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Member since: Fri Sep 17, 2004, 03:59 PM
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Exposed: The National Security Agency's PRISM Twitter Feed

06.07.13 - 2:32 PM
Exposed: The National Security Agency's PRISM Twitter Feed
by Jon Queally
Though the NSA's vast internet spying apparatus, called PRISM, was only just revealed to the American public via the Guardian, the program was defiant on Thursday as it began furiously tweeting from its underground lair in the bowels of the Utah desert.


06.07.13 - 2:32 PM
Exposed: The National Security Agency's PRISM Twitter Feed
by Jon Queally

Though the NSA's vast internet spying apparatus, called PRISM, was only just revealed to the American public via the Guardian, the program was defiant on Thursday as it began furiously tweeting from its underground lair in the bowels of the Utah desert.

It's first public announcement came at 4:44 PM on Thursday, June 6th:


America has been naughty, naughty.
4:44 PM - 6 Jun 2013

Later, it called out journalist Glenn Greenwald by name for being part of the team to break the story at the Guardian:


Thanks for outting me @ggreenwald
8:38 PM - 6 Jun 2013

way more:

Delayed on tarmac 3 hours, Philly Orchestra takes out its instruments


Calvin & Hobbs got there first

Calvin & Hobbs --- December 07, 1993

Glenn Greenwald Suggests More Revelations Are ‘Coming Shortly’

On the heels of his bombshell reports on the National Security Agency's collection of phone records and sweeping access to the servers of leading Internet companies, The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald indicated Friday that he's not done.

In a post on The Guardian's website, Greenwald wrote that he's less interested in addressing the political fallout from his previous scoops and more interested in breaking new stories, which he seemed to suggest could be imminent.

"I don't have time at the moment to address all of the fallout because - to borrow someone else's phrase - I'm Looking Forward to future revelations that are coming (and coming shortly), not Looking Backward to ones that have already come," Greenwald wrote.


Is This Who Runs Prism?

Is This Who Runs Prism?

I don’t see anyone out there with this theory, and TPM is my favorite news source, so here goes:

“PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government. Here’s how Palantir describes themselves:

“We build software that allows organizations to make sense of massive amounts of disparate data. We solve the technical problems, so they can solve the human ones. Combating terrorism. Prosecuting crimes. Fighting fraud. Eliminating waste. From Silicon Valley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion platforms against the hardest problems we can find, wherever we are needed most.” http://www.palantir.com/what-we-do/

They’re generally not public about who their clients are, but their first client was famously the CIA, who is also an early investor.

With my theory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech companies in the WSJ (emphasis mine):

Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network…”

These denials could all still be technically true if the government is accessing the data through a government contractor, such as Palantir, rather than having direct access.

I just did a quick Google search of “Palantir PRISM” to see if anyone else had this theory, and the top results were these pages:



Later Update: Here’s a video of Alexander Karp, CEO of Palantir, describing what the company does …



Newly Revealed PRISM Snooping Makes Verizon Surveillance Look Like Kids' Stuff

The analysts use PRISM by keying in search terms supposedly designed to “produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s ‘foreignness’.” However, the Post notes, training materials for the program instruct new analysts to submit “accidentally collected” U.S. content for a quarterly report, “but it’s nothing to worry about.”


Author Of Patriot Act Now Seeks To Limit Government Surveillance

Source: Think Progress

“I have a big problem because the business records part of the Patriot Act, which is what was used to justify this, was designed for specific investigations,” Sensenbrenner told Fox News on Friday. “We’re seeing big government in action, just like George Orwell predicted but maybe a few years later,” he added.


Sensenbrenner indicated that he will draft legislation to “change that part of the business records part of the Patriot Act before it expires in 2015″ to more narrowly tailor it and will question FBI Director Robert Muller about the program when he appears before Congress next week. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) also plans to offer a bill designed to close the “business records” provision.

“This is a dragnet. It is an overreach and we’ve got to find out this is justified, simply because the NSA wants to do some data mining,” Sensenbrenner said. On Thursday, he wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder complaining that, “I do not believe the released FISA order is consistent with the requirements of the Patriot Act.”

The congressman initially dismissed critics who warned of government abuse of the Patriot Act in 2005 and 2006, but first admitted that the FBI may be abusing the law in 2007.

Read more: http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2013/06/07/2119351/author-of-patriot-act-says-he-will-try-to-narrow-provisions-to-prevent-government-surveillance/

Republicans try to attract young voters...

can you hear me now?

Every year that we're at war is probably a year in which our privacy is diminished.

War Erodes Privacy
by BooMan

.....we've been at war for 12 years and this is one of the consequences of that. Relatedly, we've made some rather dedicated enemies, and this is also a consequence of that. Privacy is a casualty of policies that make so many people want to harm us. It's not a coincidence that we enacted the FISA laws and reopened the assassination investigations and made all kinds of reforms of the intelligence community as soon as the Vietnam War ended. There was no possibility that we would make those reforms while the war was ongoing. Every year that we're at war is probably a year in which our privacy is diminished.


Senator Wyden repeatedly asked the NSA to estimate the number of Americans whose communications had been incidentally collected, and the agency's director, Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, insisted there was no way to find out. Eventually Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III wrote Wyden a letter stating that it would violate the privacy of Americans in NSA data banks to try to estimate their number.



Bruce Schneier, The Atlantic:

The U.S. government is on a secrecy binge. It overclassifies more information than ever. And we learn, again and again, that our government regularly classifies things not because they need to be secret, but because their release would be embarrassing.

What We Don't Know About Spying on Citizens: Scarier Than What We Know
Schneier is a cybersecurity blogger, concerned about the US apparent interest in intrusion and lack of interest in cybersecurity. That is, he is concerned that the US seems more interested in offensive cyberwarfare capabilities and less interested in defensive cyberwarfare capabilities--which essentially make the most cyber-dependent country on earth a sitting duck for attacks on commercial infrastructure.


“We are always open to changes, but that doesn’t mean there will be any,” Intelligence Committee Chairman Diane Feinstein told reporters after a two-hour long meeting with staff from various intelligence agencies.

KRUGMAN: "The only way to understand the refusal to expand Medicaid is as an act of sheer spite."

The Spite Club


...the only way to understand the refusal to expand Medicaid is as an act of sheer spite. And the cost
of that spite won’t just come in the form of lost dollars; it will also come in the form of gratuitous hardship for some of our most vulnerable citizens.


Just think about this for a minute. It’s one thing when politicians refuse to spend money helping the poor and vulnerable; that’s just business as usual. But here we have a case in which politicians are, in effect, spending large sums, in the form of rejected aid, not to help the poor but to hurt them.

And as I said, it doesn’t even make sense as cynical politics. If Obamacare works (which it will), millions of middle-income voters — the kind of people who might support either party in future elections — will see major benefits, even in rejectionist states. So rejectionism won’t discredit health reform. What it might do, however, is drive home to lower-income voters — many of them nonwhite — just how little the G.O.P. cares about their well-being, and reinforce the already strong Democratic advantage among Latinos, in particular.

Rationally, in other words, Republicans should accept defeat on health care, at least for now, and move on. Instead, however, their spitefulness appears to override all other considerations. And millions of Americans will pay the price.


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