Virtually All Americans

NSA Spying: A Matter of Degree We have long noted that the government is spying on just about everything we do. The NSA has pretended that...

Secret court Allows NSA To Keep Collecting Verizon customers’ phone records

Ed PilkingtonThe GuardianJuly 20, 2013 The National Security Agency has been allowed to extend its dragnet...

Secret court lets NSA extend its trawl of Verizon customers’ phone records

Ed Pilkington London Guardian July 20, 2013 The National Security Agency has been allowed to extend its dragnet of the telephone records of millions...

The Seeds of Rebellion Are Taking Root, and Protests Against Injustices Are Blooming Across...

Stephen Shapiro describes Occupy as a “dandelion moment” in which the movement successfully dispersed seeds to float and root, thereby growing into a bigger...

Intelligence Chief Clapper Likely to Escape Punishment for Perjury

Senator Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said July 16 that he’d thought of a way to hold Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (shown) accountable for...

NSA surveillance order set to expire Friday

If the Obama administration elects not to act before Friday evening, the National Security Agency could for the first time in ages be unable...

Despite Participation in PRISM, Microsoft Warns of Threat to Constitution

“The Constitution is suffering.” That was the message sent July 16 by Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith in a letter to U.S. Attorney General...

Safety or Statism: The Goal of the Surveillance State

Although nearly every law, regulation, or order issued by the federal government is almost indecipherable because of the amount of vague language, when it says it is collecting all information, it really means all information.

Obama wins back the right to indefinitely detain under NDAA

The Obama administration has won the latest battle in their fight to indefinitely detain US citizens and foreigners suspected of being affiliated with terrorists...

Snowden leaks open a Pandora’s box of lawsuits against government surveillance

The recent disclosures made by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden have generated commotion in Congress and the White House alike. Will the United...

Napolitano to Head University of California

Napolitano to Head University of California by Stephen Lendman On July 12, the Los Angeles Times headlined "Janet Napolitano, Homeland Security chief, to head UC," saying: Her...

Panicked Obama Dials Putin After Snowden Appearance

(Inyenyeri News)The White House spiraled into panic mode late Friday after Edward Snowden's earlier appearance in Russia, with President Obama moving forward with plans...

The Fact that Mass Surveillance Doesn’t Keep Us Safe Goes Mainstream

Washington’s BlogJuly 9, 2013 The fact that mass spying on Americans isn’t necessary to keep us...

Stasi's New Incarnation

Stasi's New Incarnation by Stephen Lendman Stasi was East Germany's secret police. It suppressed opposition to Stalinist power. It was one of the most repressive state...

Judge throws out ‘state secrets’ claim, allowing lawsuit against NSA to continue

The Obama administration will not be allowed to terminate a lawsuit by asserting that a civil argument would risk exposing national secrets, a federal...

Tech Companies Hiding Depth of Cooperation with NSA Surveillance

The New American and others continue to comb through the leaked PowerPoint presentation explaining PRISM – the National Security Agency’s (NSA) program monitoring the Internet...

Truthdiggers of the Week: NSA Protesters

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/truthdiggers_of_the_week_nsa_protesters_20130706/ Posted on Jul 6, 2013 ...

Restore the 4th! 'Turning Point' for Opposing Mass Gov't Surveillance

In over a hundred cities across the U.S. and on major websites this July 4th holiday, a grassroots movement is pushing back against newly...

CIA whistleblower to Snowden: ‘Do not cooperate with the FBI’

NSA leaker Edward Snowden is the subject of an open letter of support just published from behind bars by John Kiriakou, a former CIA...

“Team America”: Suspicion of smuggled Snowden grounds Bolivian presidential jet in Austria

Global dominion over all borders? Indeed, it appears that Washington DC has that power now.  Remember that great puppet show parody film? That piece of comedy...

Hands Off Snowden Campaign

Hands Off Snowden Campaign by Stephen Lendman Snowden acted heroically. He did so at great risk. He exposed lawless US spying. He represents a noble tradition....

Why Edward Snowden's Leaks Have Empowered All of Us

July 2, 2013  | ...

Have We Forgotten the Declaration of Independence?

July 2, 1776. Delegates from 12 of the 13 colonies represented in the Second Continental Congress voted to formally “dissolve the political bands” that...

Former Surveillance Court Judge Disputes Charge of Coordination With NSA

Judges who sit on the secret court charged with approving surveillance of American citizens are mad. One former occupant of the FISA court bench...

Former Surveillance Court Judge Disputes Charge of Coordination With NSA

Judges who sit on the secret court charged with approving surveillance of American citizens are mad. One former occupant of the FISA court bench...

Massive NSA spying on European Union, Germany

  By ...

Ecuador backpedals on asylum for Snowden

  By ...

More Pieces to TWA 800 Puzzle

Three years after TWA flight 800 exploded in mid-air over the Atlantic just off Long Island, killing all 230 aboard, evidence is continuing to...

More Pieces to TWA 800 Puzzle

Three years after TWA flight 800 exploded in mid-air over the Atlantic just off Long Island, killing all 230 aboard, evidence is continuing to...

Senators Blast NSA for 'Secret' Interpretation of Laws

Lawmakers blasted the Obama administration for their "secret reinterpretation" of known laws, which they say has effectively "mislead" both the public and their representatives,...

Senators Blast NSA for 'Secret' Interpretation of Laws

Lawmakers blasted the Obama administration for their "secret reinterpretation" of known laws, which they say has effectively "mislead" both the public and their representatives,...

The Government’s Mass Spying Is An Affront To Democratic Values

Top Terrorism Experts Say that Mass Spying Doesn’t Work to Prevent Terrorism Never mind the fact that — if the government’s spying was really only...

The Government’s Mass Spying Is An Affront To Democratic Values. Let’s Also Not Pretend...

Washington’s BlogJune 29, 2013 Never mind the fact that — if the government’s spying was really...

Senators Blast NSA for 'Secret' Interpretation of Laws

Lawmakers blasted the Obama administration for their "secret reinterpretation" of known laws, which they say has effectively "mislead" both the public and their representatives,...

Let's Be Clear, say Legal Experts, What NSA Is Doing Is 'Criminal'

Despite a vast selection of elected US officials from both parties and an outsized portion of the US media who have accepted the assurances...

Snowden’s Case for Asylum

The US government is putting on a full-court press to track down, arrest and prosecute Edward Snowden for blowing the whistle on the National...

WikiLeaks volunteer snitched for the FBI

United States investigators paid an Icelandic teenager $5,000 to work as a paid informant within the ranks of WikiLeaks for around two months in...

Telecoms Implicated in Bush-Era Domestic Spying Now Starting 'Privacy Coaltion'

Politico is reporting that a group of leading telecommunications corporations has announced that they are forming a privacy coalition to "focus on updating U.S....

FISA Court Colludes with NSA to Allow Unconstitutional Surveillance

Documents obtained by The Guardian (U.K.) reveal that the court that was ostensibly created to keep the federal domestic spy apparatus from invading the...

House Passes 2014 NDAA; NSA Surveillance Will Lead to Indefinite Detention

The annual renewal of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) is underway on Capitol Hill. On June 14, by a vote of 315-108, the House...

NSA "Disappears" Its Own Fact Sheet on Spying Program

NSA Head General Keith Alexander (Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)The NSA moved quickly to cover its tracks Tuesday after being publicly exposed for posting a...

NSA Ensnared In Another Lie

NSA Head General Keith Alexander (Photo: Charles Dharapak/AP Photo)The NSA moved quickly to cover its tracks Tuesday after being publicly exposed for posting a...

5 Ways the U.S. Government Has Built ‘An Architecture of Oppression’

Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old NSA whistleblower...

Freedom in the Garbage Can

by Dom Armentano ...

Snowden’s Case for Asylum

Despite U.S. government pressure, Russian President Vladimir Putin is balking at demands that he extradite Edward Snowden from Moscow to face espionage charges for...

Obama Admin. Charges NSA Whistleblower Snowden With Espionage

The Obama administration Friday charged National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden, 29, leaked to the Washington Post and to The Guardian...

Anti-War Activists Targeted as 'Domestic Terrorists'

Port Militarization Resistance (Photo: Brendan Maslauskas Dunn)Anti-war activists who were infiltrated and spied on by the military for years have now been placed on...

Global 'Bully': As Snowden Seeks Asylum, Critics Blast US for Manhunt

As Edward Snowden's quest for political asylum plays out as a global cat-and-mouse chase, defenders of international law say the US is acting the...

Global 'Bully': Critics Blast US for Manhunt Asylum Seeking Snowden

As Edward Snowden's quest for political asylum plays out as a global cat-and-mouse chase, defenders of international law say the US is acting the...

Police State Canada: Harper Government Enacts Law Threatening Masked Protesters with Ten-year Jail Terms

Legislation that gives the Canadian state draconian and arbitrary powers to suppress protests became law last week after approval from the Conservative Party-dominated federal...

The Pursuit of Edward Snowden: Washington in a Rage, Striving to Run the World

Rarely has any American provoked such fury in Washington’s high places. So far, Edward Snowden has outsmarted the smartest guys in the echo chamber...

NSA Spying and Intelligence Collection: A Giant Blackmail Machine and “Warrantless Wiretapping” Program

Despite a stream of mendacious twaddle from President Obama, congressional grifters and spook agency mouthpieces like Office of the Director of National Intelligence head...

Handful of Congress Members Move to Rein In Surveillance State

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comJune 23, 2013 It’s no mistake the Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review...

Obama Admin. Charges NSA Whistleblower Snowden with Espionage

The Obama administration Friday charged National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower Edward Snowden with espionage. Snowden, 29, leaked to the Washington Post and to the Guardian...

Corporatizing National Security: What It Means

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/corporatizing_national_security_what_it_means_20130622/ Posted on Jun 22, 2013 By...

Icelandic WikiLeaks collaborators targeted by Obama administration

Published time: June 21, 2013 20:30 The Obama administration has admitted to spying on two Icelandic citizens with ties to WikiLeaks in the...

Congress Moves to Create New Surveillance Agency Under NDAA 2014

Kurt NimmoInfowars.comJune 21, 2013 Earlier this year, the House Subcommittee on Intelligence, Emerging Threats...

Corporatizing National Security

Privacy is a sacred word to many Americans, as demonstrated by the recent uproar over the brazen invasion of it by the Patriot Act-enabled...

Indefinite Surveillance: Say Hello to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014

Passed in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set the groundwork for surveillance, collection, and analysis of intelligence gathered from foreign powers and...

Indefinite Surveillance: Say Hello to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2014

Passed in 1978, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) set the groundwork for surveillance, collection, and analysis of intelligence gathered from foreign powers and...

FBI's Mueller Admits Use of Drones in Domestic Surveillance

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller (shown) testified that his agency has used drones to monitor...

FBI's Mueller Admits Use of Drones in Domestic Surveillance

At a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, FBI Director Robert Mueller (shown) testified that his agency has used drones to monitor...

Greenwald: NSA Director is 'Misleading' the Public

NSA Director Keith Alexander has been misleading the public by saying that the NSA's shadowy surveillance programs, exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden this month,...

Greenwald: NSA Director is 'Misleading' the Public

NSA Director Keith Alexander has been misleading the public by saying that the NSA's shadowy surveillance programs, exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden this month,...

Greenwald: NSA Director is 'Misleading' the Public

NSA Director Keith Alexander has been misleading the public by saying that the NSA's shadowy surveillance programs, exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden this month,...

“Truth is coming and it cannot be stopped”: NSA Whistleblower Snowden Issues defiant Response...

Whistleblower Edward Snowden spoke publicly yesterday for the first time in a week and issued a defiant response to denunciations of his actions by...

NSA whistleblower Snowden issues defiant response to government threats and media lies

  ”Truth is coming and it cannot be stopped” ...

Multiple New Polls Show Americans Reject Wholesale NSA Domestic Spying

In the 1950s and 60s, the NSA spied on all telegrams entering and exiting the country. The egregious actions were only uncovered after Congress...

Snowden’s Constitution, Obama’s Constitution, and Criminal Law

Edward Snowden is not a constitutional lawyer. But his public statement explaining his decision to blow the whistle on what he and Congress both...

The Chemical Weapons Pretext for War on Syria

In the wake of having its illegal domestic surveillance dragnet exposed, laying bare (yet again) the utter duplicity and criminality of the U.S. ruling...

The Chemical Weapons Pretext for War on Syria: A Pack of Lies

In the wake of having its illegal domestic surveillance dragnet exposed, laying bare (yet again) the utter duplicity and criminality of the U.S. ruling...

The Chemical Weapons Pretext for War on Syria

In the wake of having its illegal domestic surveillance dragnet exposed, laying bare (yet again) the utter duplicity and criminality of the U.S. ruling...

Multiple New Polls Show Americans Reject Wholesale NSA Domestic Spying

In the 1950s and 60s, the NSA spied on all telegrams entering and exiting the country. The egregious actions were only uncovered after Congress...

Facebook Gives Gov't Access to Nearly 20,000 User Accounts

Have you updated your Facebook account lately? If so, the government may know all about it. According to a statement posted on the company’s website...

Facebook Gives Gov't Access to Nearly 20,000 User Accounts

Have you updated your Facebook account lately? If so, the government may know all about it. According to a statement posted on the company’s website...

The Obama Regime: What the NSA Revelations Tell Us about America’s Police State

Ongoing revelations by The Guardian and The Washington Post of massive, illegal secret state surveillance of the American people along with advanced plans for...

Unprecedented Coalition Pushes Back on Government’s Domestic Spying

The national security establishment’s latest domestic spying scandal has galvanized a lightning-fast response where nearly 100 civil liberties-minded advocacy groups and technology companies are...

Non-Violent Keystone XL Activists = 'Eco-Terrorists,' According to TransCanada Documents

Documents recently obtained by Bold Nebraska show that TransCanada - owner of the hotly-contested Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline - has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion...

Non-Violent Keystone XL Activists = 'Eco-Terrorists,' According to TransCanada Documents

Documents recently obtained by Bold Nebraska show that TransCanada - owner of the hotly-contested Keystone XL (KXL) tar sands pipeline - has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion...

After Closed Door Meeting, Senators Toe NSA Line

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee met with officials from the NSA, Justice Department, and the FBI in a closed door briefing Thursday to learn...

20 Examples Of How America Is Rapidly Going Down The Toilet

Michael SnyderEconomic CollapseJune 14, 2013 Deep corruption is eating away at every level of American society...

After Closed Door Meeting, Senators Toe NSA Line

The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee met with officials from the NSA, Justice Department, and the FBI in a closed door briefing Thursday to learn...

Exclusive: Insider Speaks Out On NSA Spying

Infowars.comJune 13, 2013 On last night’s Infowars Nightly News, Alex spoke with a telecom...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

NSA Spying Is About Intimidating the Media, American Citizens

Blanket surveillance is about covering up government corruption and chilling free speech, not catching terrorists Alex...

'Tip of the Iceberg': Senators Warn Far More Data May Not Be Safe

Members of the Senate Appropriations Committee took the opportunity Wednesday during a previously scheduled hearing to challenge the director of the National Security Agency...

Top National Security Experts: Spying Program Doesn’t Make Us Safer, and Spying Leaks Don’t...

What Edward Snowden has done is an amazingly brave and courageous act of civil disobedience. Like me, he became discomforted by direct violation of...

The ACLU, Privacy and Obama

It was a statement that remains powerful for its clear and striking defiance: wanting to be left alone. It was not merely a position...

Obama Administration Prepares Charges against NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden

The US Justice Department is preparing to file criminal charges against Edward Snowden, the intelligence contractor who has revealed the existence of vast and...

ACLU Suit Challenges NSA Surveillance; Sen. Paul Plans Class Action Suit

On a “daily, ongoing basis,” the National Security Agency unconstitutionally collects the phone log data of millions of Americans. Additionally, through an operation known...

ACLU Suit Challenges NSA Surveillance; Sen. Paul Plans Class Action Suit

On a “daily, ongoing basis,” the National Security Agency unconstitutionally collects the phone log data of millions of Americans. Additionally, through an operation known...

The NSA Black Hole: 5 Basic Things We Still Don’t Know About the Agency’s...

The headquarters of the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland.Last week saw revelations that the FBI and the National Security Agency have been...

NSA Deception Operation? Questions Surround Leaked PRISM Document’s Authenticity

“I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this...