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AT&T and Verizon Need to Hang Up On Fossil Fuels

Smartphones are a huge part of our lives. We use them constantly for texts, social media, calls, directions, and finding information online. Even when we’re...

Verizon admits to throttling video in violation of net neutrality rules

Verizon wireless customers have noticed their video streaming being throttled when testing their speeds on Netflix...

Verizon to slash over 2K jobs after acquiring Yahoo for $4.5B – reports

Verizon is expected to lay off around 2,100 workers after concluding its acquisition of Yahoo. The cuts will come from duplicate jobs in its...

YouTube and Google boycott spreads to US as AT&T and Verizon pull ads

Major phone networks express concern over video sharing site and parent company’s inability to guarantee money won’t flow to extremism. The growing...
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Video: Workers Give Thumbs Up on Verizon Deal

Robert Master says Verizon workers determination will spark an upsurge of interest in unionization. Via Youtube

Verizon Strike: We Took a Stand Against Corporate Power

Congratulations on the settlement of the strike. What's your initial reaction? There are some obvious things that we know about from the summary of the...

Verizon, labor union reach deal in principle ending 6-week strike

Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez has announced that a deal has been reached between telecommunications...
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Video: 39,000 Verizon Workers Enter Sixth Week on Strike in Biggest U.S. Labor Action...

http://democracynow.org - Today marks six weeks since nearly 40000 Verizon workers went on strike along the East Coast, from Massachusetts to Virginia, ... Via Youtube

Strikers persist as Verizon shares slip & White House gets involved

Five weeks into a strike by nearly 40,000 workers, the Obama administration is pushing Verizon and...

Strike Supporters "Adopt" Verizon Wireless Stores to Picket in New York City

Members of Socialist Alternative join striking Verizon workers on a picket line outside a Verizon Wireless store in Brooklyn, New York, May...

Verizon strike: CWA officials call New York cops against WSWS reporters

Sandy English Officials from the Communications Workers of America (CWA) in Brooklyn called the police to prevent striking workers from speaking to reporters from the...

Verizon striker run down as New York cops protect scabs

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Sandy English On Monday afternoon, a van carrying strikebreakers hit a Verizon...

Verizon strikers in New York City give warm welcome to SEP presidential candidate

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Thomas Gaist Socialist Equality Party (SEP) presidential candidate Jerry White and campaign...

On the Line With Verizon Strikers

Thirty-nine thousand Verizon workers walked off the job and took to the streets April 13, beginning the largest U.S. strike in half...

When ‘Both Sides’ Are Covered in Verizon Strike, Bosses’ Side Is Heard More

An image of a worker with a bullhorn accompanied a Vox story (4/13/16) in which no workers were quoted. (photo: Spencer Platt/Getty) Last Wednesday, approximately...
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Video: Striking Verizon Workers Block Midtown Manhattan

Tatiana Hill, Verizon Wireless Sales Representative, says Wireless workers are fighting for basic job protections in their first ever contract negotiations. Via Youtube
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Video: 40,000-Strong “Workers’ Rebellion” at Verizon

Despite earning more than $39 billion in annual profits Verizon is cutting benefits previously guaranteed in union contracts, says Sarah Jaffe, Reporting Fellow ... Via...

Can you hear them now? 40k Verizon workers go on strike

More than 39,000 workers at one of the largest US telecoms have gone on strike, protesting...

Unions keep Verizon and AT&T workers on job without contracts

By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko A month after contracts expired for 39,000 telecom workers at Verizon and more than three weeks after they expired for...

Contract deadline approaches for Verizon and AT&T workers

By Samuel Davidson and Maria Kovalenko Labor agreements covering tens of thousands of workers at the nation’s two largest telecommunication companies expire in early August. Workers...

Verizon presses for new concessions from US telecom workers as contract talks begin

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. By Maria Kovalenko Labor contracts covering workers at Verizon, one of the world’s...

Verizon-AOL Merger Makes No Sense

Verizon Communications plans to buy AOL for $4.4 billion, according to a report in Tuesday's Wall Street Journal. The deal is the telecom giant's...

AT&T and Verizon use “supercookies” to track users’ online activities

Thomas Gaist Telecommunications corporations Verizon and AT&T automatically monitor and record all Internet activity by users accessing their cellular data networks, according to reports published...

Verizon and AT&T Using Undeletable ‘Supercookies’ to Track Customers

Tracking program collects data on users' browsing history to create permanent online profiles to share with advertisers Nadia Prupis Service giants Verizon and AT&T have been...

NSA Court Judges Invest in Verizon While Surveillance Warps Law and Journalism

We must never be surprised when we learn once again that our lawmakers and law interpreters are in bed with the country’s largest corporations–this...

Verizon Offers Free Gifts to Customers Who Consent to Surveillance

Verizon Wireless is launching a rewards program this week for subscribers who consent to having their everyday movements tracked. The program, called Smart Rewards, offers gift...

Verizon Lobbyists Say Net Neutrality Hurts People With Disabilities

Company claims internet "fast lanes" would better support special-needs services Nadia Prupis Verizon introduced a new argument against net neutrality this week, claiming that a lack...

AT&T follows Verizon’s lead, will start publishing law enforcement request data in early 2014

Nathan Ingrahamtheverge.comDecember 20, 2013 Never let it be said that AT&T and Verizon don't follow...

Verizon to publish transparency report

US telecommunications company Verizon is to publish a transparency report.Verizon Communications said on Thursday that it will publish an online report that will provide...

HHS brings in Verizon to help HealthCare.gov

Alistair Barr, Kelly Kennedy and Jayne O'DonnellUSA TodayOctober 21, 2013 The international telecommunications company Verizon has...

Verizon’s Outrageous Plot to Crack Up the Internet

September 24, 2013 | ...

Verizon’s diabolical plan to turn the Web into pay-per-view

Bill Snyderinfoworld.comSeptember 13, 2013 Think of all the things that tick you off about cable TV....

How Verizon’s Challenge to FCC Net Neutrality Rules Could Silence Minority Voices

(Photo: Greg Elin / Flickr)Rashad Robinson is the executive director of ColorofChange.org, the nation's largest online civil rights group, which uses the power of...

Verizon Rewarded for Records Release With $10 Billion Government Contract

Verizon’s willingness to give the federal government unfettered access to its customers’ phone records is paying off handsomely for the telecommunications giant. Verizon announced on...

Obama administration to declassify secret Verizon order – report

Obama administration officials announced that they will declassify an order compelling Verizon to disclose phone records belonging to a massive number of Americans, with...

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...

Researchers hack Verizon device, turn it into mobile spy station

Jim FinkleReutersJuly 16, 2013 Two security experts said they have figured out how to spy on...

Hack this: Researchers turn Verizon device into ‘mobile spy station’

Security experts said they have managed to spy on Verizon Wireless mobile phone customers by hacking into devices sold by the US carrier, further...

AT&T joins Verizon, Facebook in selling customer data

RT July 7, 2013 AT&T has announced that it will begin selling customers’ smart phone data to the highest bidder, putting the telecommunications...

Sorry, NSA, Terrorists Don’t Use Verizon. Or Skype. Or Gmail.

Brian MerchantMotherboard ViceJune 25, 2013 The NSA has to collect the metadata from all of our...

NSA Whistleblowers: "All U.S. Citizens" Are Targeted by Surveillance Program, Not Just Verizon Customers

A leaked top-secret order has revealed the Obama administration is conducting a massive domestic surveillance program by collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon Business customers.

Verizon Hands Over Customer Data Daily to NSA, Top Secret Order Reveals

According to a court order labeled “TOP SECRET,” federal judge Roger Vinson ordered Verizon to turn over the phone records of millions of its...

Verizon Hands Over Customer Data Daily to NSA, Top Secret Order Reveals

According to a court order labeled “TOP SECRET,” federal judge Roger Vinson ordered Verizon to turn over the phone records of millions of its...

Verizon turns voyeur. A Peeping Tom watching me, watching you, watching us

One of the most outrageous attempts by any company or country anywhere (including North Korea, Iran and Stalinist Russia) to spy on private citizens...

Obama’s Cellphone Account Breached by Verizon Employees

By AMOL SHARMA, Wall Street Journal | Verizon Wireless disclosed late Thursday that several of its employees accessed and viewed President-elect Barack Obama's personal cellphone...

In OtherWords: September 13, 2017

A slew of research over the years shows that inequality has a way of sticking around for generations. This week in OtherWords, Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and...

Net Neutrality Reduced to Mogul vs. Mogul in Corporate Media’s Shallow Coverage

John Oliver (6/1/14) on net neutrality: “The only two words that promise more boredom in the English language are ‘featuring Sting.'” A common refrain in...

Ohio man gets 20 years for reposting ISIS threat to US military

An Ohio man who pleaded guilty to using social media to support the killing of 100...

With FCC Now at Full Staff, Groups Warn That Net Neutrality Is Under Threat...

The Senate on Thursday confirmed two nominees for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)—Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, and Brendan Carr, a Republican—bringing the agency back...

Don’t Let Corporations Pick What Websites You Visit

Think about the websites you visit. The movies you stream. The music you listen to online. The animal videos that are just too cute...

Building Resistance on Trump Island

Staten Island, the whitest and most suburban of New York's five boroughs, has a reputation as the most right-wing part of the city. Its...

ACLU, Diverse Organizations to Participate in July 12 Net Neutrality Day of Action

WASHINGTON - The American Civil Liberties Union, tech companies, civil rights organizations, and many others will join forces tomorrow, July 12, in a day...

At NYT, Fantasy of Bill Clinton’s Centrism Saving the Dems Never Gets Old

New York Times op-ed: “Democrats were back.” Gather round, boys and girls! The New York Times has a fairy tale it wants to tell you—about...

‘Hi dad!’ California father gets phone call from son 11 days after he thought...

“Hi dad,” those were the words California father Frank Kerrigan heard 11 days after he buried...

Former FCC Commissioner: Net Neutrality Is a First Amendment Issue

In just a few short months, the Trump wrecking ball has pounded away at rules and regulations in virtually every government agency. The men...

Nearly 40k AT&T workers go on strike after contract negotiations fail

AT&T workers have begun a three-day strike, accusing the company of failing to make fair proposals...

Pai Needs to be Personally Protested Because He Comes to the FCC With a...

Protests urging net neutrality under Title II were outside of Ajit Pai’s Arlington home on May 14, 2017. (Photo by Anne Meador, DC Media...

‘The Internet Should Be Treated as a Public Utility’

Janine Jackson interviewed Craig Aaron for the February 6, 2015, episode of CounterSpin, and Malkia Cyril for the October 1, 2014, episode, on net...

Net Neutrality Redux: Why Republicans Shouldn't Mess With the Internet

(Photo: Pexels) The internet is quite popular these days, but companies such as AT&T and Comcast that provide internet service are not. That's one reason...

21,000 AT&T workers poised for strike over benefits, internet access

Communications Workers of America members have given AT&T 72 hours’ notice of a mass walkout over...

Cyberattacks on British hospitals & universities on the rise – report

State-sponsored and criminal gang hackers are increasingly targeting British hospitals and universities, researchers claim. ...

FCC to reverse net neutrality, rejects ‘hysterical prophecies of doom’

The FCC has announced that they will vote on overturning net neutrality rules that require internet providers to treat all web traffic equally. If...

Trump's Corporate Takeover Detailed 100 Days into 'For-Profit Presidency'

President Donald Trump approaches his 100th day in office the most unpopular U.S. leader in modern history for a reason. Exacerbating his failure to uphold...

Get Used to It: You Have No Privacy On-Line

Privacy advocates were aghast when President Trump signed a bill on April 3 that overturned restrictions on data sharing by internet service providers (ISPs). But...

‘It Shouldn’t Be a Privilege to Use the Internet Safely’ – CounterSpin interview with...

Janine Jackson interviewed Evan Greer about internet privacy for the March 31, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited transcript. Evan Greer: “We...

US internet providers pledge to not sell customer data after controversial rule change

Published time: 1 Apr, 2017 21:27 The three major US Internet Service Providers (ISPs) Comcast Corp, Verizon...

As Trump Complains About Alleged Surveillance, Republicans Gut Internet Privacy Rules

On Tuesday, the House narrowly voted to allow internet providers to sell your web browsing history and other personal information. The vote will give...

Senate votes to overturn FCC regulations on internet privacy

Internet service providers may be able to gather private and sensitive data from their customers and...

Here Are the 50 GOP Senators Who Just Sacrificed Your #BroadbandPrivacy to Corporate Profits

Privacy and consumer advocates—and a seemingly endless chorus of Internet users—were expressing outrage on Thursday after the Republican-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill that...

17,000 AT&T workers go on strike in California & Nevada

After working for nearly a year without a contract, 17,000 AT&T call center workers and technicians...

Senate Might Let Internet Companies Sell User Data to 'Highest Bidder'

The Senate is set to vote this week whether to let broadband companies sell user information to the highest bidder—overturning rules implemented by the...

The Political Economy of ‘Moral Authority’

In her acceptance speech at the Democratic National Convention last year (7/28/16), Hillary Clinton forcefully rebutted President Donald J. Trump’s call to “make America...

Regulation Repeals Show ‘The Swamp’ Is Rising

Time and again, Candidate Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp in Washington.” He swore to curb lobbying of government by special interest groups to procure favors for...

‘Ajit Pai Wants to Shut Down the Way We Communicate and Organize’ – CounterSpin...

Janine Jackson interviewed Jessica Gonzalez about new FCC chair Ajit Pai for the February 17, 2017, episode of CounterSpin. This is a lightly edited...

We Must Rein in President Trump’s Spying Powers

It’s been just over a month since Donald J. Trump assumed the enormous powers of the U.S. presidency, including the power to control the...

The Trump Administration’s Other War on the Media

The Trump administration’s unrelenting attacks on the media and assault on reality have been well covered by journalists and media outlets that find themselves...

SEC set to grill Yahoo for failure to report 1.5bn user data breaches ...

Yahoo is reportedly under investigation by the US financial watchdog over whether the company took too long to notify investors of two massive data...

Yahoo Says One Billion Accounts Exposed in Newly Discovered Security Breach

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) warned on Wednesday that it had uncovered yet another massive cyber attack, saying data from more than 1 billion...

Hillary’s Criminal Plan for the Internet

You’re probably appalled at the American media’s shameless whoring for Hillary Clinton, asking yourself why they would so thoroughly debase their much-touted journalistic ethics....

North Carolina judge convicted of bribing FBI agent with ‘2 cases of beer’ to...

A North Carolina judge may have been “up for whatever” when he tried to bribe an FBI agent with Bud Light beer in exchange...

Marijuana, an Amazing Natural Drug

Prohibition kills a massive number of people in the United States every year. It does help make a few people extremely wealthy, but at...

'We interpret every govt request' – Yahoo responds to e-mail scanning revelations

Yahoo called the report that the company scanned its customers’ incoming emails “misleading.” This comes as...

Lawsuit accuses Yahoo of gross negligence over 2014 data breach

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Yahoo over a data breach of over 500...

US adds only 38k jobs in May, weakest growth since 2010

US companies hired at the slowest pace in nearly six years, adding only 38,000 new jobs...

Millions for the Boss, Cuts for You!

More is never enough. By now we really don’t need yet another statement of inequality, but here goes anyway: The average ratio of chief...

Democratic debate: Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton face off in New York

Tonight's raucous Democratic presidential debate was glittered with cheers and boos, and dealt with a wide...

Why Hillary Clinton’s Paid Speeches Are Relevant

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at strategic-culture.org On the fake-‘progressive’ (actually conservative-Democratic-Party) website that’s run by a longtime CIA asset Markos Moulitsas, “Daily Kos,” there was...

Netflix and buffer? Service admits to throttling video on mobile devices

People watching Netflix on Verizon or AT&T mobile networks have been experiencing throttled video streaming service...

Sanders Tip-toes in Criticizing Israel

Exclusive: Sen. Sanders ventured hesitantly down the scary path of criticizing Israel, but even his timid approach looked heroic compared...

Castro government welcomes Obama, US corporate heads to Cuba

Via WSWS. This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license. Alexander Fangmann President Barack Obama traveled to Cuba on Sunday, leading an...

Article on Sanders’ Complaints About Journalism Demonstrates Why Sanders Complains About Journalism

The New York Times caps its attempt to refute Sanders’ media critique with a photo proving that Sanders is sometimes on TV. (photo: Lexey...

Huge win for Net Neutrality in India: new rules ban discriminatory pricing and “Zero...

Today, Indian telecom regulator TRAI reaffirmed the principles of net neutrality by banning discriminatory pricing on the basis of content, including so called “Zero...

‘If We Don’t Look at the Larger Structural Issues, We Can’t Begin to Solve...

The December 25, 2015, CounterSpin reprised three interviews dealing with the issues highlighted by the Black Lives Matter movement. This is a lightly edited...

Exposed: Big Brother’s ‘Unique and Productive’ Relationship with AT&T

Newly disclosed National Security Agency documents show that the U.S. government's relationship with telecom giant AT&T has been considered "unique and especially productive," according...

Giant security flaw makes 950 million Android phones vulnerable to texting hack

Android is by far the most dominant smartphone operating system in the world, and it has just been found to be vulnerable to a...

The US presidency for sale

Patrick Martin The 2016 US presidential election will be the most expensive in history, costing an estimated $10 billion, when all spending by candidates, the...

National Plutocrat Radio – Corporate One-Percenters dominate NPR affiliates' boards

Typical public radio board members: 66 percent of NPR affiliate board members have the same gender, 72 percent have the same ethnicity and 75...

What’s the deal with the TPP?

Many Americans have heard of this giant trade deal known as the TPP, or Trans-Pacific Partnership. Most don’t have a clue what the agreement...

Media Lessons from Snowden Reporting: LA Times Editors Advocate Prosecution of Sources

Two years ago, the first story based on the Snowden archive was published in the Guardian, revealing a program of domestic mass surveillance which,...

American Tyranny and the Future – Ron Paul on the Larry King Show

KING: He’s made three runs for the White House, and now his son, US Senator Rand Paul, is aiming for the Oval Office. Ron...

It Took Three to Out NSA Snooping on Us; Can We Really Afford to...

There's a little-known backstory to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's famous "not wittingly" lie, in response to Sen. Ron Wyden's March 2013 question, "Does...

Groups Add to Evidence in “Whistleblower” Tax Fraud Claim Against ALEC

Many Corporate Members Admit Joining ALEC to Advance Legislation Benefitting Them, Despite Group's Claim That It Doesn't Lobby WASHINGTON - Common Cause and the Center...

Shining a Light on Corporate “Dark Money”

President Obama should issue an executive order to let voters see for themselves who's trying to buy political influence. Marge Baker RINF Alternative News If 2014 was...

5 Ways Mass Surveillance Is Destroying the US Economy

Via Washington's Blog with permission Prosperity Requires Privacy Privacy is a prerequisite for a prosperous economy. Even the White House admits: People must have confidence that data will travel...

US court extends NSA surveillance rules in current form

A U.S. secret court has extended the authorization of the National Security Agency to continue surveillance of phone records in its current form after...

7 US corporations paid their CEOs more than the government in taxes

In 2013, seven of the 30 largest US corporations paid their chief executive officer more in compensation than they paid in US federal income...

Why Phone and Cable Companies Want to Kill the Internet’s Most Democratic Right

Tim Karr Net Neutrality -- the principle that protects Internet users' free speech rights -- is censorship. Did you get that? You did if you happened...

NSA Data-Sweep Lawfulness Challenged in NY Appeal Hearing

The National Security Agency’s program of collecting phone records, deemed lawful by a Manhattanfederal judge, was challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union as the...

Ferguson’s About Net Neutrality, Too

Michael Winship At the end of the classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Jimmy Stewart, as Senator Jefferson Smith, is in the midst of his filibuster...

Don’t let cable companies destroy everything great about the Internet

The Internet has already changed how we live and work, and we're only just getting started. Who'd have thought even five years ago that people...

Secret programs to stay secret: Court sides with NSA in surveillance lawsuit

A federal judge in California sided mostly with the United States government this week in a decision handed down concerning classified documents pertaining to...

New York judge upholds US efforts to seize emails from Microsoft

Thomas Gaist New York federal district court Judge Loretta Preska ruled Thursday that US government warrants are valid for data stored overseas, as long as...

What We’ll Lose If ISPs Take Over the Internet

Lee Boot I’m a researcher at the Imaging Research Center at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. We explore new forms of storytelling and image-making...

How Capitalism Is Cheating Young Americans

Paul Buchheit  Our country's wealthy white once-idealistic baby boomer generation has cheated those of you entering the working world. A small percentage of us have...

Another Hancock Anti-Drone Protester Convicted of a Misdemeanor

Jack Gilroy of Binghamton, NY was convicted after a two-day jury trial in DeWitt Town Court of charges stemming from his arrest during a...

Americans Bombard the FCC with Demands for Real Net Neutrality

Grassroots organizations on Tuesday applauded the American public for its passionate support of real Net Neutrality protections. In an unprecedented outpouring of concern, millions...

38 Journalism Groups Urge President to Stop Excessive Controls on Public Information

Thirty-eight journalism and open government groups today called on President Obama to stop practices in federal agencies that prevent important information from getting to...

The Dow Jones Industrial Average: A Fata Morgana

This piece was reprinted by RINF Alternative News with permission or license.  Mr. Grommen was a teacher in mathematics and physics for eight years at...

What on Earth Is Going On at the FCC?

The main battlefield for the net neutrality fight right now is at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in a “rulemaking” underway this summer, which asks for...

EU admonishes US for overseas data requests

The EU has slammed the US for its demand that Microsoft surrender overseas data — emails held on Irish servers — saying that the...

Just what are they hiding and why? The Fourth Amendment weeps

We’ve heard variations on the phrase “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” from the government for quite some time....

5 Ways that Mass Surveillance Destroys the Economy

Reprinted with permission Privacy is a prerequisite for a prosperous economy.   Even the White House admits: People must have confidence that data will travel to its destination...

How to Tell If Your Member of Congress Is a Crony Capitalist

Timothy Karr Last Tuesday, Rep. Eric Cantor learned the hard way that crony capitalism comes at a political cost. In a decisive 10-point upset, Cantor’s Republican...

Net Neutrality Will Require Us to Shine the Light on Internet Providers

A neutral Internet–one where Internet service providers (ISPs) can’t unfairly limit our access to parts of the Net, create special fast lanes for some...

Will Telcos Follow ISPs and Extend Warrant Protection for All?

HANNI FAKHOURY When courts issue new decisions about how law enforcement can obtain records and data from companies, it's not just the police who have...

Us Pushing Local Cops To Stay Mum On Surveillance

The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone...

US tech giants seek protection against overseas NSA snooping

In an epic battle of behemoths, Microsoft and four other US technology companies are seeking legal protection in a Manhattan court against US intelligence...

US pushing local cops to stay mum on surveillance

The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone...

Vodafone privacy report reveals state access to its networks

The world’s second largest mobile phone group, Vodafone, has revealed the existence of secret permanent access to its networks from government agencies in at...

In Harm’s Way: The Dangers of a World Without Net Neutrality

Last month the FCC released its proposal for America’s new network neutrality rules. Unfortunately, the agency’s proposal included rules that would permit Internet providers to prioritize...

34 International Experts Weigh in On Mass Surveillance on Snowden Anniversary

Today, a group of over 400 organizations and experts, along with 350,000 individuals, continue to rally in support of the 13 International Principles on the...

On 6/5, 65 Things We Know About NSA Surveillance That We Didn’t Know a...

It’s been one year since the Guardian first published the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court order, leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, that demonstrated...

10 things we didn’t know before Snowden

Welcome to the post-Snowden era, where everything you say or do can be monitored by secret services - regardless of a court of law....

As Snowden Leak Anniversary Approaches, Intelligence Community Prepares to Declare Victory

As June 5 approaches – and with it the one year anniversary of the first reporting on Edward Snowden’s leaks – the privacy community is calling supporters to...

Lawsuit to Uncover Secret Court Opinions Authorizing NSA Spying

Oakland - At a hearing on Tuesday, June 3, Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Staff Attorney Mark Rumold will argue before a judge that the...

Wheelering and Dealing at the FCC

Amy Goodman with Denis Moynihan Michael Powell is the son of Gen. Colin Powell. The elder Powell knows a thing or two about war. He...

June 5th is Coming: Actions on the Anniversary of the First Snowden Release

June 5, 2013 was when the world heard from Snowden. This year, it's your turn to speak out. On June 5th, 2013 the Guardian newspaper published the...

How the NSA is Transforming Law Enforcement

Nadia Kayyali  RINF Alternative NewsIf you've been imagining NSA surveillance as something distant, with analysts sitting in remote data centers quietly analyzing metadata--stop now. NSA...

The FCC’s Net Neutrality Proposal Is Out: It’s Time to Make Our Voices Heard

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today voted to propose open internet rules, in its latest attempt to establish net neutrality regulations. Since February, tens...

Illegal NSA Surveillance of Americans: Secret Authorizations Granted by Bush and Obama

Eric Zuesse RINF Alternative News The May 13th PBS “Frontline” documents that on 4 October 2001, President George W. Bush signed a secret authorization for the...

The Snowden Saga Begins: “I Have Been to the Darkest Corners of Government, and...

Glenn Greenwald On December 1, 2012, I received my first communication from Edward Snowden, although I had no idea at the time that it was...

Major internet firm blames ISPs for purposely slowing down web traffic

Are Internet Service Providers responsible for insufferably slow connection speeds? A major web company that lets ISPs use its 180,000 miles of fiber cables...

FCC’s Threat to Net Neutrality

Dennis J Bernstein Media democracy advocates are up-in-arms over a report that the Federal Communications Commission is set to propose rules on Internet traffic that...

FCC Wants to Give Corporations Their Own Internet

Alfredo Lopez When a federal court trashed its "net neutrality" compromise policy in January, the Federal Communications Commission assured us that the Internet we knew...

Obama’s War on Net Neutrality

Obama's War on Net Neutrality

by Stephen Lendman

In 2008, candidate Obama pledged "(s)upport (for) the principle of network neutrality to preserve the benefits of open competition on the Internet." 

He'd "take a back seat to no one," he said. He lied. He didn't surprise. He's a serial liar. He broke every major promise made.

He heads a repressive homeland police state apparatus. He's waging war on free expression. He prioritizes intellectual property protection over Internet freedom. 

He's targeting it for elimination altogether. His first FCC chairman Julius Genachowski was disastrous. He established an "Open Internet Rule."

It was "doomed from the start," said Free Press.net. It was "(b)uilt on a flimsy legal foundation." 

It was riddled with corporate-friendly loopholes. In January, federal appeals court judges shot it down. According to Free Press Senior Director of Strategy Tim Karr:

They "stripped the agency of its ability to stop companies like AT&T, Verizon and Time Warner Cable from blocking websites and degrading Internet access."

Last November, Genachowski stepped down. Tom Wheeler replaced him. Obama lied saying he's "a strong supporter of Net Neutrality." He's polar opposite.

On April 24, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined "FCC's New Rules Threaten Net Neutrality." 

They let Internet service providers (ISPs) charge content companies extra for preferential treatment.

It lets content they send reach "pay to play" users ahead of others. On May 15, FCC commissioners hold their next public meeting. 

They'll vote up or down on Wheeler's rules. Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said the following:

"With this proposal, the FCC is aiding and abetting the largest ISPs in their efforts to destroy the open Internet." 

"Giving ISPs the green light to implement pay-for-priority schemes will be a disaster for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls." 

"These users will all be pushed onto the Internet dirt road, while deep-pocketed Internet companies enjoy the benefits of the newly created fast lanes."

"This is not Net Neutrality. It's an insult to those who care about preserving the open Internet to pretend otherwise." 

"The FCC had an opportunity to reverse its failures and pursue real Net Neutrality by reclassifying broadband under the law." 

"Instead, in a moment of political cowardice and extreme shortsightedness, it has chosen this convoluted path that won't protect Internet users."

"This approach is almost certain to be rejected by the courts. Contrary to statements by Chairman Wheeler, the court did not invite the FCC to pursue this path." 

"The court clearly told the FCC that if it wishes to ensure Internet users can send and receive information free from ISP interference, then the FCC has to classify ISPs as telecom carriers under Title II of the Communications Act."

"The FCC apparently doesn't realize the dangerous incentives these rules would create. The routing of data on the Internet is a zero-sum game. Unless there is continual congestion, no website would pay for priority treatment." 

"This means the FCC's proposed rules will actually produce a strong incentive for ISPs to create congestion through artificial scarcity." 

"Not only would this outcome run counter to the FCC's broader goals, it actually undermines the so-called Section 706 legal basis for these rules."

"This proposal is short-sighted and should be strenuously opposed by the broader Internet community - including millions of Americans who have urged Chairman Wheeler and his predecessors to safeguard the open Internet." 

"The only parties cheering this idea on will be the largest ISPs that stand to profit from discrimination. We urge Chairman Wheeler's colleagues not to support this item as currently drafted and to demand nothing less than real Net Neutrality."

Internet architecture lets anyone innovate. It does so without ISP permission. Wheeler's scheme plays favorites. 

Pay more, get more. At the same time, weaken Net Neutrality on route to destroying it altogether.

Prioritizing Internet data is a zero-sum game. Unless congestion exists, web sites so far don't pay extra for special treatment.

Wheeler's scheme encourages congestion. It does so through "artificial scarcity," says Free Press.

It does it by "clamping down on the data stream and charging more per bit." Internet users deserve opposite operating rules. 

They deserve "fast, open, affordable and abundant" ways to access data, Free Press added.

"Under Wheeler's scheme, there is no motivation for ISPs to deliver the next-generation Internet." He lied claiming it protects Net Neutrality.

Doing it, said Free Press, requires "reclassif(ing) broadband providers as common carriers they are." 

Wheeler's "convoluted prioritization scheme…undercuts" level playing field conditions. Existing ones made the Internet "a powerful engine for opportunity."

EFF called Wheeler's "pay to play" scheme "profoundly dangerous for competition." Innovator startups can't afford extra costs. They can't to reach customers at same speeds. 

Nor can most web companies. Wheeler rules make ISPs "gatekeepers to their subscribers." On April 24, an FCC statement lied, saying:

Proposed new rules won't let ISPs "act in a commercially unreasonable manner to harm the Internet, including favoring the traffic from an affiliated entity."

At the same time, ISPs will decide how "commercially reasonable" will be interpreted. They'll take full advantage. Maximize profits matters most.

The devil is always in details, said EFF. FCC procedure requires a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).

Once issued, people are invited to comment. Protecting Net Neutrality demands it. FCC members must respond. Much is on the line on how they rule.

Wheeler assumed FCC duties last November. He's not what Net Neutrality supporters had in mind.

He's a former top Obama fundraiser. He's an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He's a former cable and wireless industries lobbyist.

Candidate Obama pledged "to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over."

President Obama benefits enormously from millions they contribute and raise on his behalf. They host fundraisers.

They're White House favorites. They got the FCC boss they wanted. The Los Angeles Times once called Wheeler "the rock star of telecom."

He's a longtime communications industry insider. He was an Obama 2008 transition team member. He served on his Intelligence Advisory Board.

He previously headed the National Cable Television and Cellular Telecommunications and Internet (lobbying) associations.

He's Core Capital Partners' managing director. He previously founded cable, wireless and video communication services companies.

He's connected to 16 board members in 16 organizations representing 21 communications-related industries." 

He's industry friendly and then some. He's opposite of what Net Neutrality advocates deserve. Consumer advocacy isn't his long suit.

His "pay to play" scheme is polar opposite his duplicitous commitment to "free and open Internet" policy.

During his June 2013 Senate confirmation hearing, he lied saying:

"If I am fortunate enough to be confirmed, my client will be the American public and I hope that I can be as effective an advocate for them as humanly possible."

His "payola Internet" policy insults "millions of people who have actively called on (FCC members) to preserve the open Internet," said Free Press.

It belies Obama's promise to do so. Free Press is blunt saying:

Obama's choice is clear. He's either "for Net Neutrality (or) Wheeler's Internet payola." No in between. No longer "for both."

On April 25, Free Press headlined "It's Time to Launch the Biggest Protest the FCC Has Ever Seen."

It's vital to stop Wheeler's "pay to play" rules. Establishing them lets telecom giants "pick winners and losers."

It lets them "discriminate against online content and applications." Wheeler "has the nerve to call this 'Net Neutrality.' "

Users demand the real thing. Grassroots activism is needed. "Demand Real Net Neutrality," said Free Press.

"Stop the FCC from Breaking the Internet." Write Tom Wheeler as follows:

"The future of the open Internet is in your hands. And yet you have proposed rules that would actually break it.

Your proposed path would open the door to widespread discrimination online. 

It would give Internet service providers the green light to implement pay-for-priority schemes that would be a disaster for startups, nonprofits and everyday Internet users who cannot afford these unnecessary tolls.

I urge you to scrap these proposed rules and instead restore the principle of online nondiscrimination by reclassifying broadband as a telecommunications service."

May 15 is decision day. Pay for play rules are planned. "Goodbye open Internet," says Free Press President Craig Aaron. "Hello payola Schinternet."

His scheme isn't the last word. He needs majority FCC agreement to prevail. 

Public comment comes next. Final rules not until late summer. Most likely after November elections.

Acting now is crucial. Doing so through mid-May builds public pressure. 

Plenty is needed to defeat Wheeler. It's his way or Net Neutrality. It's top down or bottom up control. There's no in between.

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


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

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The Federal Reserve is the only central bank with a dual mandate. It is charged not only with maintaining low, stable inflation but with promoting maximum sustainable employment. Yet unemployment remains stubbornly high, despite four years of radical tinkering with interest rates and quantitative easing (creating money on the Fed’s books). After pushing interest rates as low as they can go, the Fed has admitted that it has run out of tools.

At an IMF conference on November 8, 2013, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers suggested that since near-zero interest rates were not adequately promoting people to borrow and spend, it might now be necessary to set interest at below zero. This idea was lauded and expanded upon by other ivory-tower inside-the-box thinkers, including Paul Krugman.

Negative interest would mean that banks would charge the depositor for holding his deposits rather than paying interest on them. Runs on the banks would no doubt follow, but the pundits have a solution for that: move to a cashless society, in which all money would be electronic. “This would make it impossible to hoard cash outside the bank,” wrote Danny Vinik in Business Insider, “allowing the Fed to cut interest rates to below zero, spurring people to spend more.” He concluded:

. . . Summers’ speech is a reminder to all liberals that he is a brilliant economist who grasps the long-term issues of monetary policy and would likely have made an exemplary Fed chair.

Maybe; but to ordinary mortals living in the less rarefied atmosphere of the real world, the proposal to impose negative interest rates looks either inane or like the next giant step toward the totalitarian New World Order. Business Week quotes Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office: “We’ve had four years of extraordinarily loose monetary policy without satisfactory results, and the only thing they come up with is we need more?”

Paul Craig Roberts, former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury, calls the idea “harebrained.” He is equally skeptical of quantitative easing, the Fed’s other tool for stimulating the economy. Roberts points to Andrew Huszar’s explosive November 11th Wall Street Journal article titled “Confessions of a Quantitative Easer,” in which Huszar says that QE was always intended to serve Wall Street, not Main Street.  Huszar’s assignment at the Fed was to manage the purchase of $1.25 trillion in mortgages with dollars created on a computer screen. He says he resigned when he realized that the real purpose of the policy was to drive up the prices of the banks’ holdings of debt instruments, to provide the banks with trillions of dollars at zero cost with which to lend and speculate, and to provide the banks with “fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed’s QE transactions.”

A Helicopter Drop That Missed Its Target

All this is far from the helicopter drop proposed by Ben Bernanke in 2002 as a quick fix for deflation. He told the Japanese, “The U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost.” Later in the speech he discussed “a money-financed tax cut,” which he said was “essentially equivalent to Milton Friedman’s famous ‘helicopter drop’ of money.” Deflation could be cured, said Professor Friedman, simply by dropping money from helicopters.

But there has been no cloudburst of money raining down on the people. The money has gotten only into the reserve accounts of banks. John Lounsbury, writing in Econintersect, observes that Friedman’s idea of a helicopter drop involved debt-free money printed by the government and landing in people’s bank accounts. “He foresaw the money entering the economy through bank deposits, not through bank reserves which was the pathway available to Bernanke. . . . [W]hen Ben Bernanke fired up his helicopter engines he took the only path available to him.”

Bernanke created debt-free money and bought government debt with it, returning the interest to the Treasury. The result was interest-free credit, a good deal for the government. But the problem, says Lounsbury, is that:

The helicopters dropped all the money into a hole in the ground (excess reserve accounts) and very little made its way into the economy.  It was essentially a rearrangement of the balance sheets of the creditor nation with little impact on the debtor nation.

. . . The fatal flaw of QE is that it delivers money to the accounts of the creditors and does nothing for the accounts of the debtors. Bad debts remain unserviced and the debt crisis continues.

Thinking Outside the Box

Bernanke delivered the money to the creditors because that was all the Federal Reserve Act allowed. If the Fed is to fulfill its mandate, it clearly needs more tools; and that means amending the Act.  Harvard professor Ken Rogoff, who spoke at the November 2013 IMF conference before Larry Summers, suggested several possibilities; and one was to broaden access to the central bank, allowing anyone to have an ATM at the Fed.

Rajiv Sethi, Barnard/Columbia Professor of Economics, expanded on this idea in a blog titled “The Payments System and Monetary Transmission.” He suggested making the Federal Reserve the repository for all deposit banking. This would make deposit insurance unnecessary; it would eliminate the need to impose higher capital requirements; and it would allow the Fed to implement monetary policy by targeting debtor rather than creditor balance sheets. Instead of returning its profits to the Treasury, the Fed could do a helicopter drop directly into consumer bank accounts, stimulating demand in the consumer economy.

John Lounsbury expanded further on these ideas. He wrote in Econintersect that they would open a pathway for investment banking and depository banking to be separated from each other, analogous to that under Glass-Steagall. Banks would no longer be too big to fail, since they could fail without destroying the general payment system of the economy. Lounsbury said the central bank could operate as a true public bank and repository for all federal banking transactions, and it could operate in the mode of a postal savings system for the general populace.

Earlier Central Bank Ventures into Commercial Lending

That sounds like a radical departure today, but the Fed has ventured into commercial banking before. In 1934, Section 13(b) was added to the Federal Reserve Act, authorizing the Fed to “make credit available for the purpose of supplying working capital to established industrial and commercial businesses.” This long-forgotten section was implemented and remained in effect for 24 years. In a 2002 article on the Minneapolis Fed’s website called “Lender of More Than Last Resort,” David Fettig noted that 13(b) allowed Federal Reserve banks to make loans directly to any established businesses in their districts, and to share in loans with private lending institutions if the latter assumed 20 percent of the risk. No limitation was placed on the amount of a single loan.

Fettig wrote that “the Fed was still less than 20 years old and many likely remembered the arguments put forth during the System’s founding, when some advocated that the discount window should be open to all comers, not just member banks.” In Australia and other countries, the central bank was then assuming commercial as well as central bank functions.

Section 13(b) was eventually repealed, but the Federal Reserve Act retained enough vestiges of it in 2008 to allow the Fed to intervene to save a variety of non-bank entities from bankruptcy. The problem was that the tool was applied selectively. The recipients were major corporate players, not local businesses or local governments. Fettig wrote:

Section 13(b) may be a memory, . . . but Section 13 paragraph 3 . . . is alive and well in the Federal Reserve Act. . . . [T]his amendment allows, “in unusual and exigent circumstances,” a Reserve bank to advance credit to individuals, partnerships and corporations that are not depository institutions.

In 2008, the Fed bailed out investment company Bear Stearns and insurer AIG, neither of which was a bank. Bear Stearns got almost $1 trillion in short-term loans, with interest rates as low as 0.5%. The Fed also made loans to other corporations, including GE, McDonald’s, and Verizon.

In 2010, Section 13(3) was modified by the Dodd-Frank bill, which replaced the phrase “individuals, partnerships and corporations” with the vaguer phrase “any program or facility with broad-based eligibility.” As explained in the notes to the bill:

Only Broad-Based Facilities Permitted. Section 13(3) is modified to remove the authority to extend credit to specific individuals, partnerships and corporations. Instead, the Board may authorize credit under section 13(3) only under a program or facility with “broad-based eligibility.”

What programs have “broad-based eligibility” is not clear from a reading of the Section, but it isn’t individuals or local businesses. It also isn’t state and local governments.

No Others Need Apply

In 2009, President Obama proposed that the Fed extend its largess to the cash-strapped cities and states battered by the banking crisis. “Small businesses and state and local governments are having serious difficulty obtaining necessary financing from debt markets,” Obama said. He proposed that the Fed buy municipal bonds to cut their rising borrowing costs.

The proposed municipal bond facility would have been based on the Fed program to buy commercial paper, which had almost single-handedly propped up the market for short-term corporate borrowing. Investors welcomed the muni bond proposal as a first step toward supporting the market.

But Bernanke rejected the proposal. Why? It could hardly be argued that the Fed didn’t have the money. The collective budget deficit of the states for 2011 was projected at $140 billion, a drop in the bucket compared to the sums the Fed had managed to come up with to bail out the banks. According to data released in 2011, the central bank had provided roughly $3.3 trillion in liquidity and $9 trillion in short-term loans and other financial arrangements to banks, multinational corporations, and foreign financial institutions following the credit crisis of 2008. Later revelations pushed the sum up to $16 trillion or more.

Bernanke’s reasoning in saying no to the muni bond facility was that he lacked the statutory tools.. The Fed is limited by statute to buying municipal government debt with maturities of six months or less that is directly backed by tax or other assured revenue, a form of debt that makes up less than 2% of the overall muni market.

The Federal Reserve Act was drafted by bankers to create a banker’s bank that would serve their interests. It is their own private club, and its legal structure keeps all non-members out.  A century after the Fed’s creation, a sober look at its history leads to the conclusion that it is a privately controlled institution whose corporate owners use it to direct our entire economy for their own ends, without democratic influence or accountability.  Substantial changes are needed to transform the Fed, and these will only come with massive public pressure.

Congress has the power to amend the Fed – just as it did in 1934, 1958 and 2010. For the central bank to satisfy its mandate to promote full employment and to become an institution that serves all the people, not just the 1%, the Fed needs fundamental reform.

___________________

Ellen Brown is an attorney, president of the Public Banking Institute, and author of twelve books, including the best-selling Web of Debt. In The Public Bank Solution, her latest book, she explores successful public banking models historically and globally. Her blog articles are at EllenBrown.com.

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NSA Mass Monitoring Cell Phone Calls Globally

NSA Mass Monitoring Cell Phone Calls Globally

by Stephen Lendman

On December 5, the Washington Post broke the story. It headlined "NSA tracking cellphone locations worldwide, Snowden documents show."

Doing so enables tracking individual movements. It maps their relationships. It does it in "previously unimaginable" ways.

NSA maintains a vast database. It's called FASCIA. It "stores information (on) locations of at least hundreds of millions of devices…"

New efforts analyze data collected. Doing so reflects mass global surveillance. NSA claims it doesn't target Americans willfully. It lied saying so.

"Incidental" whereabouts alone are tracked, it claims. WaPo said the term "connotes a foreseeable but not deliberate result."

Previous articles explained how NSA operates lawlessly. It does so globally. It targets Americans. It does it willfully. It collects phone records of millions of AT&T, Verizon and other telecommunications company customers.

It taps into central servers of nine or more US Internet companies. Google, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, Apple and others willingly cooperate.

Audio, video, photos, emails, text messages, and other personal information is collected. Doing so lets NSA track individual movements and contacts over time.

According to retired NSA/US Air Force/Naval Intelligence/Defense Intelligence Agency analyst-turned whistleblower Russell Tice:

What's ongoing "is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined."

It's been widely known for years. Little was revealed publicly. Pervasive spying is much worse than suspected.

Snowden released documents and others reflect the tip of the iceberg. Expect lots more revelations ahead. Newly revealed WaPo information is the latest.

An unnamed senior NSA collection manager said "we are getting vast volumes" of location data worldwide.

It's gotten by tapping into cables connecting global cell networks. They serve US cell phones and foreign ones.

Additional data is collected from "tens of millions of Americans" traveling abroad annually. According to WaPo:

"In scale, scope and potential impact on privacy, the efforts to collect and analyze location data may be unsurpassed among the NSA surveillance programs that have been disclosed since June." 

"Analysts can find cellphones anywhere in the world, retrace their movements and expose hidden relationships among the people using them."

NSA wants global privacy eliminated. It wants total electronic information access. It wants it in America and abroad. 

It wants it everywhere. It wants it no matter who or where you are. It's well on the way to getting it.

NSA lies claiming mass surveillance is lawful. Robert Litt is Office of the Director of National Intelligence general counsel. 

He lied claiming "no element of the intelligence community that under any authority is intentionally collecting bulk cellphone location information about cellphones in the United States."

Its most powerful analytic tools are collectively called "CO-TRAVELER." It enables bulk collections. It involves more than location information.

A portrait of travel times and people whose paths crossed is gotten. Doing so reveals physical interactions and relationships. It lets NSA know who we're with, where and when.

CO-TRAVELER permits looking for "unknown associates of known intelligence targets," said WaPo. It does so by "tracking people whose movements intersect."

Privacy advocates call aggregated location data over time uniquely sensitive. Sophisticated mathematical techniques are used.

They let NSA analysts map cell phone user relationships. They do so by correlating their movement patterns over time. They do it with up to millions of other cell users crossing their path.

Cell phones "broadcast their locations" even when not in use. Carrying one on your person tracks where you're going.

CO-TRAVELER and related tools involve methodically collecting and storing location data on "a planetary scale," said WaPo.

People are monitored in "confidential business meetings." Their medical, financial, and other private spaces are tracked.

Privacy practically no longer exists for anyone communicating electronically.

Chris Soghoian is principal ACLU technologist. "One of the key components of location data, and why it's so sensitive, is that the laws of physics don't let you keep it private," he said.

Emails can be encrypted, he added. Online identities can be disguised. "(T)he only way to hide your location is to disconnect from our modern communication system and live in a cave."

Vast NSA data more than doubles Library of Congress print material. It's growing exponentially. It's so vast, it's "outpacing (its) ability to ingest, process and store" what's gotten. NSA is upgrading to greater capacity. 

Three US Democrat senators expressed concern. Ron Wyden (OR), Mark Udall (CO) and Barbara Milulski (MD) introduced a 2014 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) amendment.

It requires US intelligence agencies to say whether they ever collected or plan obtaining location data on "a large number of United States persons with no known connection to suspicious activity."

Americans tracked globally can't be determined from Snowden documents alone. Senior intelligence officials declined to estimate.

They claim no way to do it. Why not wasn't explained. An intelligence agency lawyer was cited. He doesn't respect constitutional law.

He claimed cell phone data monitoring doesn't violate Fourth Amendment rights. They protect against unlawful searches and seizures. 

Warrantless privacy invasions constitute gross Fourth Amendment violations. According to WaPo:

"(T)op secret briefing slides (show) NSA pulls in location data around the world from 10 major 'sigads,' or signals intelligence activity designators."

"A signad known as STORMBREW relies on two unnamed corporate partners." They're codenamed ARTIFICE and WOLFPOINT.

Both companies administer NSA "physical systems (interception equipment). 'NSA asks nicely for tasking/updates.' "

"STORMBREW collects data from 27 telephone links." They're called OPC/DPC pairs. They refer to originating and destination points.

They transfer traffic from one internal network to another. Cell tower identifiers are included. They're used to identify phone locations.

"The agency's access to carrier networks appears to be vast," WaPo explained. Computer and Information Science Professor Matt Blaze said:

"Many shared databases, such as those used for roaming, are available in their complete form to any carrier who requires access to any part of it."

"This 'flat' trust model means that a surprisingly large number of entities have access to data about customers that they never actually do business with, and an intelligence agency - hostile or friendly - can get 'one-stop shopping' to an expansive range of subscriber data just by compromising a few carriers."

NSA's location tracking capability is "staggering," added WaPo. It renders most communication security efforts "effectively futile."

Analytical tools map date, time, and location of cellphones. Patterns or significant overlap movements are monitored.

Other tools compute cell devices' speed and trajectory. Information gotten overlays electronic data on transportation maps. Likely travel time is determined to show which devices may have intersected. 

This report and previous ones reflect out-of-control NSA spying. It persists at home and abroad.

Thousands more Snowden documents remain to be released. Expect added proof of NSA lawlessness.

Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) lawsuits pressed courts to prohibit warrantless searches. Rulings were split.

In 2008, the Third Circuit US Appeals Court held that federal magistrates may require warrants based on probable cause. They may do so before permitting monitoring of phone location records.

Fifth and Sixth Circuit Court rulings approved warrantless seizures. The Supreme Court hasn't yet addressed the issue. It's important enough to do so. It's right wing judges may provide no relief.

At the same time, an earlier High Court ruling prohibited planting GPS devices on cars without warrants. It stopped short deciding whether warrantless tracking violates Fourth Amendment rights.

A Final Comment

On December 6, Russia Today (RT) headlined Sweden 'spied on Russian leaders for US.' "

Sweden's National Defense Radio Establishment (FRA) is involved. It monitors electronic communications.

FRA declined to comment. Its communications head, Anni Bolenius, said:

"We do in general have international cooperation with a number of countries, which is supported in Swedish legislation, but we do not comment on which ones we cooperate with."

Sweden's Sveriges Television (SVT) broke the story. Nils Hanson was involved. He's chief editor of SVT's "Mission: Investigate."

He told RT that FRA/NSA collaboration isn't new. "(N)ow we can show documents proving this relationship," he said.

Snowden provided them. "Sweden's 'cable access' made its position 'unique' in the eyes of the NSA," said RT. 

Sweden's FRA signal intelligence agency is a key NSA partner. According to one Snowden document:

"The FRA provided NSA unique collection on high-priority Russian targets, such as leadership, internal politics." NSA bosses were told to:

"Thank Sweden for its continued work on the Russian target, and underscore the primary role that FRA plays as a leading partner to work the Russian Target, including Russian leadership and counterintelligence."

"FRA's cable access has resulted in unique SIGINT reporting on all of these areas."

FRA authorization involves tracking "external threats" potentially affecting Sweden. It secret Defense Intelligence Court issues permits.

Targeting Russian leaders reflects doing so at NSA's behest. It suggests exceeding FRA's remit. 

Vladimir Putin and other top Russian officials aren't threats. FRA has lots of explaining to do. Perhaps Moscow will demand answers.

Last April, Voice of Russia cited Julian Assange saying FRA intercepts 80% of Russian Internet traffic. It sells it to the NSA. 

It's further proof of Swedish/US collaboration against Russia. It shows hostile intent. It targets a friendly neighbor.

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/nsa-mass-monitoring-cell-phone-calls-globally/

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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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  • Italian protests against Letta government disrupt transport (Reuters)
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Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

* SAC Capital and federal prosecutors have agreed in principle on a penalty exceeding $1 billion in a potential criminal settlement that would be the largest ever for an insider-trading case.

* Insurers say the federal healthcare marketplace is generating flawed data that is straining their ability to handle even the trickle of enrollees who have gotten through so far.

* Chinese PC maker Lenovo is actively considering a bid for all of BlackBerry and has signed a non-disclosure agreement with the smartphone maker. ()

* A late surge of cases against low-level offenders will push the SEC's case total close to last year's levels, masking a steep drop in enforcement actions related to the financial crisis. While the total hasn't been announced, it likely will be down at least 5 percent from a near-record high of 734 enforcement cases in fiscal 2012.

* Google posted a 12 percent increase in third-quarter revenue, as it tries to keep pace with its users' shift to mobile devices.

* Video-streaming service Hulu on Thursday named Mike Hopkins as its new chief executive, effective immediately. Hopkins has been president of Fox Networks Group, a division of 21st Century Fox Inc, since 2008 and a member of Hulu's board since 2011.

* A U.S. district judge ordered subprime lender Household International Inc - now part of HSBC Holdings PLC - to pay investors $2.46 billion in a class-action lawsuit, a move that comes several years after a jury found the company liable for securities fraud.

* IBM is shaking up leadership of its growth-markets unit, following disappointing third-quarter results that prompted a critical internal email from CEO Virginia Rometty. She wrote that IBM's strategy is correct, but criticized the company for failing to execute in sales of computer hardware as well as in the growth markets unit, whose sales territory includes markets in Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Latin America.

FT

Paul Tucker, the Bank of England's outgoing deputy governor, said regulators need to keep a stronger eye on hedge funds and shadow banks and added it would be disastrous if the economic fragility of banks was recreated outside the mainstream banking sector.

The U.S. Federal Reserve could begin reducing its asset purchases as early as December after the government shutdown sabotaged a crucial month of data and dealt a blow to the world's largest economy.

The next U.S. monthly employment report became a casualty of the U.S. government shutdown with the Department of Labor saying the data would be released after a delay of more than two weeks on Tuesday.

Scottish National Party leader and Scotland's first minister, Alex Salmond was involved in the talks between the management and workers Grangemouth refinery and petrochemicals complex. The management has closed off the refinery demanding that workers accept changes to pay, pensions and union representation in what has turned out to be Scotland's biggest industrial dispute in years.

Google shares rose 8 percent to a record high after the company managed a smooth transition of its advertising business to smartphones and tablets from PCs.

Goldman Sachs managed to protect its profits by slashing the amount of money set aside for year-end bonuses after its fixed-income trading was worse than any other large Wall Street bank's.

Barclays has approached the Court of Appeal to overturn an earlier ruling that allowed Guardian Care Homes, which is suing Barclays over interest-rate swaps, to amend its claim to include Libor-related allegations.

UK Ministers will look at the green measures that have contributed to rising fuel bills after British Gas became the second energy company to increase energy prices.

NYT

* Britain said on Thursday that it would allow Chinese firms to buy stakes in British nuclear power plants and eventually acquire majority holdings. The agreement, which comes with caveats, opens the way for China's fast-growing nuclear industry to play a significant role in Britain's plans to proceed with construction of its first new reactor in nearly two decades.

* The hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors is moving closer to a plea deal with prosecutors that would force it to wind down its business of managing money for outside investors, punctuating its decline from the envy of Wall Street to a firm caught in the government's cross hairs. An agreement to stop operating as an investment adviser is one feature of a larger agreement SAC is negotiating as it seeks to resolve insider trading charges, according to people briefed on the case.

* On Thursday Goldman Sachs Group Inc announced that revenue in its fixed-income, currency and commodities division, a powerful unit inside the bank that in better years has produced more than 35 percent of its entire revenue, dropped 44 percent from year-ago levels. The weakness renewed worries about the headwinds that Goldman and other banks are facing in big money-producing areas like fixed-income trading.

* Google Inc impressed investors, but people's changing behavior on mobile phones and even on desktops threatens the company's main business. The results revealed the company's deep challenges: as its desktop search and advertising businesses mature, along with overall business in the United States, its growth rate is slowing and the amount of money it makes from each ad it sells is falling.

* The United States government sputtered back to life Thursday after President Obama and Congress ended a 16-day shutdown, reopening tourist spots and clearing the way for federal agencies to deliver services and welcome back hundreds of thousands of furloughed workers.

* There is a confusion over the text of the deal that Congress just approved and President Obama signed, but it does not kill the debt ceiling. At first glance, the "default prevention" section of the bill seemed to imply that the president would have the authority in the future to increase the country's debt unilaterally, and that Congress could stop him only by passing a bill forbidding it.

* Roughly 1,500 fires burn above western North Dakota because of the deliberate burning of natural gas by companies rushing to drill for oil without having sufficient pipelines to transport their production. With cheap gas bubbling to the top with expensive oil, the companies do not have an economic incentive to build the necessary gas pipelines, so they flare the excess gas instead.

* As European interest in American craft beers begins to mirror the mania for them stateside, the Duvel Moortgat Brewery of Belgium on Thursday announced a deal to buy the Boulevard Brewing Co, a craft brewery in Kansas City, Missouri.

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

* Canadian provinces have approved the free-trade agreement with the European Union, but key players Ontario and Quebec are insisting the federal government open its wallet to mitigate some of the impact, notably by compensating dairy producers. Prime Minister Stephen Harper arrived in Brussels on Thursday night and plans to meet with Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission, on Friday afternoon to sign the agreement.

* The shortage of skilled employees in Canada is deepening, and government policies that tightened the rules governing foreign workers have made the situation worse. That is the message of a new study from global recruiting firm Hays Plc, which surveyed the skills gap in 30 developed countries around the world.

Reports in the business section:

* Lenovo Group Ltd is joining the list of suitors considering a bid for BlackBerry Ltd , raising concerns that the Canadian company's ultra-secure communications network for the global elite might end up owned by a firm based in China.

* Imperial Oil Ltd is looking at a major revamp of its Mackenzie gas project that would see the stalled northern venture reborn as part of an expansive liquefied natural gas development, the company's chief executive says. A shift to LNG is under "serious" consideration as the Mackenzie pipeline's economics remain weak due to the flood of cheap shale gas across the continent, CEO Rich Kruger said in an interview at the company's Calgary headquarters.

NATIONAL POST

* The Quebec government has announced that it will contest the latest nomination to the Supreme Court of Canada, adding a new layer of controversy to the process. The provincial government says it is weighing different options to block the Harper government's appointment of Marc Nadon, which is already under attack.

FINANCIAL POST

* Canada's campaign to win approval in the United States for the Keystone XL pipeline may seem pricey, aggressive, and perhaps out of character - but it is a drop in the bucket compared with the resources and tactics of those rallying against it.

* Air Canada's chief executive, Calin Rovinescu, says he is pleased investors are starting to get on board with the dramatic transformation underway at his airline, including the near-elimination of its multi-billion-dollar pension funding deficit that has twice threatened to upend the company in recent years. But he said there are still plenty of challenges ahead for the country's largest carrier.

China

CHINA SECURITIES JOURNAL

- The China Securities Regulatory Commission approved China Everbright Bank Co Ltd's request to list H shares on Wednesday, according to sources. The bank plans to list in Hong Kong as early as November, but listing is subject to Hong Kong Stock Exchange approval.

- China has started laying the foundations for its fifth-generation mobile telephony network, said Dai Xiaohui, the deputy director of the Ministry of Science and Technology on Thursday at a communications forum.

CHINA DAILY

- China has investigated 129 officials at prefectural level or higher for suspected corruption and bribery from January through August this year, the Supreme People's Procuratorate said on Thursday.

PEOPLE'S DAILY

- Chinese officials should not blindly follow customary practices if such practices lead to waste or are not legal, said a commentary in the paper that acts as the government's mouthpiece. The article highlighted extravagance during opening and closing ceremonies as an example of a traditional practice best curbed.

SHANGHAI DAILY

- Beijing will take half the cars off the city's roads and suspend school classes when there are three straight days of heavy pollution, an official said on Thursday. The plan includes measures to increase buses and extend subway operating hours.

Fly On The Wall 7:00 AM Market Snapshot

ANALYST RESEARCH

Upgrades

AMAG Pharmaceuticals (AMAG) upgraded to Outperform from Neutral at RW Baird
Align Technology (ALGN) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Cantor
Amazon.com (AMZN) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
CBOE Holdings (CBOE) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Essex Property Trust (ESS) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at UBS
Intuit (INTU) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at BofA/Merrill
Peabody Energy (BTU) upgraded to Outperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Union Pacific (UNP) upgraded to Buy from Neutral at Goldman
VMware (VMW) upgraded to Overweight from Neutral at JPMorgan
Verizon (VZ) upgraded to Buy from Hold at Deutsche Bank

Downgrades

AMD (AMD) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at BofA/Merrill
Alpha Natural (ANR) downgraded to Underperform from Market Perform at BMO Capital
Amarin (AMRN) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at Citigroup
Aspen Technology (AZPN) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
Baxter (BAX) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
Fairchild Semiconductor (FCS) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
Home Bancshares (HOMB) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Raymond James
International Rectifier (IRF) downgraded to Market Perform at Wells Fargo
LG Display (LPL) downgraded to Neutral from Outperform at Credit Suisse
Monolithic Power (MPWR) downgraded to Market Perform from Outperform at Wells Fargo
Navistar (NAV) downgraded to Underweight from Equal Weight at Barclays
Qualys (QLYS) downgraded to Neutral from Overweight at JPMorgan
SL Green Realty (SLG) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor
Total (TOT) downgraded to Neutral from Buy at UBS
Ultratech (UTEK) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Canaccord
UnitedHealth (UNH) downgraded to Hold from Buy at Cantor

Initiations

Clean Harbors (CLH) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Covanta (CVA) initiated with a Hold at Stifel
Fidelity National (FNF) initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital
Finish Line (FINL) initiated with a Neutral at UBS
First American (FAF) initiated with a Buy at Janney Capital
Gaming & Leisure (GLPIV) initiated with an In-Line at Imperial Capital
Masonite International (DOOR) initiated with an Outperform at RBC Capital
New Residential (NRZ) initiated with a Buy at Sterne Agee
Spectrum Brands (SPB) initiated with an Outperform at BMO Capital
Stewart (STC) initiated with a Neutral at Janney Capital
U.S. Cellular (USM) initiated with an Underperform at FBR Capital

HOT STOCKS

Google CEO said 40% of YouTube traffic comes from mobile
Schlumberger (SLB) said global economic outlook remains unchanged
Fitch cut Darden (DRI) IDR to 'BBB-' from 'BBB', outlook stable
LabCorp (LH) board authorized additional $1B share repurchase program
AMD (AMD) sees PC shipments down 10% in 2013 and 2014
Waste Management (WM) to build renewable natural gas facility

EARNINGS

Companies that beat consensus earnings expectations last night and today include:
Sensient (SXT), F.N.B. Corp. (FNB), AMD (AMD), Las Vegas Sands (LVS), Capital One (COF), Covenant Transportation (CVTI), WD-40 (WDFC), Google (GOOG), Align Technology (ALGN)

Companies that missed consensus earnings expectations include:
Valmont (VMI), Kaiser Aluminum (KALU), B&G Foods (BGS), athenahealth (ATHN), Greenhill & Co. (GHL), Acacia Research (ACTG), Stryker (SYK), Chipotle (CMG)

Companies that matched consensus earnings expectations include:
OceanFirst Financial (OCFC), Western Alliance (WAL), Werner (WERN)

NEWSPAPERS/WEBSITES

  • The long-running drama about when the Fed will start scaling back its $85B a-month bond-buying program might now last longer. It isn't clear when the first move will occur. The Fed is unlikely to start curtailing its bond buying at its next policy meeting Oct. 29-30, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Bank of America (BAC) is considering a checking account that wouldn't permit customers to overdraw their balances at an ATM or when making an automatic bill payment, sources say, the Wall Street Journal reports
  • Ford (F) CEO Alan Mulally would not confirm or deny media reports that he is being sought to join Boeing (BA) and Microsoft (MSFT), Reuters reports
  • Air France -KLM (AFLYY) is open to giving Alitalia its rightful role in a merged entity but only if certain conditions are met, CEO Alexandre de Juniac told French television. He said Alitalia needs deeper restructuring if Air France is to eventually hike its 25% stake and take control, Reuters reports
  • DBS Group (DBSDY) is among banks that have advanced in bidding for Societe Generale’s (SCGLY) SA’s private banking assets in Asia, sources say. The division oversees about $13B, Bloomberg reports
  • JPMorgan Chase (JPM) agreed to sell 1 Chase Manhattan Plaza to Fosun International, the investment arm of China’s biggest closely held industrial group, for $725M, Bloomberg reports

SYNDICATE

Cinedigm Digital (CIDM) files to sell 7.91M shares of Class A common stock
Crestwood Midstream (CMLP) files to sell 14M common units for limited partners
EV Energy (EVEP) files to sell 5M common units for limited partners
Evercore Partners (EVR) files to sell 3M shares of common stock
Stemline (STML) files to sell $90M of common stock
Voxeljet (VJET) 6.5M share IPO priced at $13.00

Your rating: None

Sexual Victimization of the Criminally Insane

Jan Brewer is the governor of Arizona and one of her three sons, Ronald, was charged in 1989 with sexual assault and kidnapping of a Phoenix woman.  He was diagnosed suffering schizophrenia and, in 1990, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to the Arizona State Hospital in Phoenix where he has been housed for the last two decades.  Brewer is one of the lucky mentally ill or criminally insane people in the U.S. not forced to live out their sentence in a state jail or federal prison.

A 2006 report for the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS), “Mental Health Problems of Prison and Jail Inmates,” estimated that 1.25 million people suffering from mental health problems were inmates in U.S. prisons and jails.  This is a four-fold increase from the BJS’s 1998 estimate of 283,000 incarcerated inmates with a mental illness.

Two recent BJS studies spotlight the horrendous conditions faced by the criminally insane in the American prison gulag.  They reveal that U.S. prisons have become the dumping ground for an increasing number of mentally ill people and, more troubling, these people are subject to widespread and repeated sexual victimization.  Prisons are coming to increasingly resemble hell on earth, a postmodern version Dante’s 8th level of Hell, Malebolge, an amphitheatre-shaped pit in which panderers, pimps, seducers and others are whipped, ducked in boiling pitch and their feet licked by flames.

* * *

In March 2013, CBS’s primetime Sunday news program, “60 Minutes,” featured an exposé on prison conditions in Chicago.  It profiled Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart and argued, “with a shortage of mental facilities, jails have become the new asylums.”  Sadly, the conditions found in Chicago are relatively humane compared to that found in prisons around the country.  This is the sad lesson suggested by two recent BJS reports: “Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2011–12: National Inmate Survey (NIS), 2011–12,” prepared by Allen Beck and others; and “Report on Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails (RSV),” edited by G. J. Mazza.

The NIS findings are pretty alarming:  “In 2011-12, an estimated 4.0% of state and federal prison inmates and 3.2% of jail inmates reported experiencing one or more incidents of sexual victimization by another inmate or facility staff in the past 12 months or since admission to the facility, if less than 12 months.”  It adds, “an estimated 3.6% of those identified with serious psychological distress reported inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization, compared to 0.7% of inmates with no indication of mental illness.”

In real numbers, incidents of sexual victimization are significant.  The total U.S. incarcerated population is estimated at 2.3 million.  Using a 3.5 percent victimization rate, about 80,000 men and women, boys and girls as well as those identified as LGBT or suffering a mental health disorder are subject to some form of sexual violence.

More enlightened prison systems offer inmates some form of mental health support.  The NIS found “more than a third of prison inmates (35.8%) and jail inmates (39.2%) said they had received some counseling or therapy from a trained professional for these problems.”

Not surprising, those who saw a mental health professional were more likely to report being sexually victimized.  Inmate-on-inmate sexual victimization is 3 to 4 times higher among inmates who had received mental health counseling and 2 to 3 times higher among inmates who take prescription drugs.  The need for professional counseling is probably greater for those inmates subject to solitary confinement.

In 2005, the Supreme Court found in Wilkinson v. Austin that “no study of the effects of solitary or supermax-like confinement that lasted longer than 60 days failed to find evidence of negative psychological effects.”  The mental-health consequences from such confinement take many forms.  Inmates report an increase in problems sleeping, irrational anger, rage, lack of impulse control, confusing thought processes, hallucinations and depression, severe and chronic.  Suicide and incidents of self-harm or self-mutilation (e.g., swallowing razors and repeatedly smashing his/her head against the wall) increase.

“Report on Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails (RSV)” is an even more revealing indictment of U.S. prison system.  It provides detailed information about three so-called “High-Incidence Prisons.”  Among the characteristics of those who are most victimized by inmate-on-inmate sexual violence those with the following characteristics: (i) being white or multi-racial, (ii) having a college education, (iii) having a sexual orientation other than heterosexual, and (iv) having experienced sexual victimization prior to coming to the facility.  Among the characteristics of those who are most victimized due to staff sexual misconduct included: (i) having a college and (ii) experienced sexual victimization before coming to the facility.

Three prisons deemed high-incident facilities were singled out.

Fluvanna is a maximum-security prison for women in Troy, VA.  It suffered a major scandal in 2007 when the former chief of security was charged with having sex with female inmates.  He was convicted the following year.  Current administration concedes it suffers from short staffing during critical early-morning and late-evening hours, when most sexual victimization takes place.

Allred is a maximum-security prison for men in Wichita Falls, TX.   During the 2008-2009 period, its capacity was 3,682.   In 2009, 4,693 inmates spent time at Allred; the average length of stay was 1,682 days, the longest stay was 5,306 days.  Did someone say overcrowding?

Elmira, located in Upstate New York, is a maximum-security prison for men. During the 2008-2009 period, its capacity was 3,682 and, in 2009, the total number of inmates who spent any time there was 9,396.  That year, two inmates committed suicide and 11 people attempted suicide.

The authors of the RSV study take up an advocacy voice, calling for system wide changes.  Knowingly, they insist:  “We know that sexual assaults can be reduced by changing attitudes toward potentially vulnerable populations, including female, LGBTQ, and physically frail inmates; paying close attention to institutional design and surveillance; providing offender education and staff training; improving operational policies and post orders; and monitoring adherence to established policies.”

* * *

American prisons have become the new mental institutions, asylums for lost souls.  In Madness and Civilization, Michel Foucault notes that in 1656 the Hopital General was founded in Paris.  It was not a medical establishment, but a juridical institution seeking to instill moral and religious order in those so imprisoned.  While ostensibly aimed at the confinement of the insane, it also housed the unemployed or idle, prisoners and the poor.  The confined included those identified as “the debauched, spendthrift fathers, prodigal sons, blasphemers” and “libertines.”

We’ve come nearly full circle in the last three-and-a-half centuries.  As Rockefeller inspired lock-‘em-up drug-related policies wane in the face of the mounting fiscal crises faced by local and state governments, nonviolent drug offenders are being replaced by the mentally ill.  The sad situation is that there are dwindling facilities for the civil confinement of those designated criminally insane or mentally ill.

Writing in the New York Review of Book, David Kaiser and Lovisa Stannow point out, “the asylums where people with serious disorders could once receive care were mostly closed down by the end of the Reagan era.”  They point out that a half-century ago, in 1955, there were 558,239 beds for severely mentally ill patients in public psychiatric hospitals.  Going further, they argue that, based on population growth, the number of beds should have been 885,000 by 1994.  Sadly, the number of beds in public institutions were only 71,619 and “perhaps another 70,000” in private psychiatric hospitals.

The authors conclude, pessimistically, “Indeed, a visit to almost any prison or jail makes it distressingly clear that these institutions now house many of the people who need mental health treatment.”  These prisons have become a modern-day hell-on-earth.

David Rosen regularly contributes to the AlterNet, Brooklyn Rail, Filmmaker and Huffington Post.  Check out www.DavidRosenWrites.com; he can be reached at [email protected].

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U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron announced this morning that "By the end of this year, when someone sets up a new broadband account, the...

Concentrated, Privatized Wealth or Shared Prosperity and Economic Democracy

One of the major conflicts of the era that is not often highlighted for public debate is whether we want an economy that privatizes...

Secret U.S. Court Extends NSA Authority to Collect Phone Metadata

A chief U.S. intelligence official affirmed Friday that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been granted authority to continue collecting phone records of millions...

Does the NSA Tap That? What We Still Don’t Know About the Agency’s Internet...

(TeleGeography/www.telegeography.com)Among the snooping revelations of recent weeks, there have been tantalizing bits of evidence that the NSA is tapping fiber-optic cables that carry nearly...

Spying on Americans, Cellphones, Emails: The NSA is on the Line – All of...

When intelligence historian Matthew Aid read the USA Today story last Thursday about how the National Security Agency was collecting millions of phone call...

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...

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.

NSA deputy director admits to broader spying

  By ...

NSA deputy director admits to broader spying

  By ...

Supreme Court Justice Alito's worth surges past $2 million

US Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito’s financial disclosure statement reveals that the seventh-most tenured justice’s net worth has surpassed two million dollars, thanks in...

Google experimenting with anti-NSA encryption – report

Google is considering encrypting users’ data generated on its Google Drive as a protection from the US government's invasive meta data collection policies revealed...

The Brave New World of Big Data

The Snowden leaks and ensuing debates about our government, big data, and privacy have led to more Orwell allusions than I’ve heard in all...

Telecomm Companies Implicated in NSA Spying Unite to Lobby Congress on Digital Privacy

The biggest names in telecommunications industry have launched a new lobbying group headed by two Washington insiders to advocate for privacy policies that could...

NSA Sued Over 'Blatantly Unconstitutional Attack on Civil Liberties'

Developing...A diverse coalition of groups represented by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has filed suit against the NSA on Tuesday for its bulk, unconstitutional...

Zimmermans Feel Chilling Effect of Obama’s Domestic Spying

Family’s wiretapping fears and Michael Hastings’ death showcase the omnipresence of unconstitutional abuses. Kit Daniels Infowars.com July 16, 2013 The Zimmerman family now...

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...

Surveillance Blowback

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/surveillance_blowback_20130716/ Posted on Jul 16, 2013 By Alfred W. McCoy, TomDispatch...

America’s “Intelligence-industrial Complex”

An important aspect of the spying operations that have been exposed over the past month by National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden is...

The intelligence-industrial complex

  15 July 2013 ...

New Hi-Tech Police Surveillance: The “StingRay” Cell Phone Spying Device

Blocked by a Supreme Court decision from using GPS tracking devices without a warrant, federal investigators and other law enforcement agencies are turning to...

ECHELON Today: The Evolution of an NSA Black Program

People are shocked by the scope of secret state spying on their private communications, especially in light of documentary evidence leaked to media outlets...

Obama Blocks Eric Snowden’s Asylum: Blocked at Moscow Airport

On July 12, Russia Today (RT) headlined “US ‘blocks my asylum:’ Snowden human rights activists to airport meeting,” saying: Snowden remains stuck. He’s in limbo....

Obama Blocks Snowden's Asylum

Obama Blocks Snowden's Asylum by Stephen Lendman On July 12, Russia Today (RT) headlined "US 'blocks my asylum:' Snowden human rights activists to airport meeting," saying: Snowden...

Don't give Snowden a platform, US says

The United States has warned Russia against giving US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden a Ëœpropaganda platform.â„¢ "Providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter...

As Taxpayers Foot the Bill, Phone Companies Make Big Bucks Charging Uncle Sam to...

Phone companies don't do anything for...

The Government Is Spying On ALL Americans’ Digital and Old-Fashioned Communications

Washington’s Blog July 12, 2013 Even now — after all of the revelations by Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers — spying apologists say...

And the Secret Word Is …

If we are to regard ourselves as a grown-up nation-and anything else will henceforth be mortally dangerous-then we must, as the Biblical phrase goes,...

Pete Ashdown: Internet entrepreneur pushes for govt that stands for 'basic human rights'

As US broadband giants betray customer privacy in the name of profit, the owner of a Utah-based internet company has stood up for his...

“Pipeline on Rails” Plans for the Railroads Explode in Quebec

The boom in oil fracking and tar sands has lured the great and small to the rails in search of profits and jobs. The great...

Millions in US tax dollars go to Big Data for wiretap capabilities

The US government uses American tax dollars to pay major Internet companies and telecommunications giants like Verizon and AT&T for unprecedented access into millions...

Obama's DOJ Moves to Keep Secret Spy Court in the Shadows

Obama's Department of Justice argues FISA court's interpretation of law must remain a secret. (Photo: Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA)The rulings and rationale behind the Foreign...

11 Shocking Things Snowden Has Taught Us (So Far)

July 9, 2013  | ...

TSA Sniffing Bags in Texas Shopping Mall?

Texas shopper films TSA K9 agent in San Antonio mall Infowars.com July 8, 2013 If more proof was needed that the DHS’s...

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...

‘Private US entity can’t govern Internet’

Brazil has called for the establishment of a multilateral agency to control the global Internet, following reports of spying by the US National Security...

10 Most Shocking Things the FBI Has Done Since 9/11

As Congress considers the nomination of...

By Rail or Pipeline: Can Tar Sands be Safely Transported at All?

My last years working as a railroad machinist were spent working on locomotive air brakes. In most situations, the system is fail safe. I always...

Secret laws, secret government

  The FISA court in operation ...

The Changing Video Business

The way Americans watch TV is fundamentally and irreversibly changing. This change in video viewing is having two significant consequences, one corporate, the other...

Hints That NSA Is Building Massive, Pervasive Surveillance Capability

From left: Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency; Rand Beers, acting deputy secretary of the Department of Homeland Security; Patrick Gallagher,...

Glenn Greenwald: Top Officials Are Lying to Our Faces About Government Spying

The NSA revelations continue to expose far more than just the ongoing operations of that sprawling and unaccountable spying agency.

German trust of US plummets: Poll

US-based National Security Agency is the world's largest spy agency.German trust in the United States has plummeted following leaked reports of massive US electronic...

Focus on the Villains

by Glenn GreenwaldThe ...

French govt. spies on citizens: Report

Franceâ„¢s secret services illegally have been spying on the citizens by monitoring their telephone and internet communications as well as internet searches, a report...

EU urges canceling US deals over spying

The European Parliament says it will scrap agreements with the United States granting it access to European travel and financial data unless Washington reveals...

Hints Surface That NSA Building Massive, Pervasive Surveillance Capability

Washington - Despite U.S. intelligence officials' repeated denials that the National Security Agency is collecting the content of domestic emails and phone calls, evidence...

What About Some Patriotism for America?

The 4th of July is synonymous with patriotism. Tomorrow, all over the country, Americans will congregate to spend time with family and friends, barbecue,...

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...

The Most Secretive Court in America May Also Be the Most Conservative

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_most_secretive_court_in_america_may_also_be_the_most_conservative_20130/ Posted on Jul 3, 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...

Morales' plane forced to land in Austria

Bolivian President Evo Morales' plane has been diverted to Austria due to false rumors that US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden was on board, Bolivian...

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...

India defends US espionage programs

US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) and his Indian counterpart Salman Khourshid (file photo).Indiaâ„¢s Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has defended US espionage programs...

New Documents Shed Light on NSA’s Dragnet Surveillance

With the Obama administration in full damage control mode over revelations of blanket surveillance of global electronic communications, new documents published by The...

New Revelations About NSA Spying Abroad Enrage European Officials

Saturday’s revelations by the German newspaper Der Spiegel that U.S. agents placed bugs in European Union officials’ offices in New York and Washington and hacked...

13 Mindblowing Facts About America’s Tax-Dodging Corporations

A judicious writer avoids adjectives like "mindblowing," especially when covering political or economic issues. But no other word seems to describe the stunning reality of corporate taxation in modern America, which cries out for the italics-heavy, exclamation-point-driven format made famous by Ripley's Believe It or Not.

Snowden stuck up in Moscow: Correa

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa speaks during an interview in Portoviejo, Ecuador, June 30, 2013.Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa says US surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden is...

Thirteen Facts About America's Tax-Dodging Corporations

Truthout doesn’t take corporate funding - that’s why we’re able to confront the forces of greed and regression. Support us in this mission: make...

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...

More Evidence of Lawless US Spying

More Evidence of Lawless US Spying by Stephen Lendman Post-9/11, unprecedented domestic spying began. It did so extrajudicially. It continues under Obama. It's institutionalized. It's warrantless....

More Evidence of Lawless US Spying

More Evidence of Lawless US Spying by Stephen Lendman Post-9/11, unprecedented domestic spying began. It did so extrajudicially. It continues under Obama. It's institutionalized. It's warrantless....

Ecuador: US must explain to world

Ecuadorâ„¢s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino has called on the United States to provide a thorough explanation of its controversial secret global espionage programs. Å“The...

U.S. Army Now Censoring The Guardian

Army official refers to censorship as “network hygiene.” Kit Daniels Infowars.com June 28, 2013 The U.S. Army admitted Thursday to blocking employees’ access...

Small Lies to Conceal Greater Lies

“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful manner, by saying no.” — James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence in...

Global Backlash After Leaks Reveal Hypocrisy of US Spying

Three weeks since news broke that the National Security Administration is conducting a massive international surveillance operation, the US corporate media is still largely...

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....

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...

Jagger jabs Obama over NSA scandal

President Barack Obama didn’t attend The Rolling Stones concert in Washington, DC Monday night, but lead singer Mick Jagger said that wasn’t likely to...

Top Ten American Steps Toward a Police State

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/top_ten_american_steps_toward_a_police_state_20130625/ Posted on Jun 25, 2013 ...

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...

Syria, The View From The Other Side

His security forces used live ammunition to mow down peaceful pro-democracy protesters, forcing them to take up arms to try to topple his brutal...

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...

The Stunning Hypocrisy of the U.S. Government

The Government’s Hypocrisy Is the Core Problem Congress has exempted itself from the prohibition against trading on inside information … the law that got Martha...

Snoop Valley: Facebook ex-officer ‘signs up’ with NSA

Published time: June 22, 2013 12:10 A former security officer at Facebook was hired by the National Security Agency (NSA) in 2010, US...

US files charges against whistleblower

US authorities have filed espionage charges against American whistleblower Edward Snowden, who has revealed secrets about US surveillance programs. The 29-year-old former US National Security...

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...

What’s the Sexual Health of the Nation?

What is the best way to determine the true pulse of the nation? How are we to measure the “recovery” from the Great Recession...

Superman Goes Bad, Joins the NSA

As Obama fights to grant millions of illegal immigrants amnesty, there’s one alien he wouldn’t mind heading up his domestic surveillance outfit.

Do You Have ANY IDEA How Widespread the Spying Really Is?

Washington’s Blog June 20, 2013 Preface: Americans now know that the government is spying. But they still have no idea how many of...

Lessons of the Snowden Revelations

If Edward Snowden’s goal in blowing his whistle was to spark a public debate about privacy and surveillance, he has marvelously succeeded. Everybody’s talking about...

Your TV is Killing the Planet

Note to TV-loving couch potatoes: That little box sitting atop your television set that transforms a signal into your favorite show is likely the largest single source of electrical waste in your entire household.

Obama denies spying on German emails

US President Barack Obama delivers a speech at the Brandenburg Gate on June 19, 2013 in Berlin. US President Barack Obama says that American...

Despite What the President Said, There’s Nothing “Transparent” About a Secret Court Issuing Secret...

The FISA court, by its nature, is the opposite of transparent. In fact, it’s hard to imagine how the FISA court could be more secretive.

The Making of a Global Security State

http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/the_making_of_a_global_security_state_20130618/ Posted on Jun 18, 2013 ...

21 Facts About NSA Snooping That Every American Should Know

There seems to be a lot of confusion about what the NSA is actually doing. Are they reading our emails? Are they listening to our telephone calls?

NSA leaker dismisses China agent claim

American technical contractor and former CIA employee Edward Snowden (file photo)Edward Snowden, the former CIA employee behind the biggest intelligence leaks in the history...

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...

Police States, Theirs and Ours

Anyone who’s shocked by NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s revelations that the US state is spying on its citizens shouldn’t be. Liberal democracies have routinely...

The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence

Washington’s BlogJune 17, 2013 NSA spying whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statements have been verified.   Reporter Glenn Greenwald has...

‘Americans’ privacy not violated’

White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough speaks on a TV show in Washington, DC on June 16, 2013.White House Chief of Staff Denis...

'Germany to expand online surveillance'

File photo shows binary code reflected from a computer screen in a woman's eye. Germany's Federal Intelligence Service has a multi-million plan to expand...

The Next NSA Spying Shoe to Drop: “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence

NSA Building Big Brother “Pre-Crime” Artificial Intelligence Program NSA spying whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statements have been verified.   Reporter Glenn Greenwald has promised numerous additional disclosures...

NSA Letter to Congress Leaves Questions Unanswered

In a letter sent to Congress on Saturday the US Intelligence Community officially confirmed the existence of the two far-reaching surveillance programs revealed to...

NSA Letter to Congress Leaves Questions Unanswered

In a letter sent to Congress on Saturday the NSA officially confirmed the existence of the two far-reaching surveillance programs revealed to the public...

The Government’s Spying Is Not As Bad As The Whistleblower Said … It’s WORSE

Whistleblower Claims Validated … and Then Some The government is attacking whistleblower Edward Snowden by claiming that he was lying about the scope of the...

NSA admits listening to U.S. phone calls without warrants

Declan McCullagh CNetJune 16, 2013 The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing...

‘NSA leaks extremely damaging to US’

US Attorney General Eric Holder says the recent revelations about the spying operations of the National Security Agency (NSA) are "extremely damaging," vowing to...

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...