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Hissyspit

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Member since: Fri Nov 12, 2004, 07:39 AM
Number of posts: 43,864

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Court of Appeals Dismisses CCR Case Challenging NSA Surveillance Program (Filed in 2006)

Source: Center for Constitutional Rights

Court of Appeals Dismisses CCR Case Challenging NSA Surveillance Program (Filed in 2006)

Decision Comes on the Heels of Snowden Leaks Exposing Massive NSA Phone, Email Surveillance

press@ccrjustice.org

June 10, 2013, New York— Today, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed a lawsuit brought against President Barack Obama, the head of the National Security Agency (NSA), and the heads of the other major security agencies, challenging warrantless government surveillance of telephone calls and emails in the U.S. under the program first disclosed in December 2005 by the New York Times. Ironically, the dismissal comes just as a series of new stories about astonishingly broad domestic NSA surveillance have broken in the news.

The suit, CCR v. Obama, was filed by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) on behalf of itself and its legal staff working on national security cases whose communications fit the criteria used by the NSA for targeting calls and emails under its surveillance program. CCR Attorneys argued the program was unconstitutional and had forced them to take costly and burdensome countermeasures to minimize the risk of having their privileged client communications intercepted by the NSA.

The case, initially filed in 2006 against President George W. Bush, sought an injunction that would prohibit the NSA from conducting warrantless surveillance within the United States. When, in response, the government claimed it had shut down the program in January 2007, the CCR asked the court to order the government to destroy any records of surveillance that it still retains from the illegal NSA program. The lower court refused to do so and the case moved to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which held that a plaintiff challenging a secret surveillance program must be able to prove they were actually eavesdropped upon by the program in order to be able to challenge it in court. Today, the Ninth Circuit panel affirmed that decision, relying on the Supreme Court’s February 2013 dismissal of a similar challenge to the 2008 FISA Amendments Act, Clapper v. Amnesty International.

The Ninth Circuit stated “lthough CCR might have a slightly stronger basis for fearing interception because of the lack of involvement, CCR’s asserted injury relies on a different uncertainty ... namely, that the government retained ‘records’ from any past surveillance it conducted under the now-defunct TSP.”

Said Center for Constitutional Rights Attorney Shayana Kadidal. “It is the height of absurdity to dismiss this case on the grounds that the intelligence agencies cannot be presumed to save records of their surveillance.”

With this ruling, all but two of the legal challenges to the original NSA program will have been dismissed without the Obama administration ever having taken a position on whether or not the original NSA program was legal.

Read more: http://ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/court-of-appeals-dismisses-ccr-case-challenging-nsa-surveillance-program

Daniel Ellsberg Op/Ed: "...shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country."

http://www.guardiannews.com/commentisfree/2013/jun/10/edward-snowden-united-stasi-america

Monday 10 June 2013 06.30 EDT

Edward Snowden: saving us from the United Stasi of America

Snowden's whistleblowing gives us a chance to roll back what is tantamount to an 'executive coup' against the US constitution


- snip -

The government claims it has a court warrant under Fisa – but that unconstitutionally sweeping warrant is from a secret court, shielded from effective oversight, almost totally deferential to executive requests. As Russell Tice, a former National Security Agency analyst, put it: "It is a kangaroo court with a rubber stamp."

- snip -

The fact that congressional leaders were "briefed" on this and went along with it, without any open debate, hearings, staff analysis, or any real chance for effective dissent, only shows how broken the system of checks and balances is in this country.

Obviously, the United States is not now a police state. But given the extent of this invasion of people's privacy, we do have the full electronic and legislative infrastructure of such a state. If, for instance, there was now a war that led to a large-scale anti-war movement – like the one we had against the war in Vietnam – or, more likely, if we suffered one more attack on the scale of 9/11, I fear for our democracy. These powers are extremely dangerous.

- snip -

In 1975, Senator Frank Church spoke of the National Security Agency in these terms:

"I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

The dangerous prospect of which he warned was that America's intelligence gathering capability – which is today beyond any comparison with what existed in his pre-digital era – "at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left."

- snip -

Pressure by an informed public on Congress to form a select committee to investigate the revelations by Snowden and, I hope, others to come might lead us to bring NSA and the rest of the intelligence community under real supervision and restraint and restore the protections of the bill of rights.

Snowden did what he did because he recognised the NSA's surveillance programs for what they are: dangerous, unconstitutional activity. This wholesale invasion of Americans' and foreign citizens' privacy does not contribute to our security; it puts in danger the very liberties we're trying to protect.

MORE

Tom Tomorrow: The Five Stages of Living in a National Surveillance State



Daily Kos Link: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2013/06/10/1214540/-Five-stages

Google Doodle Today Is REALLY Cool

http://www.google.com

AP STORY BREAKING: Guardian Identifies Source of Surveillance Programs as Intel Agency Contractor

@AP: BREAKING: Newspaper identifies source of U.S. surveillance programs as intelligence agency contractor. -MM

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/report-nsa-contract-worker-surveillance-source

REPORT: NSA CONTRACT WORKER IS SURVEILLANCE SOURCE
Jun. 9 2:58 PM EDT
You are here
Home » United States government » Report: NSA contract worker is surveillance source

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Guardian newspaper in London says a 29-year-old American who works as a contractor at the National Security Agency is its source of leaks about the U.S. government's surveillance programs.

The newspaper says it was revealing Edward Snowden's identify at his own request.

Snowden is quoted as saying "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong."

The Guardian says Snowden is now in Hong Kong and that he views his best hope for the future as the possibility of asylum, perhaps in Iceland.

LBN: http://www.democraticunderground.com/1014504440

http://m.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why

Sunday 9 June 2013 14.27 EDT

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'
Source for the Guardian's NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next
Ewen MacAskill

Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

A: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

"I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

MORE

NSA Whistleblower William Binney: "FBI came in and pointed a gun at me" (2007)



22nd August 2012 NYT Op Docs
The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans' personal data.

This video is part of a series by independent filmmakers who have received grants from the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute.

Boundless Informant: The NSA's Secret Tool to Track Global Surveillance Data

Source: The Guardian

Boundless Informant: the NSA's secret tool to track global surveillance data

Revealed: The NSA's powerful tool for cataloging data – including figures on US collection


Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill
guardian.co.uk, Saturday 8 June 2013 15.10 EDT

The National Security Agency has developed a powerful tool for recording and analysing where its intelligence comes from, raising questions about its repeated assurances to Congress that it cannot keep track of all the surveillance it performs on American communications.

The Guardian has acquired top-secret documents about the NSA datamining tool, called Boundless Informant, that details and even maps by country the voluminous amount of information it collects from computer and telephone networks.

The focus of the internal NSA tool is on counting and categorizing the records of communications, known as metadata, rather than the content of an email or instant message.

The Boundless Informant documents show the agency collecting almost 3 billion pieces of intelligence from US computer networks over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. One document says it is designed to give NSA officials answers to questions like, "What type of coverage do we have on country X" in "near real-time by asking the SIGINT infrastructure."

- snip -

A snapshot of the Boundless Informant data, contained in a top secret NSA "global heat map" seen by the Guardian, shows that in March 2013 the agency collected 97bn pieces of intelligence from computer networks worldwide.


Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-boundless-informant-global-datamining



Guardian: New Alleged PRISM Slide Released "Collection Directly From the Servers"

http://www.guardiannews.com/world/2013/jun/08/nsa-surveillance-prism-obama-live

LIVE Saturday 8 June 2013 13.30 EDT

NSA Prism program: more details revealed in new slide – live updates

Google and Facebook issue strong denials of participation in Prism as Obama meets with Chinese counterpart


Tom McCarthy

8 min ago

New Prism slide

- snip -

While many of these have provided useful insight and detail into the operation of the program, several of the reports do not tally with the information obtained by the Guardian.

Some articles have claimed that Prism is not a tool used for the collection of information from US companies, but is instead an internal tool used to analyse such information.

Others have speculated – in the light of denials from technology companies about granting "direct access" to servers – that Prism operates through interception of communication cables.

Both of these theories appear to be contradicted by internal NSA documents.

In the interests of aiding the debate over how Prism works, the Guardian is publishing an additional slide from the 41-slide presentation which details Prism and its operation. We have redacted some program names.

The slide, below, details different methods of data collection under the FISA Amendment Act of 2008 (which was renewed in December 2012). It clearly distinguishes Prism, which involves data collection from servers, as distinct from four different programs involving data collection from "fiber cables and infrastructure as data flows past".



A slide from the NSA Prism presentation that gives more details of the secretive program. Photograph: /Guardian

- snip -

The Guardian's initial reporting of Prism made clear the technology companies denied all knowledge of the program, and did not speculate on whether it would need such co-operation in order to work.

MORE AT LINK

Obama Orders US to Draw Up Overseas Target List for Cyber-Attacks

Source: Guardian (UK) / Glenn Greenwald and Ewen McAskill

Obama orders US to draw up overseas target list for cyber-attacks

Exclusive: Top-secret directive steps up offensive cyber capabilities to 'advance US objectives around the world'


• Read the secret presidential directive here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/interactive/2013/jun/07/obama-cyber-directive-full-text

Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill
guardian.co.uk, Friday 7 June 2013 15.06 EDT

Barack Obama has ordered his senior national security and intelligence officials to draw up a list of potential overseas targets for US cyber-attacks, a top secret presidential directive obtained by the Guardian reveals.

The 18-page Presidential Policy Directive 20, issued in October last year but never published, states that what it calls Offensive Cyber Effects Operations (OCEO) "can offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary or target and with potential effects ranging from subtle to severely damaging".

- snip -

The directive also contemplates the possible use of cyber actions inside the US, though it specifies that no such domestic operations can be conducted without the prior order of the president, except in cases of emergency.

The aim of the document was "to put in place tools and a framework to enable government to make decisions" on cyber actions, a senior administration official told the Guardian.

The administration published some declassified talking points from the directive in January 2013, but those did not mention the stepping up of America's offensive capability and the drawing up of a target list.

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/07/obama-china-targets-cyber-overseas

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

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