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kpete

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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Eugene Robinson asks "What NSA reforms?"

Eugene Robinson asks "What NSA reforms?"

The modest reforms Obama proposed do not begin to address the fundamental question of whether we want the National Security Agency to log all of our phone calls and read at least some of our e-mails, relying on secret judicial orders from a secret court for permission. The president indicated he is willing to discuss how all this is done — but not whether.

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The administration white paper says we shouldn’t worry because this reasoning would not apply, say, to medical records or library records. But we have no way of knowing what other encroachments on the Bill of Rights the intelligence court might have blessed, because the court’s rulings are classified.

.........

What real difference would that make, though, if we are still denied the right to know about secret court rulings that redefine and abridge our constitutional rights? I’ll believe Obama is serious about reforming the intelligence court when he calls for all its interpretations of the law — without details of specific orders that would tip off terrorists — to be made public.

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And I’ll believe Congress is serious when it clarifies the Patriot Act and other laws to spell out that the Constitution still applies. The NSA’s capability to obliterate privacy is rampaging ahead. The law desperately needs to catch up.




more:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/eugene-robinson-what-nsa-reforms/2013/08/12/62e04e0c-037f-11e3-9259-e2aafe5a5f84_story.html?hpid=z2

How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets

Greenwald asked Poitras, “Since it all began, have you had a non-N.S.A. day?”

“What’s that?” she replied.

“I think we need one,” Greenwald said. “Not that we’re going to take one.”




How Laura Poitras Helped Snowden Spill His Secrets

This past January, Laura Poitras received a curious e-mail from an anonymous stranger requesting her public encryption key. For almost two years, Poitras had been working on a documentary about surveillance, and she occasionally received queries from strangers. She replied to this one and sent her public key — allowing him or her to send an encrypted e-mail that only Poitras could open, with her private key — but she didn’t think much would come of it.

The stranger responded with instructions for creating an even more secure system to protect their exchanges. Promising sensitive information, the stranger told Poitras to select long pass phrases that could withstand a brute-force attack by networked computers. “Assume that your adversary is capable of a trillion guesses per second,” the stranger wrote.

Before long, Poitras received an encrypted message that outlined a number of secret surveillance programs run by the government. She had heard of one of them but not the others. After describing each program, the stranger wrote some version of the phrase, “This I can prove.”

Seconds after she decrypted and read the e-mail, Poitras disconnected from the Internet and removed the message from her computer. “I thought, O.K., if this is true, my life just changed,” she told me last month. “It was staggering, what he claimed to know and be able to provide. I just knew that I had to change everything.”

........

FASCINATING (10 PAGES):
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/18/magazine/laura-poitras-snowden.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&hp&

Intelligence committee withheld key file before critical NSA vote

Intelligence committee withheld key file before critical NSA vote, Amash claims
Republican who led Congress revolt against surveillance insists members did not see document before 2011 Patriot Act vote


Intelligence committee withheld key file before critical NSA vote, Amash claims

A leader of the US congressional insurrection against the National Security Agency's bulk surveillance programs has accused his colleagues of withholding a key document from the House of Representatives before a critical surveillance vote.

Justin Amash, the Michigan Republican whose effort to defund the NSA's mass phone-records collection exposed deep congressional discomfort with domestic spying, said the House intelligence committee never allowed legislators outside the panel to see a 2011 document that described the surveillance in vague terms.

The document, a classified summary of the bulk phone records collection effort justified under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, was declassified by the Obama administration in late July.

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http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/12/intelligence-committee-nsa-vote-justin-amash

Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn’t

Source: McClatchy

Senate intelligence panel could seek to declassify documents; it just doesn’t

WASHINGTON — Outspoken members of the Senate Intelligence Committee have said frequently that they wanted to warn the public about the National Security Agency’s sweeping collection of telephone records but the program’s highly classified nature prevented them from making public reference to the programs.

That, however, is not the full story. Buried in the pages of Senate Resolution 400, which established the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in 1976, is a provision that allows them to try. Across those nearly 40 years, it’s never been used.

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As a part of this oversight, Section 8 of the resolution lays out a process by which a member of the Intelligence Committee may seek the declassification of information that he or she thinks is of public interest, even if the executive branch labels the material top secret.

“The select committee may, subject to the provisions of this section, disclose publicly any information in the possession of such committee after a determination by such committee that the public interest would be served by such disclosure,” the section reads



Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2013/08/12/199122/senate-intelligence-panel-could.html#.UgmhNdJzGpA

'Obama putting Clapper In Charge Of NSA Commission That Reports Back To Clapper-Big FU America'

President Obama putting Clapper in charge of the #NSA commission *that reports back to Clapper* is a giant Fuck You to America.
http://inagist.com/all/367049264431501312/?utm_source=inagist&utm_medium=rss


In the memo Obama just released ordering James Clapper to form such a committee, those words “outside” and “independent” disappear entirely.

I believe it is important to take stock of how these technological advances alter the environment in which we conduct our intelligence mission. To this end, by the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I am directing you to establish a Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies (Review Group).

The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust. Within 60 days of its establishment, the Review Group will brief their interim findings to me through the Director of National Intelligence (DNI), and the Review Group will provide a final report and recommendations to me through the DNI no later than December 15, 2013.


And neither Obama nor the Intelligence Committees get to hear from this Group themselves. It all goes through James Clapper.

What on Friday was an outside and independent group is now branded by the Director of National Intelligence as the Director of National Intelligence Group.

At the direction of the President, I am establishing the Director of National Intelligence Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies to examine our global signals-intelligence collection and surveillance capability.

The Review Group will assess whether, in light of advancements in communications technologies, the United States employs its technical collection capabilities in a manner that optimally protects our national security and advances our foreign policy while appropriately accounting for other policy considerations, such as the risk of unauthorized disclosure and our need to maintain the public trust.


Huh. It took exactly 72 hours for that good idea to fizzle into a navel gaze directed by the guy who lies to Congress.

MORE:
http://www.emptywheel.net/2013/08/12/this-technical-review-group-brought-to-you-by-the-booz-allen-hamilton-director-of-national-intelligence/

Missouri State Fair bans rodeo clown who mocked Obama

Source: St Louis Post Dispatch

Missouri State Fair bans rodeo clown who mocked Obama

JEFFERSON CITY • Missouri State Fair officials have barred a rodeo clown who wore a Barack Obama mask and mocked the president from ever performing at the fair again.

Neither the fair nor the Missouri Rodeo Cowboy Association, which sponsored the event, revealed the name of the clown.

But family members of the performer, who goes by the stage name of Tuffy Gessling, said that the general public was missing the point.

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The fair, however, said in a release today that the Rodeo Cowboy Association "must hold all those responsible for this offensive stunt accountable." The fair also said if the association is to ever sponsor a rodeo again, it must first show proof that "all officials and subcontractors ... have successfully participated in sensitivity training."



Read more: http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/missouri-state-fair-bans-rodeo-clown-who-mocked-obama/article_779f0651-d910-5d3f-8954-de5f7f55e327.html

Ally and Target: US Intelligence Watches Germany Closely

Source: Spiegel

German intelligence services cooperate closely with the NSA, but the country is also a target of US surveillance, as a document seen by SPIEGEL makes clear. The spy software XKeyscore is operated from a facility in Hesse, with some of the results landing on President Obama's desk.

The US military compound in Griesheim, near Frankfurt, is secured with a tall wire fence topped with barbed wire. The buildings are relatively modest and surrounded by large areas of green space, which has long led local residents to suspect that many of those working at the facility spend much of their time underground -- and that they are engaged in espionage.

The so-called "Dagger Complex" is one of the best protected sites in the German state of Hesse. Griesheim resident Daniel Bangert recently discovered what could happen to those who show a little too much interest in sites like Dagger. In early July, Bangert -- inspired by the leaks of whistleblower Edward Snowden -- used his Facebook account to post an invitation to a "stroll" to the Dagger Complex, for the purpose of "joint research into the threatened habitat of NSA spies." But before he could embark on his outing into the world of espionage, Bangert found himself dealing with the police.

Lawmakers in the German parliament, the Bundestag, have also expressed an interest in the group of buildings near Darmstadt, south of Frankfurt. The campus houses one of the most important European branches of the National Security Agency (NSA), the American intelligence agency that has come under fire worldwide as a result of leaks by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

According to internal NSA information, which SPIEGEL has seen, the agency's European Cryptologic Center (ECC) is headquartered in Griesheim. A 2011 NSA report indicates that the ECC is responsible for the "largest analysis and productivity in Europe." According to the report, results from the secret installation find their way into the President's Daily Brief, the daily intelligence report given to US President Barack Obama, an average of twice a week.

Read more: http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/germany-is-a-both-a-partner-to-and-a-target-of-nsa-surveillance-a-916029.html

Inviting Hayden to comment on regulation of NSA is like having Madoff comment on regulating Wall St.

Michael Hayden, Bob Schieffer and the media's reverence of national security officials
Glenn Greenwald

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The person who secretly implemented that illegal domestic spying program was retired Gen. Michael Hayden, then Bush's NSA director. That's the very same Michael Hayden who is now frequently presented by US television outlets as the authority and expert on the current NSA controversy - all without ever mentioning the central role he played in overseeing that illegal warrantless eavesdropping program.

As Marcy Wheeler noted: "the 2009 Draft NSA IG Report that Snowden leaked (and the Guardian published) provided new details about how Hayden made the final decision to continue the illegal wiretapping program even after DOJ's top lawyers judged it illegal in 2004. Edward Snowden leaked new details of Michael Hayden's crime."

The Twitter commentator sysprog3 put it this way:

Inviting Hayden to comment on regulation of surveillance is like having Bernie Madoff comment on regulation of Wall Street."




In other words, Hayden has a clear financial stake in the very NSA debates he's put on television to adjudicate. And while he's sometimes identified as a principal of the Chertoff Group, what that means - the conflicts of interest it creates in the very debates in which he's participating - is almost never mentioned. That's because one inviolable rule for establishment TV hosts like Bob Schieffer is that US military officials must be treated with the greatest reverence and must never be meaningfully challenged


.........About Snowden, the tough, adversarial TV reporter asked Hayden: "Do you think he is a traitor, would you go that far?" He then ended his prayer session devoted to Hayden with this exchange about the recent proposal in the House to ban the NSA's bulk collection of phone records:


"BOB SCHIEFFER: But would the National security be damaged if that happened?

"GENERAL MICHAEL HAYDEN: Oh, absolutely, absolutely.

"BOB SCHIEFFER: All right. Well, General, it's always good to have you."


Bob Schieffer is a more slavish, shameless spokesman for the NSA than anyone actually employed by that agency. But what one really finds here is a reverence for military officials like Michael Hayden so extreme that it's actually uncomfortable to watch.


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MORE:
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/12/michael-hayden-nsa-media-reverence

GOP admits conservatives are inherently stupid

GOP admits conservatives are inherently stupid:

“They have to back their incumbents and at the same time, tread a very careful line making sure that they are recruiting top-tier candidates that don’t run necessarily afoul of conservatives in a state..."The hope is we can navigate these waters so we don’t have Republican Senate candidates saying stupid things that will back fire 90 days before the election.”


http://www.buzzfeed.com/katenocera/gop-strains-to-win-back-senate-while-keeping-conservative

Trump....whistling in the dark?



Karl pointed out that Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) had been born in Canada and asked if that made him ineligible to be president of the United States.

“If he was born in Canada, perhaps not,” Trump admitted. “But I’m not sure where he was born.”

“Oh, he was definitely born in Canada,” Karl noted.

“Okay, well, then you’ll have to ask him that question, but perhaps not,” Trump said. “Look, that will be ironed out. I don’t know the circumstances. I heard somebody told me he was born in Canada. That’s really his thing.

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http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/08/11/birtherism-b...
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