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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:13 PM
Original message

Domestic Spying, Inc.
by Tim Shorrock , Special to CorpWatch

November 27th, 2007

A new intelligence institution to be inaugurated soon by the Bush administration will allow government spying agencies to conduct broad surveillance and reconnaissance inside the United States for the first time. Under a proposal being reviewed by Congress, a National Applications Office (NAO) will be established to coordinate how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and domestic law enforcement and rescue agencies use imagery and communications intelligence picked up by U.S. spy satellites. If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the U.S. one of the world's most closely monitored nations. Until now, domestic use of electronic intelligence from spy satellites was limited to scientific agencies with no responsibility for national security or law enforcement.

The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC). These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.

The NAO was created under a plan tentatively approved in May 2007 by Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell. Specifically, the NAO will oversee how classified information collected by the National Security Agency (NSA), the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other key agencies is used within the U.S. during natural disasters, terrorist attacks and other events affecting national security. The most critical intelligence will be supplied by the NSA and the NGA, which are often referred to by U.S. officials as the eyes and ears of the intelligence community. The NSA, through a global network of listening posts, surveillance planes, and satellites, captures signals from phone calls, e-mail and Internet traffic, and translates and analyzes them for U.S. military and national intelligence officials.

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), which was formally inaugurated in 2003, provides overhead imagery and mapping tools that allow intelligence and military analysts to monitor events from the skies and space. The NSA and the NGA have a close relationship with the super-secret National Reconnaissance Agency (NRO), which builds and maintains the U.S. fleet of spy satellites and operates the ground stations where the NSAs signals and the NGAs imagery are processed and analyzed. By law, their collection efforts are supposed to be confined to foreign countries and battlefields.

The National Applications Office was conceived in 2005 by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), which Congress created in 2004 to oversee the 16 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community. The ODNI, concerned that the legal framework for U.S. intelligence operations had not been updated for the global war on terror, turned to Booz Allen Hamilton of McLean, Virginia -- one of the largest contractors in the spy business. The company was tasked with studying how intelligence from spy satellites and photoreconnaissance planes could be better used domestically to track potential threats to security within the U.S.. The Booz Allen study was completed in May of that year, and has since become the basis for the NAO oversight plan. In May 2007, McConnell, the former executive vice president of Booz Allen, signed off on the creation of the NAO as the principal body to oversee the merging of foreign and domestic intelligence collection operations.

More Here:
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LSK Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:14 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
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bleever Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Me too.
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seemslikeadream Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
3. We're there
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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:18 PM
Response to Original message
4. I had to giggle at the SAIC reference.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. Remember SAIC?

A majority of officials on SAIC's board are former members of either the Pentagon or the CIA including:

Army Gen. Wayne Downing, formerly on the National Security Council

Bobby Ray Inman; former CIA Director

Retired Adm. William Owens, former vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

Robert Gates, another former director of the CIA.

So we have a CIA/military private firm that programmed the security in the voting machines for companies owned by some of the largest military contracts in the country. No wonder the Co-founder of the Citizens Alliance for Secure Elections, Susan Truitt said November 3: "Seven counties in Ohio have electronic voting machines and none of them have paper trails. That alone raises issues of accuracy and integrity as to how we can verify the count. A recount without a paper trail is meaningless; you just get a regurgitation of the data. Last year, Blackwell tried to get the entire state to buy new machines without a paper trail. The exit polls, virtually the only check we have against tampering with a vote without a paper trail, had shown Kerry with a lead. ... A poll worker told me this morning that there were no tapes of the results posted on some machines; on other machines the posted count was zero, which obviously shouldn't be the case."

More here:
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Hotler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:20 PM
Response to Original message
5. They were cocky before the last elections...
They know this one like the last election is stolen already. It's to late folks. It's going to get really bad before the neocons are hanged.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
6. And our congress is going along with it.
This is such bullshit. We are surrenduring our rights without a fight.
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:59 PM
Response to Reply #6
15. It CAN happen here.
Edited on Thu Nov-29-07 03:04 PM by alyce douglas
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bdamomma Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. kick
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:22 PM
Response to Original message
8. I'm STILL wondering what in the Sam Hill THIS thing is:
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Senate Votes To Expand Warrantless Surveillance
Senate Votes To Expand Warrantless Surveillance
White House Applauds; Changes Are Temporary
By Joby Warrick and Ellen Nakashima

The Senate bowed to White House pressure last night and passed a Republican plan for overhauling the federal government's terrorist surveillance laws, approving changes that would temporarily give U.S. spy agencies expanded power to eavesdrop on foreign suspects without a court order.

The 60 to 28 vote, which was quickly denounced by civil rights and privacy advocates, came after Democrats in the House failed to win support for more modest changes that would have required closer court supervision of government surveillance. Earlier in the day, President Bush threatened to hold Congress in session into its scheduled summer recess if it did not approve the changes he wanted.


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Lint Head Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
11. Fascism in the 21st Century.
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Orwellian_Ghost Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:26 PM
Response to Original message
12. An example
California City to Transform Red Light Cameras Into Spy Cameras
Oakland, California to lobby legislature to allow 24-hour video surveillance with red light camera system.

Red light cameraPrivacy advocates have long viewed red light cameras with the suspicion that the devices were the first step down a path of increased surveillance. Those fears may come true as the city of Oakland, California has revealed that it is working with the state legislature to secure a change in the law that will allow red light cameras to become full-scale surveillance cameras. In a memo from the Oakland Police Department dated June 26, Police Chief Wayne G. Tucker recommended that the city's lobbyist be ordered to advocate a new law in Sacramento.

"The legislation would also allow the use of those (red light camera) images for evidentiary purposes other than the enforcement of red light violations, such as reckless driving, assaults, public nuisance activity, drug dealing, etc."

The request came in conjunction with a plan to allow camera vendor Redflex to operate 20 video cameras at intersections 24-hours a day. The city council unanimously approved this ticketing contract with the Australian company on July 17 which is expected to generate several million in new revenue.

Because California law currently forbids the use of red light cameras for spying, the proposed ordinance urged deletion of the following passage from the Vehicle Code Section 21455.5: "Confidential information obtained from the Department of Motor Vehicles for the administration or enforcement of this article shall be held confidential, and may not be used for any other purpose."

Oakland recommends this passage be replaced with, "Photographic records may be used by law enforcement agencies for any law enforcement purpose." One observer suggested Oakland's red light program may be a Trojan Horse.

"While certain municipalities have installed surveillance cameras in high crime areas on the theory that the public has no expectation of privacy on public property, it has also been recognized that these cameras can be directed at targets located on private property for the 'private and pleasurable' purposes of camera operators," OneCitizenSpeaking wrote. "There does not appear to be any apparent safeguards or penalties associated with this unauthorized spying on private citizens which is totally unrelated to public necessity and which is unlikely to be discovered by abused and aggrieved members of the public."

A full copy of the memo is available in a 660k PDF file at the source link below.

You are duly warned

The relentless approach of global feudalism:

"In addition to these pragmatic goals, the powers of financial capitalism had
another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of
financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of
each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be
controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting
in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and
conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International
Settlements in Basle, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by
the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations."

Prof. Carroll Quigley (Tragedy & Hope)

"The interests behind the Bush Administration, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, The Trilateral Commission - founded by Brzezinski for David Rockefeller - and the Bilderberger Group, have prepared for and are now moving to implement open world dictatorship within the next five years. They are not fighting against terrorists. They are fighting against citizens."

Dr. Johannes B. Koeppl, Ph.D., former German defense ministry official and advisor to former NATO Secretary General Manfred Werner (2001)

"The technotronic era involves the gradual appearance of a more controlled society. Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen and maintain up-to-date complete files containing even the most personal information about the citizen. These files will be subject to instantaneous retrieval by the authorities."

Zbigniew Brzezinski.
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leveymg Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Nov-28-07 11:31 PM
Response to Original message
13. If they're talking publicly about this now, it means it happened at least five years ago
Like TIA, and TSP, and The Program, and Able Danger, and Carnivore, and Daytona, and . . .

"U.S. Spying Is Much Wider, Some Suspect" from the Los Angeles Times, Sunday December 25, 2005.

The Nation: U.S. Spying Is Much Wider, Some Suspect
December 25, 2005


For The Record

Los Angeles Times Wednesday December 28, 2005 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 40 words Type of Material: Correction

Domestic spying -- An article in Sunday's Section A about the National Security Agency's domestic spying activities said an FBI "data mining" program called Carnivore was created after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. It was created in June 2000.


Home Edition, Main News, Page A-1

By Josh Meyer and Joseph Menn, Times Staff Writers

WASHINGTON -- President Bush has acknowledged that several hundred targeted Americans were wiretapped without warrants under the National Security Agency's domestic spying program, and now some U.S. officials and outside experts say they suspect that the government is engaged in a far broader U.S. surveillance operation.

Although these experts have no specific evidence, they say that the NSA has a vast array of satellites and other high-tech tools that it could be using to eavesdrop on a much larger cross-section of people in the United States without permission from a court.

The suspicion is quietly gaining currency among current and former U.S. intelligence officials and among outside experts familiar with how the NSA operates.

The NSA conducts such "wholesale" surveillance continuously almost everywhere else in the world. It does so by using a sprawling network of land-based satellite transponder stations and friendly foreign intelligence agencies and telecommunication companies to collect millions of phone calls, e-mails and other communications.

Powerful NSA supercomputers search this "sigint" -- short for signals intelligence -- for words that might suggest terrorist plots, such as "bomb," then pass the information to intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

Gen. Michael V. Hayden, former head of the NSA and now the No. 2 U.S. intelligence official, has said the NSA does not use the same technologies to purposely spy on Americans. The agency is prohibited from doing so by federal laws enacted after the domestic spying scandals of the 1970s.

Rare exceptions must be approved by a special court overseeing the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The top-secret tribunal considers requests for warrants when the NSA or FBI believes such surveillance is needed to protect national security.

This month it was disclosed that the Bush administration has circumvented the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to monitor hundreds of Americans since the Sept. 11 attacks without any warrants. Bush and his inner circle said the practice is limited to occasions when an individual in the U.S. is communicating with someone overseas who has a known link to Al Qaeda, other terrorist groups or their supporters.

But some officials and other experts believe the top-secret program may be doing more than that.

"It's really obvious to me that it's a look-at-everything type program," said cryptography expert Bruce Schneier, who has written several books about security.

Schneier and others suspect that the NSA may be turning its satellites toward the United States and gathering vast streams of raw data from many more people than disclosed -- potentially including all e-mails and phone calls from the United States to certain other countries.

Companies Cooperate

These experts were chiefly talking about satellite surveillance, but the NSA can use other means to eavesdrop. The New York Times reported Saturday that the NSA has collected large volumes of telephone and Internet communications since the Sept. 11 attacks by "tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries."

Leading telecommunication companies have been saving information on calling patterns and passing it along to the government, the newspaper said. The companies have also given the NSA access to electronic switches that connect U.S. and overseas communications networks, a "significant expansion" of NSA capabilities, it said.

Phone companies and others have cooperated with U.S. agencies including the NSA for years. In the early 1990s, AT&T agreed to use an NSA-designed chip to ensure that law enforcement had access to phone calls.

And AT&T has a database code-named Daytona that keeps track of phone numbers on both ends of calls as well as the duration of all land-line calls, according to a business executive who has been briefed on the system.

"This started as a way for phone companies to dig out fraud," the executive said Saturday. After Sept. 11, intelligence agencies began to view it as a potential investigative tool, and the NSA has had a direct hookup into the database, he said.

After such massive volumes of information are collected, they are searched for suspicious language. The administration could thus argue that only hundreds of people were monitored because those conversations were the ones that were flagged because they contained suspicious words, Schneier said.

"If a computer looks at all e-mail and says 'bing' once, is that monitoring one person or millions?" Schneier asked. "The Bush numbers are depending on that subterfuge."

One former senior Pentagon official who has overseen such "data mining" said he also believed the NSA was probably conducting such wholesale surveillance.

"It's a reasonable hypothesis," the official said, adding that he believed it was necessary against savvy terrorists who would otherwise remain undetected.

One former NSA signals-intelligence analyst, Russell D. Tice, said the agency has long had such ability.

"I'm not allowed to say one way or another what the NSA is or is not doing. But the technology exists," said Tice, who left the NSA this year.

"Say Aunt Molly in Oklahoma calls her niece at an Army base in Germany and says, 'Isn't it horrible about those terrorists and Sept. 11?' " Tice said: That conversation would not only be captured by NSA satellites listening in on Germany -- which is legal -- but flagged and listened to by NSA analysts and possibly transcribed for further investigation.

"All you would have to do is move the vacuum cleaner a little to the left and begin sucking up the other end of that conversation," Tice said. "You move it a little more and you could be picking up everything people are saying from California to New York."

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T.Ruth2power Donating Member (371 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 02:32 PM
Response to Original message
14. Stories from the History of U.S. Government Surveillance
Stories from the History of U.S. Government Surveillance

During national crises, the United States government often reacts overzealously. It takes actions that curtail the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people. These laws, executive orders and government measures have been in reaction to public fears and public demands for a swift response. Yet the flames of fear have also been fanned for political advantage. Federal agencies have acted to intimidate, harass, alienate, deport, and silence organizations and individuals. Historically, dissenting voices included advocates as diverse as labor and peace activists, immigrant-rights groups, political opponents, and civil rights leaders.

Jack O'Dell and Julian BondThe targets often are those with the most precarious standing in the country: minorities and new immigrants. Ironically, it is the struggle of the people on the fringes of society that has strengthened the civil rights of all Americans.

Tracked in America introduces the stories of 25 individuals who have been targeted by the U.S. government. The stories span from World War I to the post-9/11 world. Six eminent historians provide historical perspective and context to the time periods in which these individuals were under surveillance. Together, the profiles convey the courage of these individuals and reveal a dangerous pattern of government surveillance. /

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txaslftist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 03:38 PM
Response to Original message
16. Awesome. We piss away our liberties and call people fighting for it
"fringe" candidates, like Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel and Ron Paul.

The rest of the candidates either engage our desire for comfortable freebies (universal health care, social security); our need to dominate the world (continue the war in Iraq, sabre-rattle at Iran); our desire to be on the "electable" "winning" team (Hillary can beat 'em all! Giuliani can beat Hillary!) or our fetish for blood and racial violence (Tancredo -shoot 'em at the border; nuke Iran until it glows; triple the size of Gitmo). So we trade in our freedom for "freedom from want" or "freedom to bomb" or "freedom to drill" or "freedom to torture".

Disgusting. What a disgusting result of a failed experiment in democratic republicanism America turned out to be. God save the free world from us.
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lovuian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-29-07 04:07 PM
Response to Original message
17. Britain is worst than us

they were the trial group and we are the ultimate takeover
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