HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Hissyspit » Journal

Hissyspit

Profile Information

Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 45,769

Journal Archives

NSA Spying: Whistleblowers Claim Vindication On Surveillance State Warnings

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/06/nsa-spying-whistleblowers_n_3399258.html

Gerry Smith

Ryan J. Reilly

NSA Spying: Whistleblowers Claim Vindication On Surveillance State Warnings


Posted: 06/06/2013 8:30 pm EDT | Updated: 06/06/2013 9:19 pm EDT

For years, four former National Security Agency analysts warned that the government was conducting widespread surveillance on domestic communications. Their warnings were largely ignored.

- snip -

While at the NSA, Wiebe, along with Ed Loomis and Bill Binney, created a computer program that could isolate large amounts of information collected by the NSA while protecting Americans’ privacy. But the NSA ignored their program, saying “it was too invasive,” Loomis said.

"We had a solution to this entire problem that would have avoided this whole mess," Wiebe said.

Instead, the NSA chose Trailblazer, a multi-billion dollar computer program that was supposed to revolutionize how the agency analyzed communications data. Wiebe, Loomis and Binney called for an investigation into Trailblazer, citing massive waste and fraud.

In response, Binney and Wiebe were accused of leaking classified information to the press. The FBI raided their homes. Still, they continued to speak publicly about their concerns about the NSA invading Americans' privacy.

- snip -

“This would appear to be the hardcore evidence that I think a lot of people needed to start to believe it,” Binney, who was at the NSA for nearly 40 years, told The Huffington Post. “It’s domestic spying, that’s what it is, on a very large scale.”

A fourth NSA whistleblower, Thomas Drake, criticized the court that authorized the surveillance.

- snip -

“Why do you need to trample on the Constitution for this crazy war on terror?” Loomis said.

MORE

Who Was The Only U.S. Senator to Vote Against The "PATRIOT" Act in 2001?

Answer found HERE.

Did you get it?

Breaking: Intelligence Chief Declassifies (Some) Phone Data Program Details

Source: Associated Press

https://twitter.com/AP/status/342831134591299585

The Associated PressVerified account
‏@AP
BREAKING: Intelligence chief declassifies phone data program details, says public must understand limits

INTELLIGENCE CHIEF BLASTS NSA DOCUMENT LEAKS
By JOSH LEDERMAN
— Jun. 6 10:49 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The director of national intelligence is trying to set the record straight after leaked documents revealed information about two top-secret intelligence-gathering programs.

James Clapper says the disclosure of an Internet surveillance program is "reprehensible" and a document leak about a phone records program could cause long-lasting and irreversible harm to the nation's ability to respond to threats.

Clapper says articles about the programs contained inaccuracies and omitted key information. He's declassifying some details about the authority used in the phone records program because he says Americans must know the program's limits.

Those details include that a special court reviews the program every 90 days. He says the court prohibits the government from indiscriminately sifting through phone data and queries are only allowed when facts support reasonable suspicion.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/intelligence-chief-blasts-nsa-document-leaks



http://www.dni.gov/index.php/newsroom/press-releases/191-press-releases-2013/869-dni-statement-on-activities-authorized-under-section-702-of-fisa

DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA

Thursday, June 06, 2013

June 6, 2013

DNI Statement on Activities Authorized Under Section 702 of FISA

The Guardian and The Washington Post articles refer to collection of communications pursuant to Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. They contain numerous inaccuracies.

Section 702 is a provision of FISA that is designed to facilitate the acquisition of foreign intelligence information concerning non-U.S. persons located outside the United States. It cannot be used to intentionally target any U.S. citizen, any other U.S. person, or anyone located within the United States.

Activities authorized by Section 702 are subject to oversight by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, the Executive Branch, and Congress. They involve extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.

Section 702 was recently reauthorized by Congress after extensive hearings and debate.

Information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats.

The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.

James R. Clapper, Director of National Intelligence

U.S. Intelligence Mining Data from Nine U.S. Internet Companies in Broad Secret Program

Source: Washington Post

U.S. intelligence mining data from nine U.S. Internet companies in broad secret program

By Barton Gellman and Laura Poitras, Published: THURSDAY, JUNE 06, 5:43 PM ET

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio, video, photographs, e-mails, documents and connection logs that enable analysts to track a person’s movements and contacts over time.

The highly classified program, code-named PRISM, has not been disclosed publicly before. Its establishment in 2007 and six years of exponential growth took place beneath the surface of a roiling debate over the boundaries of surveillance and privacy. Even late last year, when critics of the foreign intelligence statute argued for changes, the only members of Congress who know about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

An internal presentation on the Silicon Valley operation, intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in 1,477 articles last year. According to the briefing slides, obtained by The Washington Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.

That is a remarkable figure in an agency that measures annual intake in the trillions of communications. It is all the more striking because the NSA, whose lawful mission is foreign intelligence, is reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil.

The technology companies, which participate knowingly in PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.” PalTalk, although much smaller, has hosted significant traffic during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/us-intelligence-mining-data-from-nine-us-internet-companies-in-broad-secret-program/2013/06/06/3a0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html

Reuters: Senior Obama Official Acknowledges Collection of Information; Will Be Leak Probe

UPDATE: Reuters: Senior Obama administration official acknowledges collection of information on Verizon calls. NBC: White House today won't confirm facts but defends practice. NBC's Pete Williams reports he was told "definitely there will be a leak investigation."

http://gregmitchellwriter.blogspot.com/2013/06/orwellian.html

Al Gore Calls Obama Administration’s Collection of Phone Records ‘Obscenely Outrageous’

Source: Washington Post

Al Gore calls Obama administration’s collection of phone records ‘obscenely outrageous’

By Aaron Blake, Published: JUNE 05, 10:39 PM ET

Former Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore on Wednesday night leveled some rare and harsh criticism at the Obama administration, attacking its reported collection of phone records for millions of Americans.

The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald reported Wednesday evening that the National Security Agency has used a secret court order issued in April to collect the records of all phone calls made on the Verizon network.

Gore took to Twitter to call the monitoring “obscenely outrageous.”

In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous? ow.ly/lKS13

-- Al Gore (@algore) June 6, 2013


- snip -

The order reportedly allows the government to collect phone records for any of Verizon’s customers, even if they aren’t suspected of wrongdoing. It does not allow them to listen to the phone calls themselves.

Read more: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/06/05/al-gore-calls-obama-administrations-collection-of-phone-records-obscenely-outrageous/

Sorry, Haters: 'Derp' is a Useful Term, and It's Here to Stay

http://www.businessinsider.com/sorry-haters-derp-isnt-going-away-2013-6

Sorry, Haters: 'Derp' is a Useful Term, and It's Here to Stay

By Josh Barro, June 5, 2013, 10:15 am

- snip -

But now we have a rigorous definition of derp, thanks to Prof. Noah Smith. Turns out that derp is actually a Bayesian probability concept:

MORE AT LINK

Panel: US Should Let Nature Cull Wild Horse Herds

Source: Associated Press

PANEL: US SHOULD LET NATURE CULL WILD HORSE HERDS

By SCOTT SONNER
— Jun. 5 1:16 PM EDT

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A scathing independent scientific review of wild horse roundups in the West concludes the U.S. government should likely instead let nature cull the herds.

A 14-member panel assembled by the National Science Academy's National Research Council, at the request of the Bureau of Land Management, concluded BLM's removal of nearly 100,000 horses from the Western range over the past decade is probably having the opposite effect of its intention to ease ecological damage and reduce overpopulated herds.

By stepping in prematurely when food and water supplies remain adequate, and with most natural predators long gone, the land management agency is producing artificial conditions that ultimately serve to perpetuate population growth, the committee said Wednesday in a 451-page report recommending more emphasis on a variety of methods of fertility control to keep horse numbers in check.

The research panel sympathized with BLM's struggle to find middle ground between horse advocates who say the federally protected animals have a right to be on the range and livestock ranchers who see them as unwelcome competitors for forage. It noted there's "little if any public support" for allowing harm to come to either the horses or the rangeland itself.

"However, the current removal strategy used by BLM perpetuates the overpopulation problem by maintaining the number of animals at levels below the carrying capacity of the land, protecting the rangeland and the horse population in the short term but resulting in continually high population growth and exacerbating the long-term problem," the report said.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/independent-panel-readies-review-blm-mustangs

New Details in FBI Investigation of Michelle Bachmann (Sworn Testimony: Approved Secret Payments)

Source: David Shuster at Huffington Post

New Details in FBI Criminal Investigation of Michele Bachmann

David Shuster | Jun 04, 2013

While Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was announcing her retirement to much fanfare in the media, according to information given exclusively to Take Action News, the FBI was busy collecting potentially damaging evidence against her from two former campaign aides. According to sources close to the criminal investigation of Bachmann's presidential campaign, the FBI has now been given sworn testimony and documents alleging Bachmann approved secret payments to Iowa state Senator Kent Sorenson in exchange for his help and support in that state's 2012 Presidential caucuses. Ethics rules explicitly prohibit Iowa lawmakers from accepting payments from Presidential campaigns or PACs. Investigation sources tell Take Action News the FBI is examining money laundering allegations against Bachmann, as well as possible wire fraud and mail fraud.

As we detailed on my nationally syndicated radio and YouTube show Take Action News this past Saturday, the key claims against Bachmann are coming from two of her former campaign insiders -- former Congressional chief of staff Andy Parrish and former national field coordinator Pete Waldron. Waldron has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission, alleging the payments to State Senator Sorenson were improper. Parrish has provided an affidavit to investigators, confirming Bachmann knew of and approved the payments.

The Iowa Senate Ethics Committee voted more than a month ago to appoint a special investigator to determine whether State Senator Sorenson was guilty of violating Iowa state ethics rules prohibiting direct or indirect employment from a political action committee. The Committee's ongoing investigation of Sorenson is based on Waldron's FEC complaint and Parrish's testimony.

It's not unusual for a political campaign, with all of the paperwork and forms required by the FEC, to make mistakes. Furthermore, many U.S. lawmakers have been fined by the FEC for improper fundraising, spending, and misleading accounting records. The Bachmann case, though, is different. Her own team is alleging the campaign violations, and declaring that Bachmann knew about the actions in advance. Presumably, Bachmann -- like other Presidential candidates -- signed hundreds of disclosure reports filed with the federal government. If she lied on those reports, or mailed misleading financial statements, however, she may face serious legal trouble.


Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-shuster/new-details-in-fbi-crimin_b_3381810.html

David Sirota: "New Data Shows School 'Reformers' Are Full of It - Propaganda Has Jumped the Shark"

http://www.salon.com/2013/06/03/instead_of_a_war_on_teachers_how_about_one_on_poverty

MONDAY, JUN 3, 2013 12:30 PM EDT

New data shows school “reformers” are full of it

Poor schools underperform largely because of economic forces, not because teachers have it too easy


BY DAVID SIROTA

- snip -

Meanwhile, despite the fact that many “reformers’” policies have spectacularly failed, prompted massive scandals and/or offered no actual proof of success, an elite media that typically amplifies — rather than challenges — power and money loyally casts “reformers’” systematic pillaging of public education as laudable courage (the most recent example of this is Time magazine’s cover cheering on wildly unpopular Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel after he cited budget austerity to justify the largest mass school closing in American history — all while he is also proposing to spend $100 million of taxpayer dollars on a new private sports stadium).

- snip -

That gets to the news that exposes “reformers’” schemes — and all the illusions that surround them. According to a new U.S. Department of Education study, “about one in five public schools was considered high poverty in 2011 … up from about to one in eight in 2000.” This followed an earlier study from the department finding that “many high-poverty schools receive less than their fair share of state and local funding … leav(ing) students in high-poverty schools with fewer resources than schools attended by their wealthier peers.”

Those data sets powerfully raise the question that “reformers” are so desperate to avoid: Are we really expected to believe that it’s just a coincidence that the public education and poverty crises are happening at the same time? Put another way: Are we really expected to believe that everything other than poverty is what’s causing problems in failing public schools?

Because of who comprises it and how it is financed, the education “reform” movement has a clear self-interest in continuing to say yes, we should believe such fact-free pabulum. And you can bet that movement will keep saying “yes” — and that the corporate media will continue to cheer them as heroes for saying “yes” — as long as public education money keeps being diverted into corporate coffers.

But we’ve now reached the point where the economics-omitting “reform” propaganda has jumped the shark, going from deceptively alluring to embarrassingly transparent. That’s because the latest Department of Education study isn’t being released in a vacuum; it caps off an overwhelming wave of evidence showing that our education crisis has far less to do with public schools or bad teachers than it does with the taboo subject of crushing poverty.

MORE AT LINK

Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 112 113 114 115 116 117 118 119 120 121 122 ... 221 Next »