tagged w/ NSA
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the contrary, hundreds of US citizens overseas have been eavesdropped on as they called friends and family back home, according to two former military intercept operators who worked at the giant National Security Agency (NSA) center in Fort Gordon, Georgia.
The chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), called the allegations "extremely disturbing" and said the committee has begun its own examination.
"We have requested all relevant information from the Bush Administration," Rockefeller said Thursday. "The Committee will take whatever action is necessary."
"These were just really everyday, average, ordinary Americans who happened to be in the Middle East, in our area of intercept and happened to be making these phone calls on satellite phones," said Adrienne Kinne, a 31-year old US Army Reserves Arab linguist assigned to a special military program at the NSA's Back Hall at Fort Gordon from November 2001 to 2003.
Kinne described the contents of the calls as "personal, private things with Americans who are not in any way, shape or form associated with anything to do with terrorism."
Another intercept operator, former Navy Arab linguist, David Murfee Faulk, 39, said he and his fellow intercept operators listened into hundreds of Americans picked up using phones in Baghdad's Green Zone from late 2003 to November 2007.
The accounts of the two former intercept operators, who have never met and did not know of the other's allegations, provide the first inside look at the day to day operations of the huge and controversial US terrorist surveillance program.
But the accounts of the two whistleblowers, which could not be independently corroborated, raise serious questions about how much respect is accorded those Americans whose conversations are intercepted in the name of fighting terrorism.
Faulk says he and others in his section of the NSA facility at Fort Gordon routinely shared salacious or tantalizing phone calls that had been intercepted, alerting office mates to certain time codes of "cuts" that were available on each operator's computer.
"Hey, check this out," Faulk says he would be told, "there's good phone sex or there's some pillow talk, pull up this call, it's really funny, go check it out. It would be some colonel making pillow talk and we would say, 'Wow, this was crazy'," Faulk told ABC News.
Faulk said he joined in to listen, and talk about it during breaks in Back Hall's "smoke pit," but ended up feeling badly about his actions.
"I feel that it was something that the people should not have done. Including me," he said.
In testimony before Congress, then-NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden, now director of the CIA, said private conversations of Americans are not intercepted.
Despite pledges by President George W. Bush and American intelligence officials to the... more
Americans mistakenly believe that the CIA (and other intelligence agencies for whom it provides cover) only operates against other countries.
In fact, it operates against all who it perceives as potential threats to the government's comfort i.e. any movement that demonstrates independence of thought and action.
Here's how it operates in other countries, which is really not that much different from how it operates at home: Full?Americans mistakenly believe that the CIA (and other intelligence agencies for whom it... more
The Department of Homeland Security has been given the money it needs to begin turning international spy satellites within the country's borders, despite lingering fears about the program's lack of focus and the potential for it to infringe upon Americans' civil liberties.
After more than a year of delay, Congress quietly authorized DHS to begin sharing data gathered by military satellites with civilian and law enforcement agencies. A $634 billion spending bill signed into law earlier this week provides funds for DHS to establish the satellite surveillance program, known as the National Applications Office, without addressing the myriad concerns about NAO privacy and civil liberties protections that had been delaying its implementation.
Supporters of the program claim, according to the Wall Street Journal, that its scope will be limited to "emergency response and scientific needs," but civil liberties advocates and some members of Congress fear the door has been open for the highly classified satellite surveillance program to shift into high gear.
More from this article:
http://rawstory.com/news/2008/DHS_satellite_spy_program_going_forward_1002.htmlThe Department of Homeland Security has been given the money it needs to begin turning... more
A few days ago, a senior officer at the Pentagon called his intelligence officer into his office. The boss had heard a news report about China while driving to his office and wanted some answers. It wasn't a tough assignment, given the news coverage, but there was a hitch. "There was plenty of information in the public domain about the topic," recalls the intelligence officer, a 10-year veteran. "And yet, if there wasn't some classified information cited in my report, the boss would never believe it was accurate."
This is a great story. Read on....A few days ago, a senior officer at the Pentagon called his intelligence officer into... more
The era of the American Internet is ending.
Invented by American computer scientists during the 1970s, the Internet has been embraced around the globe. During the network’s first three decades, most Internet traffic flowed through the United States. In many cases, data sent between two locations within a given country also passed through the United States.
Engineers who help run the Internet said that it would have been impossible for the United States to maintain its hegemony over the long run because of the very nature of the Internet; it has no central point of control.
And now, the balance of power is shifting. Data is increasingly flowing around the United States, which may have intelligence — and conceivably military — consequences.
American intelligence officials have warned about this shift. “Because of the nature of global telecommunications, we are playing with a tremendous home-field advantage, and we need to exploit that edge,” Michael V. Hayden, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2006. “We also need to protect that edge, and we need to protect those who provide it to us.”
Indeed, Internet industry executives and government officials have acknowledged that Internet traffic passing through the switching equipment of companies based in the United States has proved a distinct advantage for American intelligence agencies. In December 2005, The New York Times reported that the National Security Agency had established a program with the cooperation of American telecommunications firms that included the interception of foreign Internet communications.
Some Internet technologists and privacy advocates say those actions and other government policies may be hastening the shift in Canadian and European traffic away from the United States.
“Since passage of the Patriot Act, many companies based outside of the United States have been reluctant to store client information in the U.S.,” said Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center in Washington. “There is an ongoing concern that U.S. intelligence agencies will gather this information without legal process. There is particular sensitivity about access to financial information as well as communications and Internet traffic that goes through U.S. switches.”The era of the American Internet is ending. Invented by American computer... more
When somebody within your own government calls you out, do you show up? How do you handle it?
Wayne Madsen, always spoiling for a fight with Bush and Cheney, or the chance to show off his undies to minimum wage airport TSA workers, has an executive level NSA staff person on record saying that significant sentiment exists within the NSA to kill troublesome bloggers and journalists.
The NSA executive staffer was, apparently, not the source of the sentiment, but this individual did pass along the context and the precise wording of the “junior G-man” working in the NSA. Prominent names listed in the NSA database of troublemakers?
1. Bill Gertz
2. James Bamford
3. Vernon Loeb
4. Jim Risen
5. Dr. John C. K. Daly
6. Wayne Madsen
7. Seymour Hersh
These were all the names Madsen published, but there are, of course, many others. Possibly you, gentle reader.
If not now, probably later.
As much as Madsen hates Daily Kos, I would think that if Kos was in the database, he would have published his name, too. Markos Moulitsas Zuniga — a name that should just roll off the Hebroid-Russian tongue of George Soros, and frequently does — is he NOT in the NSA’s database of journalists and bloggers to be put out of Cheney’s misery?
Wear nice underwear when you travel, bloggers. The TSA will soon be checking your anal orifice for that extra 3 ounces of shampoo you just can’t live without.When somebody within your own government calls you out, do you show up? How do you... more
In December of last year, The Washington Post revealed:
Four members of Congress met in secret for a first look at a unique CIA program designed to wring vital information from reticent terrorism suspects in U.S. custody. For more than an hour, the bipartisan group, which included current House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), was given a virtual tour of the CIA’s overseas detention sites and the harsh techniques interrogators had devised to try to make their prisoners talk.
Among the techniques described, said two officials present, was waterboarding, a practice that years later would be condemned as torture by Democrats and some Republicans on Capitol Hill. But on that day, no objections were raised. Instead, at least two lawmakers in the room asked the CIA to push harder, two U.S. officials said.
Identically, numerous key Democrats in Congress were told that Bush had ordered the NSA to spy on American without warrants and outside of FISA. None of them did anything to stop it.
In light of this sordid history of active complicity, is it really any wonder that these leading Democrats are desperate to quash any investigations or judicial adjudications of Bush administration actions that they knew about and did nothing to stop, in some cases even actively supporting?
In December of last year, The Washington Post revealed: Four members of Congress... more
Congress is now considering whether the President has unilateral power to ask companies to break American law.
Don't let these corporations get away with invading our privacy. If we do, a dangerous precedent will be set and you will see not just the phone companies, but electric, gas, and any company that has information on you to read your mail, tap your phones, find out what toilet paper you use, or whatever.... without a warrant. Without a court order and totally illegal since the corps will know the government will protect them from felonies involving any of this. MAKE THEM PAY for their crimes!!!
For more than five years, AT&T and other telephone companies broke the law and violated their customers' privacy rights by sending billions of private domestic internet and telephone communications and records to the National Security Agency. (See Diagram)
1. Reporting from every major American media outlet and undisputed whistleblower evidence show that AT&T and other phone companies were complicit in the NSA's warrantless surveillance. This included the records and full content of the private domestic communications of millions of ordinary Americans. The President and the phone companies hid this information from Congress and the American people for at least six years.
2. These actions violated at least four major privacy laws that have protected Americans' privacy for over 30 years. The laws deliberately and specifically require telephone companies to safeguard the privacy of their customers communications, especially when the government seeks to access them. The violation of these laws is at the core of almost forty pending lawsuits against AT&T, Verizon, MCI, Sprint and other telephone companies. These lawsuits have been consolidated before Judge Vaughn Walker in California.
3. Now, the phone companies and the Bush administration are trying to bar Americans from defending their privacy. Their arguments in favor of retroactive immunity are manipulative, illogical and simply unconvincing.
4. The American people deserve their day in court. Companies that break the law deserve to be held accountable. Oppose retroactive amnesty for telecommunications companies.
“AT&T cannot seriously contend that a reasonable entity in its position could have believed that the alleged domestic dragnet was legal."
-Judge Vaughn Walker
"The Whistleblower Vs. The Spies"
AT&T Technician Mark Klein speaks out
This guy worked there and helped the NSA set up all the equipment at AT&T which allowed the government to collect info on all Americans going thru AT&T. He figured it was not right and now spoke out about it.
And, when you've finished reading the above and the article and any document you want to examine, please go to this page http://www.stopthespying.org/ to determine who you representative in congress is and let em know you don't want the phone companies getting away with what they did. Again its at:
http://www.stopthespying.org/Congress is now considering whether the President has unilateral power to ask... more
By Blank DeCoverly
BLF Minister of Propaganda
The Billboard Liberation Front [has] a major new advertising improvement campaign executed on behalf of clients AT&T and the National Security Agency. Focusing on billboards in the San Francisco area, this improvement action is designed to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants.
“This campaign is an extraordinary rendition of a public-private partnership,” observed BLF spokesperson Blank DeCoverly. “These two titans of telecom have a long and intimate relationship, dating back to the age of the telegraph. In these dark days of Terrorism, that should be a comfort to every law-abiding citizen with nothing to hide.”
Full story at link.By Blank DeCoverly BLF Minister of Propaganda The Billboard Liberation Front... more
Five hours into their assault on West Point, the hackers got serious.
The SQL [structured query language] inserts that came earlier were just pablum intended to lull the Army cadets into a false sense of security. But then the bad guys unleashed a stealthy kernel-level rootkit that burrowed into one workstation, started scraping data and "calling home."
It was a highly sophisticated attack, but this time the bad guys were really good guys in wolves' clothing.
For four days in late April, the National Security Agency -- the nation's most secretive repository of spooks, snoops and electronic eavesdroppers -- directed coordinated assaults on custom-built networks at seven of the nation's military academies, including West Point, the Army university 50 miles north of New York City. Five hours into their assault on West Point, the hackers got serious. The SQL... more
Iraq's government moved Sunday to restore discipline within the ranks of the security forces, sacking more than 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted during recent fighting against Shiite militias in Basra.
At the same time, Iraq's Cabinet ratcheted up the pressure on anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr by approving draft legislation barring political parties with militias from participating in upcoming provincial elections.
National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley said "Iran is very active in southern Iraq".
What do you guys make of it?Iraq's government moved Sunday to restore discipline within the ranks of the... more
The Government Accountability Office at the NSA remains unused since no one in Congress has asked GAO to perform any oversight of the Agency, the head of GAO disclosed last week.The Government Accountability Office at the NSA remains unused since no one in... more
The Protect America Act could be a massive win for terrorists or foreign security services by providing one target to subvert with a huge payoff, say security researchers:
By diverting the flow of so much domestic data into a few massive pools, the administration may have built 'for its opponents something that would be too expensive for them to build for themselves', say the authors: 'a system that lets them see the US's intelligence interests...[and] that might be turned' to exploit conversations and information useful for plotting an attack on the United States.
The Protect America Act could be a massive win for terrorists or foreign security... more
Anyone who believes in preserving civil liberties in this country should be very concerned about any vote on this bill coming up this week. If the Senate does not get the 60 votes it needs to put this down (to support Sen. Dodd's filibuster) telecoms would not be held accountable for spying on Americans under Bush's illegal spying program that he used to supercede FISA. I already sent letters to Sens. Obama, Clinton, and McCain asking them to get off the campaign trail and vote to hold telecom companies accountable for breaking the law and to defend our civil liberties. Will they do so? McCain, probably not. However, will Sens. Obama and Clinton do the right thing to show Americans (which polls for those who care about them show Americans are unanimously against immunity for telecoms) that when they say they want "change" they mean it? Or will they simply call "present" and allow this administration to take away more of our rights and the ability to hold corporations that violate the law accountable? They are both already in a position to create change. So where is it?Anyone who believes in preserving civil liberties in this country should be very... more
The EFF would like to thank everyone for standing with EFF in opposing telecom immunity in the past. It's time to contact your Senators once again. As early as next Monday, the Administration and its allies are trying to end Senate debate on FISA and telecom immunity and force a vote on the Senate Intelligence Committee's bill -- a bill that would broadly expand the executive branch's spying powers while granting immunity to telecoms that broke the law and assisted in the NSA's illegal domestic spying.
Now is the time to urge your Senators to vote no on "cloture" in order to keep the debate going!
Every time you've taken action to fight against immunity, it's made a huge difference. In November, your calls helped to ensure that the Senate Judiciary Committee did not include telecom amnesty in its surveillance bill, and in December your calls helped convince Harry Reid to delay the vote until January. Both times, the pundits assumed we didn't stand a chance, and both times we proved them wrong.
It's time to beat the odds again. Visit the EFF Action Center now.The EFF would like to thank everyone for standing with EFF in opposing telecom... more
This NY Times story giving new details on the telecom carriers' cooperation with secret NSA (and other) domestic spying programs. One revelation is that the Drug Enforcement Agency has been running a program since the 1990s to collect the phone records of calls from US citizens to Latin America in order to catch narcotics traffickers. Another revelation is what exactly the NSA asked for in 2001 that Qwest balked at supplying. According to the article, it was access to the company's most localized communications switches, which primarily carry domestic calls.This NY Times story giving new details on the telecom carriers' cooperation with... more
Much of the evidence in the case can not be submitted due to "Sate Secret" nature of the files. Many see this as a key win for the Bush administration and its wire taping program. Many civil rights organizations have claimed that the battle is far from over.Much of the evidence in the case can not be submitted due to "Sate Secret"... more
A federal appeals court has dealt a setback to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the NSA's warrantless surveillance program, ruling that the state secrets privilege precludes the use of evidence gleaned from a classified document inadvertently given to a Muslim charity accused of terrorist ties. But in a hopeful sign for the Electronic Frontier Foundation's pending class action lawsuit against AT&T, the three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit took a dim view of the government's broader claim that the very existence of the so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program was a state secret.A federal appeals court has dealt a setback to plaintiffs in a lawsuit against the... more