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Fire Walk With Me

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Current location: Los Angeles
Member since: Sat Apr 9, 2005, 09:20 PM
Number of posts: 38,893

About Me

"There is something terribly wrong with this country." -V So, OCCUPY.

Journal Archives

What remains unchanged or has worsened under Obama?

Alan Grayson TPP Secret Treaty “This Hands Sovereignty of Our Country Over to Corp Interests"
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/06/first-congress-member-allowed-to-read-secret-treaty-says-there-is-no-national-security-purpose-in-keeping-this-text-secret-this-agreement-hands-the-sovereignty-of-our-country-over-t.html

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023049340

-Citizens United = unlimited donations and campaign spending by corporations and rich businessmen. $2 billion spent upon this election cycle. Mussolini's definition of Fascism says it should be called corporatism, because it is a merger of state and corporate power.
-No wall street regulation or punishment, same with the banks
-A multiple hundred-fold disparity in income between CEOs and workers, which remains unchanged even a year after OWS
-Drones used for summary execution of foreigners and US citizens abroad suspected of terrorism or terrorist ties
-Hundreds of children killed by these drones in more than five countries
-The NDAA signed again for another year with its Section 1021, allowing the indefinite detention of US citizens without trial or representation
-The Bush-era FISA warrantless wireless wiretapping bill was just signed into five more years of activity.
-The TPP is a secretive corporate alliance creating international law.
-The ALEC is a secretive national corporate alliance creating US law, such as "stand your ground". (Mussolini: Fascism/Corporatism)
-7400+ Occupy members bloodied and arrested for peacefully protesting the above with nary a whisper from the White House. Silence is consent.
-Glass-Steagall remains removed, and the banks remain unregulated. Reinstate it now.
-There are 64 drone bases being built within the US as you read this. Did you vote for this? No. No citizen did.
-Drones will be used by increasingly militarized law enforcement, who are now tentacles of the illegal DHS. See Los Angeles iWatch and Special Order 1. All your information are belong to us. (Check your local PD for "iWatch" connections, meaning "serving DHS".)
-The DHS have membership who are blatantly anti-Occupy (Peter King) and have lied about spying upon Occupy from the beginning. "Trust your mechanic..."
-The FBI have been raiding Occupy activists' apartments for "literature", creating terrorists by offering bomb-making materiel to Americans, and spying upon Americans in general.
-Yes, militarized police and sheriffs. Have you seen the armored vehicles and weaponry being handed out by DHS, much less the hundreds of millions of hollow point munitions purchased by DHS (who will not discuss it)?
-Word of microphones being installed on buses to record citizen conversation. "Americans as terrorists" is making big money to arms and war tech dealers who are only interested in creating a new market...inside the US.
-Obama just signed life-long protection from protesters for himself and W Bush, via permanent Secret Service protection. HR347 makes it a Federal crime to protest where there are secret service present. He's protected a war criminal who desperately requires protesting! Life long protesting!
-The US government have known about "robosigning", the illegal foreclosure mill used by big banks, for over two years and have done nothing as citizens have their homes stolen. Yes, wall street are among the buyers at the quarterly bulk sales.
-Amber Lyon found and revealed that CNN take money from the Bahrain government to report that "everything is okay" while it IS NOT. Where is the government oversight upon this and truth-telling in mainstream media?
-Clarence Thomas (Supreme Court judge) was a lawyer for Monsanto, yet he will not recuse himself from Monsanto cases brought before him. There is now a Monsanto person in the FDA. WTF.
-Goldman Sachs. Enough said. Perhaps not. Did you know GS execs are in power in Greece, Italy, and other countries that are being savaged by "austerity", which is nothing more than socialized debt and theft? And power grabs?
-The multinational Trans-Canada Keystone XL pipeline and the horrifically toxic Tar Sands development. Stealing the environment and people's land with a nod from government.
-Private, for-profit prisons (taxpayer-funded) advertising a 90% occupancy rate. Thank you "war on drugs", with some 46% of inmates incarcerated on drug-related offences. Research the prison-industrial complex and those profiting (don't overlook Wells Fargo's massive investment in one of these companies).
-The military industrial complex and the now-endless war budget (continues on US soil under the concept of "Americans are terrorists").
-The TSA, who have been testing out on buses. Don't need them everywhere, please!

An amazing visualization of income inequality in America:


Obama, corporate shill:

Corporate Profits Have Grown By 171 Percent Under Obama -- Highest Rate Since 1900
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/corporate-profits-have-grown-171-percent-under-obama-highest-rate-1900

"Average annual corporate profit growth under Obama is the highest since 1900, whereas profit growth declined during both Bush presidencies. As a share of the economy, corporate profits have never been higher.
Unfortunately, this profit deluge has not been shared by workers, whose wages as a percentage of the economy have fallen to all-time lows. Workers also got dinged by the recent increase in the payroll tax, which was large enough to wipe out a minimum wage increase in some states."

8 Huge Corporate Handouts in the Fiscal Cliff Bill
http://www.alternet.org/news-amp-politics/8-huge-corporate-handouts-fiscal-cliff-bill

"Throughout the months of November and December, a steady stream of corporate CEOs flowed in and out of the White House to discuss the impending fiscal cliff. Many of them, such as Lloyd Blankfein of Goldman Sachs, would then publicly come out and talk about how modest increases of tax rates on the wealthy were reasonable in order to deal with the deficit problem. What wasn’t mentioned is what these leaders wanted, which is what’s known as “tax extenders”, or roughly $205B of tax breaks for corporations. With such a banal name, and boring and difficult to read line items in the bill, few political operatives have bothered to pay attention to this part of the bill. But it is critical to understanding what is going on.

5) Subsidies for Goldman Sachs Headquarters – Sec. 328 extends 'tax exempt financing for York Liberty Zone,' which was a program to provide post-9/11 recovery funds. Rather than going to small businesses affected, however, this was, according to Bloomberg, 'little more than a subsidy for fancy Manhattan apartments and office towers for Goldman Sachs and Bank of America Corp.' Michael Bloomberg himself actually thought the program was excessive, so that’s saying something. According to David Cay Johnston’s The Fine Print, Goldman got $1.6 billion in tax free financing for its new massive headquarters through Liberty Bonds."

The Untouchables: How the Obama administration protected Wall Street from prosecutions

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/23/untouchables-wall-street-prosecutions-obama

Yes, Virginia, the Rich Continue to Get Richer: the Top 1% Got 121% of Income Gains Since 2009
http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2013/02/yes-virginia-the-rich-continue-to-get-richer-the-1-got-121-of-income-gains-since-2009.html

U.S. banks in 2012 post highest profits since '06
http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/02/26/us-usa-fdic-earnings-idUSBRE91P0N820130226?utm_source=Daily+Digest&utm_campaign=de8376aab3-DD_2_27_132_27_2013&utm_medium=email#.US5jjkXSlU8.twitter

This Year’s Subsidy to Wall Street = the Amount of This Year’s Sequester Cuts
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/02/this-years-subsidy-to-wall-street-the-amount-of-this-years-sequester-cuts.html#.US_yiFwwnHY.facebook

Don’t Blink, or You’ll Miss Another Bailout
http://www.cnbc.com/id/100466032

America faces more than a dozen deadlines, all caused by billionaires and wealth transfer
http://americablog.com/2013/02/america-faces-more-than-a-dozen-deadlines-all-caused-by-billionaires-and-wealth-transfer.html

Bank Bailout 2: Obama Lets Mortgage Abusers Off the Hook
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2012/02/09-5

Prison Labor Booms As Unemployment Remains High; Companies Reap Benefits

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/12/10/prison-labor_n_2272036.html

It’s Not a Housing Boom. It’s a Land Grab
http://colorlines.com/archives/2013/05/the_dangerous_new_housing_boom.html

The "fiscal cliff" scam involved making permanent some aspects of the Bush tax cuts to the rich.


-Retains the 10 percent, 15 percent, 25 percent, and 28 percent income tax brackets from the Bush tax cuts permanently
-Retains the 33 percent and 35 percent income tax brackets from the Bush tax cuts for taxable income under $400,000 (single), $425,000 (head of household), and $450,000 (joint filers). Imposes 39.6 percent tax rate on income above this level.

Details of the Fiscal Cliff Tax Deal
http://taxfoundation.org/blog/details-fiscal-cliff-tax-deal



Roll call for representatives with financial investment in the tarsands and TransCanada's KeystoneXL

"Hailing her longtime role as a 'trusted adviser,' President Barack Obama formally named U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as his next national security adviser on Wednesday."
http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/06/05/18772869-obama-appoints-susan-rice-as-national-security-adviser?lite

"Potential Secretary of State candidate Susan Rice holds as much as $600,000 of shares in TransCanada, the company seeking State Department approval to build the Keystone XL pipeline."
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1112/84355.html

The SEC Mulls An Investigation Calls Grow For John Boehner To Resign
http://www.politicususa.com/2012/01/28/john-boehner-resign.html

Speaker Boehner owns shares in seven different Canadian tar sand companies
https://www.facebook.com/OMCorg/posts/184196495016974

Congressmembers Implicated in Insider Stock Trading on TransCanada, Keystone XL Pipeline

http://www.desmogblog.com/congressmembers-implicated-insider-stock-trading-transcanada-keystone-xl-pipeline

The GOP’s Senate Oil Whores Get $22.3 Million From Keystone XL Backers
http://www.politicususa.com/2012/02/02/senate-keystone-xl.html


Oh, there IS a difference between the two political parties. However, note that neither the RNC nor the DNC mentioned PFC Manning, then 2 years in solitary confinement for revealing the lies of Bush's war; the NDAA, NDRP, HR347, the military industrial complex taking 50+ percent of our tax dollars under an infinite war standing, student debt totaling over one trillion dollars because it's a bankster scam, getting back the 16 trillion given away by the Fed and others to wall street and banks for bonuses, 7000+ Occupiers arrested and brutalized over the last year for talking about these very things (mostly attacked by "democratic" mayors such as Quan, Villaraigosa, etc.)... There IS a difference, but it is =not= where it matters, where it will actually solve the problems destroying us. Income inequality is utterly out of control, unions are being destroyed, the middle class is vanishing under long-term attack...and they're pushing the TPP which is NAFTA (passed by Clinton) on steroids...who mentioned an immediate foreclosure moratorium, much less an investigation into the (known for 3+ years) illegal robosigning mills? Wells Fargo and BofA are two criminal organizations still stealing homes at record rates through provably fraudulent means, yet they are allowed to continue at will. Why? Because it's been found that Wall Street are buying up foreclosed properties in bulk. There are more empty homes in American than there are homeless people (and many of the homeless are Veterans). Was there any mention of immediate care for Veterans, who desperately need it? What about the terrible percentage of Veterans who are killing themselves?

Neither party will address these issues either at all or in any meaningful manner. They continue to have to shut down social services (such as former Goldman Sachs lackey Rahm Emmanuel shutting down several mental health care clinics recently in Chicago, and now with Chicago teachers at the edge of striking...) Infrastructure problems are the result of forced "austerity", which means the people have to fund the theft of those trillions of dollars, or at least feel the result. Because no one is doing a single thing to retrieve it. There is no difference between the parties there. Where it most matters. National parks are being sold to foreign investors because "there's no money". Some people are getting extremely rich this way, through selling off America, and neither party is saying a word to stop it. The DHS and TSA are quietly expanding their presence and power as part of a power grab and we are happily allowing ourselves to become normalized to it, because it is occurring in increments, not all at once. Drones! They are setting up drones in our skies and newly-announced "wraith" ground drones which can travel 65MPH and climb over obstacles...to stop what? I don't see any terrorists, just US citizens. But that doesn't matter because arms dealers, the same ones who paid representatives to vote yes for the NDAA, need a new market, and a new market requires a new enemy. WE are that new enemy. Protest is already defined in a DoD manual as "low-level terrorism". Now the FBI are raiding protesters' homes on suspicion, not fact...same tactics used against the civil rights movement. The 1st Amendment is very nearly gone, and they're starting on the 4th (TSA, etc.).

Note that Obama was going to do his DNC speech at Charlotte's Bank of America Stadium (it was moved). Bank of America stole my friends' home through "double-tracking" :

https://www.facebook.com/OccupyFortHernandez

And have previously attempted to kick this family out as well. In fact, when Occupy Fights Foreclosures arrived at their house, they WERE on the street with all of their property! Note they have a 27 year-old severely disabled daughter!

BofA still attempting to kick a widow and her disabled daughter out on the street!
http://www.democraticunderground.com/1002645488

They later were able later to get back their home but victims of double-tracking are usually not so lucky. Why is Obama allowing this?


Three years of mostly solitary confinement for PFC Manning before a hint of a trial.
Despite human rights organizations making complaints and demands. To the US, that is not torture.
Obama signed the NDAA section 1021 which provides for the indefinite detention of US citizens with neither trial nor representation.
So they can stuff Snowden in a box for the rest of his life and say it's perfectly legal, which by their legislation and interpretation, it is.
The US also said they wouldn't scramble fighters to get a 29-year-old hacker, then force down the plane of another country's president for 12 hours, hoping to find Snowden on board, creating an international incident. Obama said he'd protect whistle-blowers then arrested them all.
Obama said "violence against peaceful protesters is unacceptable" in regard to the early Egyptian uprising, then sends militarized police to beat and arrest 7400+ Occupiers who were trying to draw attention to terrible economic injustice. Obama has since continued bail-outs to wall street and the big corporations and the DOJ calls the banks too big to jail. Then Obama appoints billionaire worker's rights offender Penny Pritzker to a government post. And starts talking about Summers, a Wall Street de-regulator, to head the Fed (which printed trillions of dollars for banks which we'll never ever again see, all the while forcing "sequestration" upon the little people because there's no money).
Then Obama says he's just like Trayvon Martin the same week praises the unConstitutional racist Ray Kelly as being viable for secretary of DHS (where he'd bring "stop and frisk", which stops 85% black and brown people, everywhere). And Obama has done nothing to wind down or eliminate GEORGE BUSH'S surveillance state. On the contrary, he forced down a sovereign nation's president's plane looking for him, an international incident.
It was posited that Obama's promise to aid whistle-blowers was a straight-up honeypot intended to capture as many as possible in one fell swoop. Which would mean he came into office with such plans.
Obama said "transparency and the rule of law will the the touchstones of this administration."

Then:

Extra-judicial executions of US citizens suspected of terror or terrorist ties! Fuck the rule of law or telling people about his kill lists. Oops, kill lists, another reason to trust our executioner in chief.

When they say they won't torture him, they mean we're planning to torture him. They say the opposite of what they fully intend to do, like all politicians.

Obama Promises, Including Whistleblower Protections, Disappear From Website
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/07/26/obama-whistleblower-website_n_3658815.html

And Obama supporting the NSA...

What's not to love?

Infinite


Edit: Wall Street "financial advisors" :

"Looking back, it is still surprising to see how many of his initial appointments in the Treasury Department and other agencies and departments that deal with financial matters reflected this policy. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, Director of the National Economic Council Larry Summers, SEC Chair Mary Schapiro, SEC Enforcement Head Rob Khuzami, CFTC Chair Gary Gensler, Attorney General Eric Holder, Criminal Division Head Lanny Breuer, and many more–all came to Washington from Wall Street."

To Police Banks, Obama Spins Revolving Door To Bring In More Of Wall Street's Own

http://www.forbes.com/sites/tedkaufman/2013/07/23/to-police-banks-obama-spins-revolving-door-to-bring-in-more-of-wall-streets-own/


Edit: The dying Constitution, Bill of Rights sections:

1: Domestic terrorism (as defined by the FBI and "patriot act") against US citizens for peacefully gathering to petition the government with grievance against the economic destruction wrought by banksters and corporations. SHUT UP AND WATCH TV is the message. March and meet hundreds of militarized police. SHUT UP AND GO HOME. 7400+ Occupiers arrested, two brought to within inches of death by militarized police. Force and threat of force against a civilian population for political purposes. And Obama continues to bail out Wall Street and the corps with our tax dollars to this day. Where is the outrage? Then the Supreme Court makes it illegal to protest on their grounds using words directly out of the 1st Amendment. Then Obama signs HR347 which makes it a Federal crime to protest where Secret Service are working (then he gives himself and George Bush lifetime SS protection...smell the trend?)
2: Shaky; under pressure
4: DHS can steal your personal electronics anywhere along the border and up to 100 miles inland =on a hunch=. So much for warrants, courts, reasonability. Zero right to privacy in the Bush/neocon surveillance state. Where is the outrage?
5: It was made legal recently to allow silence in court to be used against you in certain circumstances. Goodbye 5th Amendment.
6: The right to a speedy trial. Have you heard of Obama's NDAA section 1021 which provides for the indefinite detention of US citizens with neither trial nor representation?

PS: His hands aren't tied, it's not about who is or isn't backing him, it's not about nDimensional chess.

Edit: The surveillance state (which can oh so easily flip into being a police state) :

Spying is local too......look no further than the Los Angeles Police Department

Last edited Wed Jun 26, 2013, 09:05 AM USA/ET - Edit history (1)
http://www.laactivist.com/2013/06/21/bringing-the-argument-home-about-domestic-spying

Besides the SARs and iWatch programs, the LAPD also has several cameras positioned around the city that use TrapWire technology, a predictive software that can allegedly detect suspicious behavior in connection with terrorism.

Another technology employed by the LAPD is a suitcase-sized device called StingRay. It mimics a cell phone tower, tricking every cell phone in a neighborhood into connecting to it. Once connected, police can grab information from everyone’s phone in the area, not just the suspects.

StingRay was purchased with Dept. of Homeland Security Funds. It was meant for counterterrorism, but according to documents obtained by LA Weekly, in 2012, the LAPD used StingRay 21 times within four-months in burglary, drug and murder investigations.

The LAPD has said their use of StingRay is legal. However, the department remains extremely secretive about it, declining to explain how the devices are used, how much money was spent on them or whether or not the department adequately explains the power of the technology to judges when seeking search warrants.

(Much more at the link.)

For more reading:

How LAPD are made into a tentacle of the DHS
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10022154200


Remember how Custer Battles and other NGOs raked in taxpayer dollars under the opportunity in the Iraq invasion? It continues but this time within our own country:

Meet the Contractors Turning America's Police Into a Paramilitary Force
http://www.alternet.org/meet-contractors-turning-americas-police-paramilitary-force?paging=off

The national security state has an annual budget of around $1 trillion. Of that huge pile of money, large amounts go to private companies the federal government awards contracts to. Some, like Lockheed Martin or Boeing, are household names, but many of the contractors fly just under the public's radar. What follows are three companies you should know about (because some of them can learn a lot about you with their spy technologies).
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 08:57 PM (242 replies)

Livestream at Chicago fast food wage strike, one of seven cities:

Samwise ‏@SamwiseEyes

I'm broadcasting "#fightfor15 strike" live on @Ustream. Come watch and chat! -
http://ustre.am/JET4 (6:44am)


Aaron Cynic ‏@aaroncynic

For updates on today's #fightfor15 #strikefor15 actions in Chicago follow @SamwiseEyes @constantnatalie and myself. More to follow.



Samwise ‏@SamwiseEyes

Largest Fast Food Walkout Begins in Seven Cities | The Nation

http://www.thenation.com/blog/175466/largest-fast-food-walkout-begins-seven-cities

In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation. While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by—many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job. Raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy.

The website says that the $11,000 average annual salary of fast food workers in New York compares to a $25,000 average daily salary of fast food firm chief executives.

Westin told New York radio station 1010 WINS that fast food workers are not paid a living wage despite having to raise families.

“A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work,” he said. “The workers are striking over the fact that they can’t continue to maintain their families on the wages they’re being paid in the fast food industry.”

(More at the link.)
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 11:39 AM (2 replies)

WATCH LIVE: RT's special coverage on Snowden granted 1-year asylum in Russia & has left airport

RT ‏@RT_com

WATCH LIVE: RT's special coverage on Snowden who was granted 1- year asylum in Russia & has left Moscow airport

http://rt.com/on-air/


RT ‏@RT_com

DETAILS: #Snowden left Moscow airport in Taxi, alone - Lawyer http://on.rt.com/rn2z59
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 08:24 AM (0 replies)

Livestream for Aug. 1 Fight for 15 strike, Chicago:

Samwise ‏@SamwiseEyes

I'm broadcasting "#fightfor15 strike" live on @Ustream. Come watch and chat! -
http://ustre.am/JET4 (6:44am)


Aaron Cynic ‏@aaroncynic

For updates on today's #fightfor15 #strikefor15 actions in Chicago follow @SamwiseEyes @constantnatalie and myself. More to follow.
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 07:50 AM (2 replies)

Largest Fast Food Walkout Begins in Seven Cities | The Nation

Samwise ‏@SamwiseEyes

Largest Fast Food Walkout Begins in Seven Cities | The Nation
http://www.thenation.com/blog/175466/largest-fast-food-walkout-begins-seven-cities

In America, people who work hard should be able to afford basic necessities like groceries, rent, childcare and transportation. While fast food corporations reap the benefits of record profits, workers are barely getting by—many are forced to be on public assistance despite having a job. Raising pay for fast food workers will benefit workers and strengthen the overall economy.


The website says that the $11,000 average annual salary of fast food workers in New York compares to a $25,000 average daily salary of fast food firm chief executives.

Westin told New York radio station 1010 WINS that fast food workers are not paid a living wage despite having to raise families.

“A lot of the workers are living in poverty, you know, not being able to afford to put food on the table or take the train to work,” he said. “The workers are striking over the fact that they can’t continue to maintain their families on the wages they’re being paid in the fast food industry.”

(More at the link.)
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 06:06 AM (3 replies)

Wheel of Distraction!



via Anon_Central. Cross-posted from Occupy Underground.
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 06:00 AM (3 replies)

Wheel of Distraction!



via Anon_Central.
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 05:55 AM (0 replies)

In Oakland: Federally funded project to link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers,

Alex J. Martin @amartinmedia

In Oakland: Federally funded project to link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter

http://cironline.org/reports/oakland-surveillance-center-progresses-amid-debate-privacy-data-collection-4978#.Ufgqso9HeeY.twitter

OAKLAND, Calif. – With this city repeatedly roiled by civil protests and the public’s attention sharply focused on government surveillance, local officials are pushing forward with a federally funded project to link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified “situational awareness” tool for law enforcement.

The Domain Awareness Center, a joint project between the Port of Oakland and city, started as a nationwide initiative to secure ports by networking sensors and cameras in and around the facilities. The busy port is one of seven U.S. maritime facilities that the Department of Homeland Security considers at highest risk of a terrorist attack.

Since its inception in 2009, the project has ballooned into a surveillance program for the entire city. Some officials already have proposed linking the center to a regional Department of Homeland Security intelligence-gathering operation or adding feeds from surveillance cameras around the Oakland stadium and arena complex.

(Oakland is a hotbed of resistance. Of course the 1% would want to further the police state where it can learn how to resist resistance.)

Edit: They voted on this after midnight and passed it.
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Thu Aug 1, 2013, 05:41 AM (0 replies)

New Snowden leak upstages U.S. move to declassify documents (XKeyscore program = warrantless)

http://news.yahoo.com/u-declassify-documents-spy-programs-surveillance-court-033021541.html

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - New revelations from former security contractor Edward Snowden that U.S. intelligence agencies have access to a vast online tracking tool came to light on Wednesday, as lawmakers put the secret surveillance programs under greater scrutiny.

The Guardian, citing documents from Snowden, published National Security Agency training materials for the XKeyscore program, which the British newspaper described as the NSA's widest-reaching system that covers "nearly everything a typical user does on the Internet."

Intelligence analysts can conduct surveillance through XKeyscore by filling in an on-screen form giving only a "broad justification" for the search and no review by a court or NSA staff, the newspaper said.

(More at the link. Note "no review by a court" = warrantless.)
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Wed Jul 31, 2013, 09:30 PM (2 replies)

How America's Top Tech Companies Created the Surveillance State

http://www.nationaljournal.com/magazine/how-america-s-top-tech-companies-created-the-surveillance-state-20130725

With Edward Snowden on the run in Russia and reportedly threatening to unveil the entire “blueprint” for National Security Agency surveillance, there’s probably as much terror in Silicon Valley as in Washington about what he might expose. The reaction so far from private industry about the part it has played in helping the government spy on Americans has ranged from outraged denial to total silence. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, he of the teen-nerd hoodie, said he’d never even heard of the kind of data-mining that the NSA leaker described—then fell quiet. Google cofounder Larry Page declared almost exactly the same thing; then he shut up, too. Especially for the libertarian geniuses of Silicon Valley, who take pride in their distance (both physically and philosophically) from Washington, the image-curdling idea that they might be secretly in bed with government spooks induced an even greater reluctance to talk, perhaps, than the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which conveniently forbids executives from revealing government requests for information.

But the sounds of silence from the tech and telecom sectors are drowning out a larger truth, one that some of Snowden’s documents might well supply in much greater detail. For nearly 20 years, many of these companies—indeed most of America’s biggest corporate sectors, from energy to finance to telecom to computers—have been doing the intelligence community’s bidding, as America’s spy and homeland-security agencies have bored their way into the nation’s privately run digital and electronic infrastructure. Sometimes this has happened after initial resistance, and occasionally under penalty of law, but more often with willing and even eager cooperation. Indeed, the private tech sector effectively built the NSA’s surveillance system, and got rich doing it.

Books have been written about President Eisenhower’s famous farewell warning in 1961 about the “military-industrial complex,” and what he described as its “unwarranted influence.” But an even greater leviathan today, one that the public knows little about, is the “intelligence-industrial complex.”

The saga of the private sector’s involvement in the NSA’s scheme for permanent mass surveillance is long, complex, and sometimes contentious. Often, in ways that appeared to apply indirect pressure on industry, the NSA has demanded, and received, approval authority—veto power, basically—over telecom mergers and the lifting of export controls on software. The tech industry, in more than a decade of working-group meetings, has hashed out an understanding with the intelligence community over greater NSA access to their systems, including the nation’s major servers (although it is not yet clear to what degree the agency had direct access). “I never saw come and say, ‘We’ll do this if you do that,’ ” says Rebecca Gould, the former vice president for public policy at Dell. “But the National Security Agency always reached out to companies, bringing them in. There are working groups going on as we speak.”

(More at the link. Cross-posted from Occupy Underground.)
Posted by Fire Walk With Me | Wed Jul 31, 2013, 07:40 AM (4 replies)
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