Waiting For Everyman
Waiting For Everyman's Journal
Hometown: Towson, Maryland
Home country: USA
Current location: near Washington, D.C.
Member since: Mon Jun 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 7,444
Hometown: Towson, Maryland
Home country: USA
Current location: near Washington, D.C.
Member since: Mon Jun 23, 2008, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 7,444
Welcome & Help intro thread: http://www.democraticunderground.com/12561083
26 Sens.: NSA is relying on a "secret body of law" to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens
A bipartisan group of 26 US senators has written to intelligence chiefs to complain that the administration is relying on a "secret body of law" to collect massive amounts of data on US citizens.
The senators accuse officials of making misleading statements and demand that the director of national intelligence James Clapper answer a series of specific questions on the scale of domestic surveillance as well as the legal justification for it.
In their strongly-worded letter to Clapper, the senators said they believed the government may be misinterpreting existing legislation to justify the sweeping collection of telephone and internet data revealed by the Guardian.
"We are concerned that by depending on secret interpretations of the Patriot Act that differed from an intuitive reading of the statute, this program essentially relied for years on a secret body of law," they say.
In a press statement, the group of senators added: "The recent public disclosures of secret government surveillance programs have exposed how secret interpretations of the USA Patriot Act have allowed for the bulk collection of massive amounts of data on the communications of ordinary Americans with no connection to wrongdoing."
Senators signing the letter:
Ron Wyden (D-Or), Mark Udall (D-Co), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt), Mark Kirk (R-Il), Dick Durbin (D-Il), Tom Udall (D-NM), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jon Tester (D-Mt), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Dean Heller (R- Nev),Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt), Patty Murray (D-Wash), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Al Franken (D-Minn), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Chris Coons (D-Del), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn), Max Baucus (D-Mont), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc) and Mike Lee (R-Utah).
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Mon Jul 1, 2013, 04:07 PM (128 replies)
This is a photo gallery, but the mix of opinions on this is worthwhile to see, and some DUers might not be able to go to a page that has pics.
“In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” Al Gore tweeted.
“This is yet another example of government overreach that forces the question, ‘What sort of state are we living in?’ There is clearly a glaring difference between what the government is doing and what the American people think they are doing,” Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) said in a statement.
“I’m glad the NSA is trying to find out what the terrorists are up to overseas and in our country,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said on the Fox News show, “Fox & Friends.”
“As far as I know, this is the exact three-month renewal of what has been in place for the past seven years. … This renewal is carried out by the under the business records section of the Patriot Act. Therefore, it is lawful. It has been briefed to Congress,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said.
“Why they would need that much data puzzles me. It just seems strange that they would collect all of that only to, I’m sure, drill down on certain aspects later on. That was a surprise and raises some questions that I think we ought to answer,” said Sen. Jeff Flake (R- Ariz.) to MSNBC’s Chris Jansing.
“This type of secret bulk data collection is an outrageous breach of Americans’ privacy. I have had significant concerns about the intelligence community over-collecting information about Americans’ telephone calls, emails and other records,” said Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) in a statement.
“I’ve been a supporter of FISA and the FISA court process, but it does seem to me that on all fronts, the Obama administration is more expansive and aggressive — from drones to phone records — than the Bush administration,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) said.
“This is nothing new. This has been going on for seven years … every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this. To my knowledge, there has not been any citizen who has registered a complaint. It has proved meritorious because we have collected significant information on bad guys, but only on bad guys, over the years,” Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.) said.
“I think if what you’re trying to do is avoid the kind of terrorism that occurred in Boston or the kind of terrorism that almost occurred in Times Square a couple years ago, I am for whatever it takes as long as it’s restricted to the National Security Agency and doesn’t get involved in looking for criminal behavior or other kind of things,” Newt Gingrich, speaking to CNN’s Piers Morgan.
“When is it legitimate to gather this private information on citizens and collect, extort, and use it? That is going to be a conundrum for lawyers and policymakers going forward because technology is driving this right now. Our ability to gather so much information on individuals and store it on something as big as a microchip really changes the way we do this. That moral point, that ethical question is going to be permeating throughout this discussion going forward,” said former RNC Chairman Michael Steele to MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts.
“Within the last few years, this program was used to stop a terrorist attack in the United States. We know that. It’s important. It fills in a little seam that we have, and it’s used to make sure that there’s not an international nexus to any terrorism event that they may believe is ongoing in the United States,” Rep. Mike Roger (R-Mich) said.
“Drone strikes. Wiretaps. Gitmo. Renditions. Military commissions. Obama is carrying out Bush’s 4th term, yet he attacked Bush for violating the Constitution,” Ari Fleischer, George W. Bush’s press secretary, said.
“The United States should not be accumulating phone records on tens of millions of innocent Americans. That is not what democracy is about. That is not what freedom is about,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) said.
“Never thought I would agree with Al Gore but in the case of the #NSA he’s right. The secret blanket surveillance is obscenely outrageous,” Rep. Lee Terry (R-Neb.) tweeted.
“Civil liberties are incredibly important in this country and to have a FISA court basically give a perpetual court order of telephone records …I think it goes against what this country is founded on.” Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) said on MSNBC.
“The American people have a right to know whether their government thinks that the sweeping, dragnet surveillance that has been alleged in this story is allowed under the law and whether it is actually being conducted. Furthermore, they have a right to know whether the program that has been described is actually of value in preventing attacks. Based on several years of oversight, I believe that its value and effectiveness remain unclear,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) said.
“The National Security Agency’s seizure and surveillance of virtually all of Verizon’s phone customers is an astounding assault on the Constitution. After revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political dissidents and the Department of Justice seized reporters’ phone records, it would appear that this Administration has now sunk to a new low,” Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) said.
“I do not believe the released FISA order is consistent with the requirement of the Patriot Act. How could the phone records of so many innocent Americans be relevant to an authorized investigation as required by the Act?” Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis) said in a letter.
“We believe this type of program is far too broad and is inconsistent with our nation’s founding principles. We cannot defeat terrorism by compromising our commitment to our civil rights and liberties,” Prominent Democrats including Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), on the House Judiciary committee said in a joint statement.
“Everyone should just calm down and understand this isn’t anything that is brand new. It’s been going on for some seven years. And we’ve tried often to try to make it better, and we’ll continue to do that,” Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) told reporters.
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Mon Jul 1, 2013, 02:04 PM (0 replies)
Also anyone who has a say over the NSA itself, or the interests of the 1%
Most of the political figures who matter have been wiretapped and profiled by NSA. Not only them, but their staff; not only in D.C., but in their home districts. He didn't say specifically, but it follows that their families wouldn't be excluded from that.
He said this practice is systemic, and the ones he knows about personally are naturally only the tip of the iceberg. He elaborated on those he knows of from his own direct knowledge, to give us an idea of the kinds of people NSA is focusing on. Below is the list of those that he happened to mention in this interview. (He did say there were more he could name, but the interview went on to other things.) First he spoke in general of job categories, then he named some names, including Barack Obama in 2004. Yes, he knows that, he held the wiretap in his own hand and saw it with his own eyes:
journalists and news agencies
high-ranking military officers
members of Congress - Senate and House, both parties, especially those on the Intelligence Committees, Armed Services Committees, and Judiciary Committees
judges, 1 on the Supreme Court; 2 former FISA court judges
State Department officials
Executive Branch, including in the White House
civil rights groups
US international corporations
Banks and financial firms
NGO's like the Red Cross
He names some by name
Barack Obama in 2004
Sen. Diane Feinstein
Sen. Orrin Hatch
Sen. Patrick Leahy
Sen. Carl Levin
Rep. James Saxton
Rep. Peter Hoekstra
Rep. Tom Davis
Sen. Henry Waxman
Sen. Jay Rockefeller
Sen. John McCain
Sen. Evan Bayh
Gen. Colin Powell
Gen. Eric Shinseki
Gen. David Petraeus
He said that the one Supreme Court judge he saw an order for was Alito, but that his coworkers still inside the NSA say that all 9 have been tapped.
He is very worried about the opportunity NSA has to blackmail political figures, in fact he says that is principally why he became a whistlblower. The capability is certainly there, which is a problem in itself.
Going by what we have seen, of good people such as POTUS changing their positions against the interest of the 99%, this would explain a lot. It is entirely likely that we have not just a situation of money buying people off, but of the Surveillance State blackmailing those who can't be bought.
I think back to the very first news story after PO was elected, and it was the one about Jesse Jackson Jr. being arrested through a wiretap. I think it's possible that could have been meant to be a message to PO. I don't know that it's a fact (of course) but it is possible, that such blackmailing is going on. And the fact that it's possible, is a problem. The potential for blackmail has always been recognized as a security risk. Now we have that to the nth degree within our own government.
Below is Tice's interview from June 19th a few weeks ago. I'd post it from a different source but Tice said that other outlets have been afraid to have him on, and have even backed out of his recent scheduled appearances at the last minute. I started the video at 45 minutes in, where he starts talking about what's in this post and it continues to the end of the tape. But the whole thing is worth listening to. This man knows, and what he's saying is no joke.
Edit: apparently the link won't start where I wanted it to, so just go to 45:50 to find where he begins talking about this subject.
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Mon Jul 1, 2013, 09:08 AM (2 replies)
(National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney ) estimates the NSA has assembled 20 trillion "transactions" — phone calls, emails and other forms of data — from Americans. This likely includes copies of almost all of the emails sent and received from most people living in the United States.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Well, after some of the laws they passed, like the PATRIOT Act and their secret interpretation of Section 215, which is—my view, of course, is same as Tom Drake’s, is that that gives them license to take all the commercially held data about us, which is exceedingly dangerous, because if you take that and put it into forms of graphing, which is building relationships or social networks for everybody, and then you watch it over time, you can build up knowledge about everyone in the country. And having that knowledge then allows them the ability to concoct all kinds of charges, if they want to target you. Like in my case, they fabricated several charges and attempted to indict us on them. Fortunately, we were able to produce evidence that would make them look very silly in court, so they didn’t do it. In fact, it was—I was basically assembling evidence of malicious prosecution, which was a countercharge to them. So...
AMY GOODMAN: Do you believe all emails, the government has copies of, in the United States?
WILLIAM BINNEY: I would think—I believe they have most of them, yes.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Actually, I think the surveillance has increased. In fact, I would suggest that they’ve assembled on the order of 20 trillion transactions about U.S. citizens with other U.S. citizens.
WILLIAM BINNEY: Right. And I think it’s to silence what’s going on. But the point is, the data that’s being assembled is about everybody. And from that data, then they can target anyone they want... That, by the way, estimate only was involving phone calls and emails. It didn’t involve any queries on the net or any assembles—other—any financial transactions or credit card stuff, if they’re assembling that. I do not know that, OK.
the last page of a 4 part Democracy Now interview which starts here:
There are programs now that build that metadata into profiles, and those profiles are being used to concoct charges against anyone the PTB want. It is being done NOW. If that isn't a problem as some see it, then I don't what is. And if that isn't surveillance, then the word has been redefined.
No way in hell is there probable cause for 20 trillion transactions.
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Sun Jun 30, 2013, 12:47 AM (2 replies)
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Thu Jun 27, 2013, 01:13 PM (2 replies)
and I hope there are more whistleblowers after him. Until the Surveillance State apparatus is repealed, actions like Snowden's will be necessary to stop the damn thing.
No, I'm not paranoid about saying so. There was a time when I would've been though, I understand that feeling. I am one who has dealt with harassment from that angle, every so often, ever since the Nixon years, and I long ago stopped buying its "bogeyman" image -- I know from my own direct experience that 'they' are cowards, and not very bright. At this point, I think I have simply outlived the pod that was on my back. But if they care to play again, I know how it moves, I know what it looks like, and I know what to do about it. I no longer have anything to lose, except myself, and I'm an 'old lady' now. I'm left from it with nothing but a story, which is too complicated to tell, even if I wanted to -- which I don't. Even if I did want to, I know that no one would believe it anyway (only those who have dealt with it too, and they don't need telling). So there has been an impasse for a long while now, and I expect it to stay that way. But I couldn't care less if it doesn't. It has already wrecked my life, and there is nothing more that it can do, nothing that I care about.
And I'll tell you something funny -- I'm one of the most patriotic people on this board. It isn't the government that did this to me, but a criminal element within it. And I'd like nothing better than to see that rooted out. Maybe not in my lifetime, but I believe someday it will be.
Posted by Waiting For Everyman | Tue Jun 25, 2013, 10:28 AM (0 replies)
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