Join the Coalition to Nullify the NSA…it’s up to us


The Plan

In 2006, it was reported that the NSA had maxed out capacity of the Baltimore-area power grid.  Insiders reported that

“The NSA is already unable to install some costly and sophisticated new equipment. At minimum, the problem could produce disruptions leading to outages and power surges.

At worst, it could force a virtual shutdown of the agency.”
August 6, 2006

In other words, the NSA has an Achilles heel.

WATER

To get around the physical limitation of the amount of power required to monitor virtually every piece of communication around the globe, the NSA started searching for new locations with their own power supplies.

The new Utah Data Center opening in Bluffdale was chosen due to the access to cheap utilities, primarily water.  The water-cooled supercomputers require 1.7 million gallons of water per day to function.

No water = No data center.

The water being provided to the Utah Data Center comes from a political subdivision of the state of Utah.

They have the ability to turn that water off.

The situation is the same at many other locations.  Read on for more details.

4TH AMENDMENT PROTECTION ACT

The model legislation (HERE), ready for introduction in any state, would ban a state (and all political subdivisions) from providing assistance or material support in any way with the NSA spying program.

This would include, but is not limited to:

  • Refusing to supply water or electricity from state or locally-owned or operated utilities
  • A ban on all law enforcement acceptance of information provided without warrant, by the NSA or it’s Special Operations Division (SOD)
  • Severe penalties for any corporations providing services for or on behalf of the state which fill the gap and provide the NSA the resources it requires to stay functional.

While the federal government would not be prevented from bringing in its own supplies, it’s not likely that they have the capacity to do so.

The states and local communities should simply turn it off.

LEGAL DOCTRINE  

The legal doctrine behind this is “anti-commandeering.”  It’s the principle that the federal government doesn’t have the authority to force the states (or local communities) to carry out federal laws, regulatory programs, and the like.  The Supreme Court affirmed this three times in recent years, the cases being: 1997 Printz, 2002 New York, 2012 Sebelius.   It also affirmed this doctrine in the 1842 Prigg case where states refused to assist the federal government in capturing and returning runaway slaves.

This is also consistent with what James Madison advised when writing about the Constitution in Federalist #46.  Among the four steps he advised as “powerful means” to oppose federal power was “a refusal to cooperate with officers of the Union.”

MANY LOCATIONS

It’s not just Utah.  The NSA is reliant on many states and local communities to provide the resources required to operate their spying programs.

In Texas, the new data center opening in San Antonio has its electricity provided exclusively by the the city-owned power company.  And the NSA was quite upfront about the fact that Texas was chosen because of its independent power grid.  The NSA is extremely concerned about basic utilities.

And states providing them don’t have to.

In Augusta Georgia, the “threat operations center” has its water and even sewage treatment provided by local government services.

There’s also NSA “data centers” or “listening posts” in Colorado, Washington, West Virginia, Tennessee, and Hawaii.  Each one is a unique circumstance where a multi-prong strategy can and will create roadblocks to implementation.

CORPORATIONS

While many locations rely on state or local governments to assist or directly provide badly-needed utilities, others partner closely with corporations to do so.

For example, in Augusta, Georgia, a partnership with Georgia Power (a subsidiary of the massive electric holding company in the US, the Southern Company), literally kept the lights on.

The local paper reported that “Before a partnership in 2006 with Georgia Power, outages were a regular occurrence on post, particularly during the summer, when heavy demands were placed on the system.”

UNIVERSITIES

The NSA has its tentacles deep into the youth as well, with heavy partnerships at Universities in all but 8 US states.  In late 2012, the NSA reported that there are now 166 universities in this program.  (see the full list here)

These “Centers of Academic Excellence” are not just a recruiting ground for future analysts in the massive spy centers around the country, they provide valuable research partnerships to bolster the NSA’s spying and data-collection capabilities.  Universities are often provided with funding, scholarships and other tools to expand research and recruitment.

LAW ENFORCEMENT

The NSA has often claimed to be engaging in such activities to protect you from “terrorists,” and many people have accepted this kind of personal intrusion with the belief that they were being kept safe.  But the fact is that their programs are much broader – by far.

The Special Operations Division (SOD) was a highly-secret federal unit which is passing information collected without warrant by the NSA to state and local law enforcement for the investigation of regular crimes – not terrorism-related at all.

STRATEGY

A multi-prong strategy is an absolute must when working to prevent the kind of 4th Amendment violations seen under the NSA spying program.

Currently, activists are engaged in the support of lawsuits from EFF and ACLU, and in support of Congressional legislation to limit or stop the NSA.  But waiting for these to play out positively is a dangerous game of chicken.

A recent vote in Congress which failed to defund the NSA spying program indicates that relying on them to stop the NSA isn’t enough.

By approaching the NSA on multiple fronts, it’s certainly possible to overwhelm them and make their programs too difficult or costly to carry out.  A program to Turn it Off and render the NSA’s spying program as good as null and void intersects in 5 main areas:

  1. State legislation – passed in every state, banning cooperation, compliance, and law enforcement collaboration.
  2. Local Resolutions – passed in every possible county, city and town, supporting these principles and calling on the state to pass the 4th Amendment Protection Act
  3. Corporate Protests – and opposition to those corporations providing the resources needed to carry out the NSA spying program.
  4. Campus Actions – including both protests against NSA/University partnerships, and organizational and student government resolutions formally calling for an end to such partnerships.
  5. Environmental concerns – the waste of resources is massive, with millions of gallons of water being used every single day at just one NSA facility.

From Thoreau to Rosa Parks, and from Ghandi to you – a successful strategy to protect your liberties requires non-compliance and peaceful resistance.

And, as Rosa Parks proved, saying “NO!” can change the world.

More here: http://offnow.org/

How to Nullify the NSA (and every other tyrannical government agency)


Here are great ideas we can implement to stop the NSA. Delivered with “solution oriented”, investigative journalism – the way news should be covered. Take action to NULLIFY the NSA today and PLEASE SHARE freely! 

SHOW NOTES AND MP3: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=8413

Hardly a week goes by that we aren’t faced with some new outrageous piece of legislation from the increasingly tyrannical government. But once these bills have been passed, what can we actually do about them? What if stopping this legislation was as simple as saying “no”? Join us this week on The Corbett Report as we explore the nullification solution, a long-repressed piece of political history that offers us a way out.

Afghan Opium Record, GCHQ spoofs LinkedIn, GMO Apples – New World Next Week ~ Corbett Report


Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week:

Story #1: Afghan Opium Output Soars To Record Level…Again
http://ur1.ca/g18to
An Introduction To Gladio B — James Corbett On Breaking The Set
http://ur1.ca/g18tq
NWNW Flashback: UK & Canadian Troops Investigated Over Heroin Trafficking Claims
http://ur1.ca/g18tt
Video Flashback: Geraldo Interviews Soldiers “Guarding” Opium
http://ur1.ca/g18tw
US, Israel Lose UNESCO Voting Rights Over Palestine
http://ur1.ca/g18ty

Story #2: British Spy Agency GCHQ Set Up Fake LinkedIn, Slashdot Pages To Plant Malware
http://ur1.ca/g18u0
British Spies Hacked Telecom Network By Luring Engineers To Fake LinkedIn Pages
http://ur1.ca/g18u3
Oil Espionage: How The NSA And GCHQ Spied On OPEC
http://ur1.ca/g18u4
In Lavabit Appeal, U.S. Doubles Down on Access to Web Crypto Keys
http://ur1.ca/g18u7
Poll Finds American Writers “Self-Censoring” In Wake Of NSA Scandal
http://ur1.ca/g18u9

Story #3: McDonald’s And Gerber Have Not ‘Rejected’ Arctic Apples
http://ur1.ca/g18ud
Industry’s Secret Plan To Get The Feds To Kill GMO Labeling In Every State
http://ur1.ca/g18ue
Factory Forests? USDA Considers Approval Of Genetically Engineered Trees
http://ur1.ca/g18uf

Visit http://NewWorldNextWeek.com to get previous episodes in various formats to download, burn and share. And as always, stay up-to-date by subscribing to the feeds from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy. Thank you.

Previous Episode: Arafat Poisoned, India To Mars, Fukushima Cleanup
http://ur1.ca/g18ui

 

Meet the “Dark Mail Alliance” Planning to Keep the NSA Out of Your Inbox


 

 

 

184211658
Edward Snowden inspired the “Dark Mail Alliance.”

Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty Images

Email might be on the verge of a radical makeover. And the NSA is not going to like it.

On Wednesday, two American companies with a track record of offering encrypted private communications are set to join forces in an unprecedented bid to counter dragnet Internet spying. Some of the world’s top cryptographers are behind the secure communications provider Silent Circle, and they’ve teamed up with the founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by Edward Snowden, which recently shut down in a bid to resist surveillance. They’re calling it the “Dark Mail Alliance.” For months, the team has been quietly working on rebuilding email as we know it—and they claim to have had a breakthrough.

The newly developed technology has been designed to look just like ordinary email, with an interface that includes all the usual folders—inbox, sent mail, and drafts. But where it differs is that it will automatically deploy peer-to-peer encryption, so that users of the Dark Mail technology will be able to communicate securely. The encryption, based on a Silent Circle instant messaging protocol called SCIMP, will apply to both content and metadata of the message and attachments. And the secret keys generated to encrypt the communications will be ephemeral, meaning they are deleted after each exchange of messages.

For the NSA and similar surveillance agencies across the world, it will sound like a nightmare. The technology will thwart attempts to sift emails directly from Internet cables as part of so-called “upstream” collection programs and limit the ability to collect messages directly from Internet companies through court orders. Covertly monitoring encrypted Dark Mail emails would likely have to be done by deploying Trojan spyware on a targeted individual’s computer. If every email provider in the world adopted this technology for all their users, it would render dragnet interception of email messages and email metadata virtually impossible.

Existing forms of email encryption, like PGP, can be used to encrypt the content of an email. But PGP cannot encrypt the “subject” header or metadata like the “to” and “from” fields, and the average user can find it too complicated to use. Dark Mail promises to address both of these issues in the form of an easy-to-use iOS app and an Android app. There will also be desktop versions for Mac and Windows users. People using the technology will still be able to send emails to friends or colleagues using Gmail and Hotmail—but when sending messages to non-Dark Mail users, a warning will be displayed, making it clear that the communication could be intercepted.

Silent Circle and Lavabit don’t plan to offer the technology exclusively. On the contrary, the source code of the software will be made public for anyone to scrutinize and audit, and the team is hoping that other email providers will be willing to join the Dark Mail Alliance. The more companies that do, the more secure email will become.

“Our vision is three or four years from now that this will become email 3.0—the way the majority of Internet users email,” says Mike Janke, Silent Circle’s CEO. The 45-year-old, a former Navy SEAL sniper, acknowledges that the launch of the service is going to be “politically hot.” Major companies like Google and Microsoft may be unwilling to adopt it because of how controversial it could be, with governments potentially furious that the technology could thwart their attempts to monitor communications and track criminals. But surveillance has become “completely out of hand,” Janke says, and he believes it’s time to readdress the balance between security and privacy.

Silent Circle, which launched in 2012, boasts a crack team of renowned cryptographers including Phil Zimmermann and Jon Callas, who developed PGP email encryption and Apple’s whole-disk encryption respectively. The service offers encrypted phone apps for secure calls and texts. It previously operated an email service, but pre-emptively shut it down in August after seeing Lavabit abruptly do the same in response to a sweeping government surveillance order. At the time, Silent Circle said it had to shut its email service because “there are far too many leaks of information and metadata intrinsically in the email protocols themselves.” What the company did not reveal was that it was gearing up to launch a new tool that would address that problem.

With the Dark Mail Alliance technology in place, Silent Circle is planning to resurrect Silent Mail in early 2014. All Dark Mail emails passing over the company’s servers will be encrypted, and it won’t hold the keys to decrypt them. Its servers will be located in Canada and Switzerland. “Any agencies that come down to us have no way to force us to comply [with surveillance] because architecturally it’s impossible,” says Janke. “That’s the beauty of it.”

Ladar Levison, Lavabit’s Texas-based founder, is a natural ally of Silent Circle. He teamed up with the company following his highly publicized face-off with the government, but has been working on implementing secure, privacy-focused communications for the best part of a decade. Levison, who is currently appealing the Justice Department’s attempt to force him to hand over Lavabit’s master encryption keys, plans to work with Silent Circle to help other email providers—large and small—implement the Dark Mail technology on their servers. He is due to formally announce the project during a keynote speech Wednesday at the Inbox Love email conference in California.

When email was first created more than 40 years ago, Levison said in a phone interview Tuesday, it was used on a small scale by researchers who trusted one another and didn’t have to worry about security of the protocols they were using to send messages. But that has drastically changed, as the Snowden disclosures have helped hammer home.

“What we’ve learned is that we need to replace email because it’s just too easy to snoop on,” says Levison. “And if we want to eliminate that from our society, what we need to do is reinvent the protocols from the ground up.”

 

 

Ryan Gallagher is a journalist who reports from the intersection of surveillance, national security, and privacy for Slate‘s Future Tense blog. He is also a Future Tense fellow at the New America Foundation.

http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/10/30/dark_mail_alliance_lavabit_silent_circle_team_up_to_create_surveillance.html

 

EU Parliament Votes to Suspend US from Financial Databank to Avoid Spying as US Denies Spying on Merkel


AFP Photo / Frederick FlorinAFP Photo / Frederick Florin

AFP Photo / Frederick FlorinAFP Photo / Frederick Florin

From RT.,com – October 23, 2013

http://tinyurl.com/q3l5dhf

The European Parliament voted Wednesday for US access to the global financial database held by a Belgian company to be suspended because of concerns that the US is snooping on the database for financial gain rather than just to combat terrorism.

The Strasbourg based parliament voted 280 in favor, with 254 against, with 30 abstentions, and called for a suspension of US access until a full enquiry clarifies the situation.

“We need full transparency, especially with all the NSA revelations. Europe cannot accept that the data of private citizens is being accessed without anyone knowing about it”, Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberals in the European Parliament, told Reuters.

EU lawmakers are concerned that the US is covertly using information from the SWIFT database following leaked US documents aired by Brazil’s biggest television network Globo, which indicated that the US has secretly tapped into SWIFT.

Under current agreements the US has limited access to the SWIFT database. The deal is part of transatlantic cooperation following the September 2001 attacks, and allows certain data from SWIFT to be shared with the US treasury.

The idea was that by sharing on a limited basis the millions of financial messages that take place across the world every day, it would help combat terrorism.

However, the parliament’s vote is symbolic, not binding, and rather reflects EU wide public anger at the NSA spying allegations. The European Commission and the various EU governments will still need to approve a suspension of US access to SWIFT.

The European Commission has said in a statement that it had no immediate plans to propose a suspension of SWIFT to its member states and that it was “still waiting for additional written assurances” that the US was respecting its prior written agreement with the EU.

For its part the US has denied it is doing anything wrong. According to the EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, the US Treasury undersecretary for terrorism, David Cohen, has told her that the US government has respected the 2010 agreement on SWIFT.

But there is undoubtedly a firm belief within certain sections of the EU parliament that the EU should be more careful about what it shares with the US.

“The EU cannot continue to remain silent in the face of these ongoing revelations: It gives the impression we are little more than a lapdog of the United States,” said Jan Albrecht, a German Green in the EU parliament.

The vote comes on the back of allegations by the Le Monde newspaper that the NSA has spied on the agency records of millions of phone calls of top French politicians and business people.

The claims were taken seriously by the French government and on Monday morning the US ambassador to France Charles Rivkin was summoned to the French Foreign Ministry to give an explanation.

It was also reported earlier this week that years of spying on Mexico by the NSA had helped Americans get the upper hand in business talks and get investment opportunities that were more favorable to them.

Obama-and-MerkelUS Denies Tapping Merkel’s Mobile Phone

From Al-Jazeera- October 24, 2013

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/americas/2013/10/us-denies-tapping-merkel-mobile-phone-20131023185133142198.html

German government obtained information that chancellor’s phone had been monitored by US but White House rejects claim.

US President Barack Obama had assured German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the US is not monitoring her communications, according to the White House spokesman.

Carney’s statement on Wednesday comes in response to the German government’s announcement that it has obtained information suggesting the US may have tapped Merkel’s mobile phone.

Merkel called Obama to demand an immediate clarification, her spokesman said in a statement.

“She made clear that she views such practices, if proven true, as completely unacceptable and condemns them unequivocally,” the statement read.

“Between close friends and partners, as Germany and the US have been for decades, there should not be such monitoring of the communications of a government leader. This would be a grave breach of trust. Such practices should be immediately stopped.”

‘Shared security challenges’

For its part, the White House denied that the US is listening in on Merkel’s phone calls now.

“The president assured the chancellor that the United States is not monitoring and will not monitor the communications of the chancellor,” spokesman Jay Carney said.

“The United States greatly values our close cooperation with Germany on a broad range of shared security challenges.”

However, Carney did not specifically say that the US had never monitored or obtained Merkel’s communications.

The news broke as Secretary of State John Kerry, on a visit to Rome, faced fresh questions about mass spying on European allies, based on revelations from Edward Snowden, the fugitive ex-US intelligence operative granted asylum in Russia.

French President Francois Hollande is pressing for the US spying issue to be put on the agenda of a summit of European leaders starting on Thursday.

French newspaper Le Monde reported earlier this week that the National Security Agency (NSA) had collected tens of thousands of French phone records.

Just four months ago, Obama defended US anti-terrorism tactics on a visit to Berlin, telling Germans at a news conference with Merkel that Washington was not spying on ordinary citizens.

http://aquariusparadigm.com/2013/10/24/eu-parliament-votes-to-suspend-us-from-financial-databank-to-avoid-spying-as-us-denies-spying-on-merkel/

Ed. note: Seriously, did U.S. policymakers honestly believe they could get away with spying on EVERYBODY with out MAJOR repercussions??? First we occupy 160+ foreign lands with military operations,  launching multiple illegal wars the U.S. invades and destroys entire country’s, we drive every nation in the world to the brink of bankruptcy and then to make matters even worse, we have virtually every leader and their administration under surveillance??? Talk about psychopathy at the highest levels and an absolutely insane foreign policy!? Time to get creative with pitchforks, guillotines and torches…figuratively speaking of course.

Remember, even if confronted with violence we must keep keep the revolution peaceful at all times. Imagery is very powerful and is enough to make them crap their pants if everywhere they look they see posters, flyers, bumper stickers, images on blog posts, billboards and hackers leaving images of pitchforks and torches on the all office computer screens. Lets shame them to death…shame is also a VERY powerful tool when used properly.

October 26th, 2013 in Washington, D.C. A Rally Against Mass Surveillance


It’s time we drop all dogma’s and “cross cultural” labels to peacefully stand in our power as One People united, lets join together to take our country and the planet back from the criminals….

Announcing the Rally Against Mass Surveillance

18 Sep 2013

The recent NSA revelations have laid it all out: The NSA is watching us online and on our phones. The NSA has corrupted security and cryptography, undermining the fabric of the Internet. Its overreaching surveillance is creating a climate of fear, chills free speech, and violates our basic human rights — and it operates without any meaningful oversight.

But a movement is building to change all this. And we’re about to take the next step.

On Saturday, October 26 — the 12th anniversary of the signing of the USA PATRIOT Act — thousands of people from across the political spectrum will unite in Washington, D.C. to proclaim: Enough is enough. Stop watching us.

StopWatching.Us is a diverse coalition including more than 100 public advocacy organizations and companies from across ideological lines, including the ACLU, Access, Demand Progress, Electronic Frontier Foundation, FreedomWorks, Fight for the Future, Free Press, Mozilla, reddit, Restore the Fourth and Thoughtworks. This coalition is working to organize the biggest mass protest of the NSA’s surveillance programs to date. Will you join us?

Hundreds of thousands of people have spoken out since the major NSA leaks began this June. More than 560,000 people took action at StopWatching.Us by signing our petition to the U.S. Congress. Dozens of members of Congress have introduced bills aimed at reining in the NSA, and hundreds of organizations and companies are uniting to end the NSA’s unconstitutional surveillance.

But we will only succeed if we take the next step and raise our voices.

At the StopWatching.Us rally on October 26, we’ll remind our elected officials that they work for us, not the NSA. We are demanding a full Congressional investigation of America’s surveillance programs, reform to federal surveillance law, and accountability from public officials responsible for hiding this surveillance from lawmakers and the public. And we will personally deliver the half million petition signatures to Congress.

This will be the biggest rally for privacy the U.S. has ever seen. Will you be there? More here:

https://rally.stopwatching.us/?sp_ref=11184902.89.615.f.2613.2

NSA surveillance goes beyond Orwell’s imagination – Alan Rusbridger


theguardian.com, Monday 23 September 2013 17.08 EDT

Guardian editor says depth of NSA surveillance programs greatly exceed anything the 1984 author could have imagined

Alan Rusbridger, Guardian editor

‘All sorts of people around the world are questioning what America is doing,’ Alan Rusbridger told an audience in New York. Photograph: Sarah Lee

The potential of the surveillance state goes way beyond anything in George Orwell‘s 1984, Alan Rusbridger, the Guardian‘s editor-in-chief, told an audience in New York on Monday.

Speaking in the wake of a series of revelations in the Guardian about the extent of the National Security Agency’s surveillance operations, Rusbridger said: “Orwell could never have imagined anything as complete as this, this concept of scooping up everything all the time.

“This is something potentially astonishing about how life could be lived and the limitations on human freedom,” he said.

Rusbridger said the NSA stories were “clearly” not a story about totalitarianism, but that an infrastructure had been created that could be dangerous if it fell into the wrong hands.

“Obama is a nice guy. David Cameron is a nice social Democrat. About three hours from London in Greece there are some very nasty political parties. What there is is the infrastructure for total surveillance. In history, all the precedents are unhappy,” said Rusbridger, speaking at the Advertising Week conference.

He said that whistleblower Edward Snowden, who leaked the documents, had been saying: “Look, wake up. You are building something that is potentially quite alarming.”

Rusbridger said that people bring their own perspectives to the NSA revelations. People who have read Kafka or Orwell found the level of surveillance scary, he said, and that those who had lived or worked in the communist eastern bloc were also concerned.

“If you are Mark Zuckerberg and you are trying to build an international business, this is dismaying to you,” Rusbridger said.

Zuckerberg recently criticised the Obama administration’s surveillance apparatus. “Frankly I think the government blew it,” he told TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco.

The Facebook founder was particularly damning of government claims that they were only spying on “foreigners”.

“Oh, wonderful: that’s really helpful to companies trying to serve people around the world, and that’s really going to inspire confidence in American internet companies,” said Zuckerberg.

“All sorts of people around the world are questioning what America is doing,” said Rusbridger. “The president keeps saying: well we don’t spy on our people. [But] that’s not much comfort if you are German.”

Rusbridger said the world of spying had changed incomparably in the last 15 years. “The ability of these big agencies, on an international basis, to keep entire populations under some form of surveillance, and their ability to use engineering and algorithms to erect a system of monitoring and surveillance, is astonishing,” he said.

He said that as the NSA revelations had gone on, the “integrity of the internet” had been questioned. “These are big, big issues about balancing various rights in society. About how business is done. And about how safe individuals are, living their digital lives.”

The Guardian editor rebuffed criticism from the Obama administration that the newspaper was drip-feeding the stories in order to get the most from them. “Well, the president has never worked in a newsroom,” he said.

“If there are people out there who think we have digested all this material, and [that] we have all these stories that we are going to feed out in dribs and drabs, then I think that misunderstands the nature of news. What is happening is there is a lot of material. It’s very complex material.

“These are not stories that sit up and beg to be told.”

Rusbridger said the Guardian and its partners at the New York Times and ProPublica were working through the material. “It’s a slow and patient business. If I were the president, I would welcome that.”

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/sep/23/orwell-nsa-surveillance-alan-rusbridger

Ed. Note: GnosticMedia.com has done great research with connecting the dots with Orwell and Huxley to MKULTRA, NLP and other mind control programs. It’s was quite shocking to realize how meticulously and masterfully controlling the collective was planned and executed over the last 60-70yrs. Jan has diagrammed all the connections between individuals, corporations, secret societies, think tanks on their YouTube channel in a whole series of jaw dropping videos with interviews on this subject.

 

Glenn Greenwald: on Keith Alexander’s NSA Star Trek “Information Dominance Center”


 

Glenn Greenwald: on Keith Alexander’s NSA Star Trek “Information Dominance Center”
September 15, 2013
http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/15/nsa-mind-keith-alexander-star-trek

A lavish Star Trek room he had built as part of his ‘Information Dominance Center’ is endlessly revealing

It has been previously reported that the mentality of NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander is captured by his motto “Collect it All”. It’s a get-everything approach he pioneered first when aimed at an enemy population in the middle of a war zone in Iraq, one he has now imported onto US soil, aimed at the domestic population and everyone else.

But a perhaps even more disturbing and revealing vignette into the spy chief’s mind comes from a new Foreign Policy article describing what the journal calls his “all-out, barely-legal drive to build the ultimate spy machine”. The article describes how even his NSA peers see him as a “cowboy” willing to play fast and loose with legal limits in order to construct a system of ubiquitous surveillance. But the personality driving all of this – not just Alexander’s but much of Washington’s – is perhaps best captured by this one passage, highlighted by PBS’ News Hour in a post entitled: “NSA director modeled war room after Star Trek’s Enterprise”. The room was christened as part of the “Information Dominance Center”:

“When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a ‘whoosh’ sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather ‘captain’s chair’ in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.

“‘Everybody wanted to sit in the chair at least once to pretend he was Jean-Luc Picard,’ says a retired officer in charge of VIP visits.”

Numerous commentators remarked yesterday on the meaning of all that (note, too, how “Total Information Awareness” was a major scandal in the Bush years, but “Information Dominance Center” – along with things like “Boundless Informant” – are treated as benign or even noble programs in the age of Obama).

But now, on the website of DBI Architects, Inc. of Washington and Reston, Virginia, there are what purports to be photographs of the actual Star-Trek-like headquarters commissioned by Gen. Alexander that so impressed his Congressional overseers. It’s a 10,740 square foot labyrinth in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. The brochure touts how “the prominently positioned chair provides the commanding officer an uninterrupted field of vision to a 22′-0″ wide projection screen”:

The glossy display further describes how “this project involved the renovation of standard office space into a highly classified, ultramodern operations center.” Its “primary function is to enable 24-hour worldwide visualization, planning, and execution of coordinated information operations for the US Army and other federal agencies.” It gushes: “The futuristic, yet distinctly military, setting is further reinforced by the Commander’s console, which gives the illusion that one has boarded
a star ship”:

Other photographs of Gen. Alexander’s personal Star Trek Captain fantasy come-to-life (courtesy of public funds) are here. Any casual review of human history proves how deeply irrational it is to believe that powerful factions can be trusted to exercise vast surveillance power with little accountability or transparency. But the more they proudly flaunt their warped imperial hubris, the more irrational it becomes.

 

NSA Follow the Money branch spied on VISA customers, SWIFT transactions report


 

 

Published: Sep 15, 2013, 07:31 PM
The NSA has been widely monitoring international banking and credit card transactions, a new report says referencing Edward Snowdens leak. The agency targeted VISA customers and global financial service SWIFT and created its own money flows database.
Referring to information leaked by Edward Snowden, a former CIA employee and NSA contractor, German Der Spiegel reports that the surveillance was carried out by a branch called “Follow the Money” (FTM). 
After the information on transactions was obtained, it was redirected to the NSA’s own financial database, called “Tracfin“.
According to the leaked documents, in 2011 the database contained 180 million records, with 84 per cent of those being credit card transactions details.
Among the millions of records, the NSA’s Tracfins also contained data from the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT). Used to conduct business operations with speed, certainty and confidence, this global financial service is used by more than 10,000 banking organizations in 212 countries.
The NSA spied on SWIFT on several levels, involving its “tailored access operations” division, according to the report in Der Spiegel. Reading “SWIFT printer traffic from numerous banks,” was just one of the ways the NSA was accessing the information.
One of the NSAs goals was to “collect, parse and ingest transactional data for priority credit card associations, focusing on priority geographic regions.”
According to documents dated 2010, the agency was spying on large credit card companies customers, Der Spiegel adds. In particular, the NSA was getting access to transactions by VISA customers in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Reportedly, speaking at an internal conference that year, NSA analysts described in detail how the search through the US company’s complex transaction network for tapping possibilities was conducted.
However, when Der Spiegel reached VISA for a comment, its spokeswoman ruled out the possibility that data could be taken from company-run networks.
According to one of the documents, the UK’s intelligence agency, GCHQ, admitted cooperation with the NSA to spy on the world finance system. In its report, concerning the legal perspectives on “financial data”, it said that the collection, storage and sharing of politically sensitive data was a deep invasion of privacy and involved “bulk data” full of “rich personal information,” much of which “is not about our targets.”

 

 

Companies Like Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo And Google Were Paid By The NSA



From: http://www.youtube.com/user/Euronews

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August 25, 2013 – Far from being unwilling participants in America’s National Security Agency’s data trawl it now…

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http://www.euronews.com/2013/08/24/us…
Far from being unwilling participants in America’s National Security Agency’s data trawl it now appears US companies including Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google were actually paid by the NSA.

Secret documents supplied to British newspaper the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden prove the companies took the cash to pay for the costs of making their systems compatible with the NSA’s eavesdropping techniques.

The modifications enabled the NSA to comply with the US constitution’s fourth amendment, which it had been breaking for years by not differentiating between domestic traffic and foreign communications.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance court ruled in October 2011 that the NSA’s actions were unconstitutional, nearly a decade after it had begun its spying activities.

Faced with intense pressure from the UK authorities, which included the detention of David Miranda last week and the confiscation of his data storage devices, the Guardian says it has entered into a partnership with the New York Times. A series of stories are expected to be published jointly next month.

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Journalists Under Attack – New World Next Week ~ Corbett Report



Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week, James and James try something different as they cover a number of updates and addenda to breaking news stories from across the globe:

CIA Documents Acknowledge Role In Iran’s ’53 Operation Ajax Coup
http://ur1.ca/f5vxh

NSA Surveillance Said To Be Broader Than Initially Believed – Covers 75% Of Internet
http://ur1.ca/f5vxk

White House Won’t Condemn Detention of Glenn Greenwald’s Partner
http://ur1.ca/f5vxo

NSA Collects ‘Word for Word’ Every Domestic Communication, Says Former Analyst
http://ur1.ca/ev7ua

Guardian Editor Says Destruction Of Snowden Data “Won’t Harm Our Reporting”
http://ur1.ca/f5vxx

Why The Guardian Destroyed Hard Drives Of Leaked Files
http://ur1.ca/f5vy2

Michael Hastings’ Toxicology Reports Twisted Throughout Media
http://ur1.ca/f5vy7

Bradley Manning Gets 35 Years For Leaking Classified Files
http://ur1.ca/f5vya

Video: Latest Syrian Chemical Attack Follows History of False Flag Provocations
http://ur1.ca/f5vym

Tank At Crippled Japan Nuclear Plant Leaks Highly Radioactive Water
http://ur1.ca/f5vyo

At The Root Of Egyptian Rage Is A Deepening Resource Crisis
http://ur1.ca/f5vyr

Why Conspiracy Theories Still Haunt Princess Diana
http://ur1.ca/f5vyv

Ground Zero On The CIA’s Area 51 “Admissions”
http://ur1.ca/f5vz2

Visit http://NewWorldNextWeek.com to get previous episodes in various formats to download, burn and share. And as always, stay up-to-date by subscribing to the feeds from Corbett Report http://ur1.ca/39obd and Media Monarchy http://ur1.ca/kuec Thank you.

Previous Episode: Lavabit Shutdown, Mars Mission, Weed TV
http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7795

Smart Meters Exposed as part of NSA ‘PRISM’ Spying Scam


 

Smart Meters Exposed as part of NSA ‘PRISM’ Spying Scam
August 15, 2013

http://www.naturalnews.com/041446_smart_meters_national_mandate_surveillance.html

(NaturalNews) There is a sinister agenda underway to forcibly convert every standard electric meter in the U.S. to the “smart” variety under the guise of promoting renewable energy interests. And one of the latest pieces of Trojan horse legislation pushing for this ominous transformation is the Smart Grid Advancement Act of 2013, introduced by Representative Jerry McNerney (D-Cal.) and co-authored by Rep. Matt Cartwright (D-Penn.), which would force utilities all across the country to convert their customers to smart meters.

The new bill, as stated in a recent press release posted on Rep. McNerney’s website, would require virtually all energy utility companies nationwide to implement so-called “smart grid technologies,” which in turn would require the installation of smart meters on customers’ homes and businesses. Smart meters, as you may already be aware, contain wireless communication components that are not only a serious threat to human health, but also a monumental detriment to personal privacy.

But crafty politicians like Rep. McNerney and Rep. Cartwright are couching the technology as a viable way to help save people money by lowering their electricity bills. This explanation, of course, is meant to divert attention away from the not-so-enticing fact that the technology is really nothing more than a massive, interconnected government spying and control apparatus.

“[The bill] would apparently require all electricity providers, including rural cooperatives and municipal utilities, to join the ‘smart’ grid and install ‘smart’ meters,” explains the energy freedom advocacy group StopSmartMeters.org.

What else does this inauspicious bill aim to accomplish? According to a summary of the bill, posted as H.R. 2685 at GovTrack.us — you need to read between the lines to really understand what is being stated in this summary — certified Energy Star appliances and other energy-saving products will be required to contain wireless technologies capable of communicating with both energy providers and potentially even the government.

“[T]he bill would require appliances with the Energy Star label to include wireless transmitters that cannot be turned off, in order to communicate (and presumably cough up your private data and respond to orders from Big Brother Smart Grid to switch you off at a moment’s notice, as happened to dozens of people in Northern California recently when their not-so-smart-AC program cut off their air conditioning at the height of the recent heat wave,” adds StopSmartMeters.org.

“The bill would also establish a ‘smart grid information center’ that would presumably create pro-smart-grid propaganda at the taxpayer’s expense.”

Smart meters exposed as part of NSA ‘PRISM’ spying scam

Even worse is the fact that Landis Gyr, a major smart meter manufacturer that describes itself as a “world leader” in smart grid technology, let the cat out of the bag that the National Security Agency (NSA), which we now know actively spies on innocent Americans’ phone calls and text messages, also uses smart meters to spy on Americans.

Thanks to a NaturalNews reader tip, we learned that Landis Gyr recently had a company voicemail message that admitted smart meter technology is part of the NSA’s “PRISM” spying and surveillance program. Since gaining national attention about this admission, Landis Gyr has apparently altered its company voicemail message to omit this indicting information.

Your help needed to oppose HR 2685, the Smart Meter Trojan Horse Act

H.R. 2685 has been referred to the House Energy and Commerce Committee for consideration, which means this is the first point of contact in effectively killing this bill. StopSmartMeters.org has set up a helpful action page that you can use to contact not only the committee but also the bill’s sponsors and the rest of your Congressmen:
http://stopsmartmeters.org

Sources for this article include:

http://mcnerney.house.gov

http://www.govtrack.us

http://stopsmartmeters.org

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/041446_smart_meters_national_mandate_surveillance.html#ixzz2c5XUFfJP

 

Lavabit Shutdown, Mars Mission, Weed TV ~ New World Next Week, Corbett Report


Welcome to http://NewWorldNextWeek.com — the video series from Corbett Report and Media Monarchy that covers some of the most important developments in open source intelligence news. This week:

Story #1: Encrypted Email Providers Shutter Services To Protect Users From Government Snoops
http://ur1.ca/f2dnl
Microsoft Reverses Itself on Xbox One Camera Requirement Because Of NSA Spying Revelations
http://ur1.ca/f2dnq
Jailed Qwest CEO claimed that NSA retaliated because he wouldn’t participate in spy program
http://ur1.ca/f2dnt
NWNW Flashback: Microsoft’s Kinect – Is Your Videogame Machine Watching You?
http://ur1.ca/f2dnu
Obama Achieves What Nixon Couldn’t As Bradley Manning Convicted Of Espionage
http://ur1.ca/f2dnx

Story #2: More than 100,000 People Want To Fly To Mars In 2022 – And Never Come Back
http://ur1.ca/f2doa
After Six Months, Mars Food Study Researchers Emerge From Under The Dome In Alaska
http://ur1.ca/f2do4

Story #3: Is The CFR Pushing For Medical Marijuana?
http://ur1.ca/f2doh
Video: Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Inside Man’ On Medical Marijuana
http://ur1.ca/f2dol
Video: Weed – A Dr. Sanjay Gupta Special
http://ur1.ca/f2don

Visit http://NewWorldNextWeek.com to get previous episodes in various formats to download, burn and share. And as always, stay up-to-date by subscribing to the feeds from Corbett Report http://ur1.ca/39obd and Media Monarchy http://ur1.ca/kuec Thank you.

Previous Episode: Terrorganda, DEA Data, Eminent Domain
http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7749

 

Lavabit CEO: ‘If You Knew What I Know About Email, You Might Not Use It’ ~ The Young Turks


“The email service reportedly used by surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden abruptly shut down on Thursday after its owner cryptically announced his refusal to become “complicit in crimes against the American people.”*

The encrypted email service reportedly used by Edward Snowden, Lavabit, has shut down abruptly. CEO Ladar Levison published a letter on the company’s website, saying: “I have been forced to make a difficult decision: to become complicit in crimes against the American people or walk away from nearly ten years of hard work by shutting down Lavabit.” Cenk Uygur, Ben Mankiewicz, John Iadarola, and Wes Clark Jr. discuss.

*Read more from The Guardian:
http://www.theguardian.com/technology…

 

Snowden’s Dad SCHOOLS Obama, Pelosi, and Holder in Open Letter


Obama Swearing to Uphold the Constitution

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Re: Civil Disobedience, Edward J. Snowden, and the Constitution

Dear Mr. President:

You are acutely aware that the history of liberty is a history of civil disobedience to unjust laws or practices. As Edmund Burke sermonized, “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Civil disobedience is not the first, but the last option. Henry David Thoreau wrote with profound restraint in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth certainly the machine will wear out. If the injustice has a spring, or a pulley, or a rope, or a crank, exclusively for itself, then perhaps you may consider whether the remedy will not be worse than the evil; but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then, I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter friction to stop the machine.”

Thoreau’s moral philosophy found expression during the Nuremburg trials in which “following orders” was rejected as a defense. Indeed, military law requires disobedience to clearly illegal orders.

A dark chapter in America’s World War II history would not have been written if the then United States Attorney General had resigned rather than participate in racist concentration camps imprisoning 120,000 Japanese American citizens and resident aliens.

Civil disobedience to the Fugitive Slave Act and Jim Crow laws provoked the end of slavery and the modern civil rights revolution.

We submit that Edward J. Snowden’s disclosures of dragnet surveillance of Americans under § 215 of the Patriot Act, § 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Amendments, or otherwise were sanctioned by Thoreau’s time-honored moral philosophy and justifications for civil disobedience. Since 2005, Mr. Snowden had been employed by the intelligence community. He found himself complicit in secret, indiscriminate spying on millions of innocent citizens contrary to the spirit if not the letter of the First and Fourth Amendments and the transparency indispensable to self-government. Members of Congress entrusted with oversight remained silent or Delphic. Mr. Snowden confronted a choice between civic duty and passivity. He may have recalled the injunction of Martin Luther King, Jr.: “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it.” Mr. Snowden chose duty. Your administration vindictively responded with a criminal complaint alleging violations of the Espionage Act.

From the commencement of your administration, your secrecy of the National Security Agency’s Orwellian surveillance programs had frustrated a national conversation over their legality, necessity, or morality. That secrecy (combined with congressional nonfeasance) provoked Edward’s disclosures, which sparked a national conversation which you have belatedly and cynically embraced. Legislation has been introduced in both the House of Representatives and Senate to curtail or terminate the NSA’s programs, and the American people are being educated to the public policy choices at hand. A commanding majority now voice concerns over the dragnet surveillance of Americans that Edward exposed and you concealed. It seems mystifying to us that you are prosecuting Edward for accomplishing what you have said urgently needed to be done!

The right to be left alone from government snooping–the most cherished right among civilized people—is the cornerstone of liberty. Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson served as Chief Prosecutor at Nuremburg. He came to learn of the dynamics of the Third Reich that crushed a free society, and which have lessons for the United States today.

Writing in Brinegar v. United States, Justice Jackson elaborated:

The Fourth Amendment states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

These, I protest, are not mere second-class rights but belong in the catalog of indispensable freedoms. Among deprivations of rights, none is so effective in cowing a population, crushing the spirit of the individual and putting terror in every heart. Uncontrolled search and seizure is one of the first and most effective weapons in the arsenal of every arbitrary government. And one need only briefly to have dwelt and worked among a people possessed of many admirable qualities but deprived of these rights to know that the human personality deteriorates and dignity and self-reliance disappear where homes, persons and possessions are subject at any hour to unheralded search and seizure by the police.

We thus find your administration’s zeal to punish Mr. Snowden’s discharge of civic duty to protect democratic processes and to safeguard liberty to be unconscionable and indefensible.

We are also appalled at your administration’s scorn for due process, the rule of law, fairness, and the presumption of innocence as regards Edward.

On June 27, 2013, Mr. Fein wrote a letter to the Attorney General stating that Edward’s father was substantially convinced that he would return to the United States to confront the charges that have been lodged against him if three cornerstones of due process were guaranteed. The letter was not an ultimatum, but an invitation to discuss fair trial imperatives. The Attorney General has sneered at the overture with studied silence.

We thus suspect your administration wishes to avoid a trial because of constitutional doubts about application of the Espionage Act in these circumstances, and obligations to disclose to the public potentially embarrassing classified information under the Classified Information Procedures Act.

Your decision to force down a civilian airliner carrying Bolivian President Eva Morales in hopes of kidnapping Edward also does not inspire confidence that you are committed to providing him a fair trial. Neither does your refusal to remind the American people and prominent Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate like House Speaker John Boehner, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann,and Senator Dianne Feinstein that Edward enjoys a presumption of innocence. He should not be convicted before trial. Yet Speaker Boehner has denounced Edward as a “traitor.”

Ms. Pelosi has pontificated that Edward “did violate the law in terms of releasing those documents.” Ms. Bachmann has pronounced that, “This was not the act of a patriot; this was an act of a traitor.” And Ms. Feinstein has decreed that Edward was guilty of “treason,” which is defined in Article III of the Constitution as “levying war” against the United States, “or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.”

You have let those quadruple affronts to due process pass unrebuked, while you have disparaged Edward as a “hacker” to cast aspersion on his motivations and talents. Have you forgotten the Supreme Court’s gospel in Berger v. United States that the interests of the government “in a criminal prosecution is not that it shall win a case, but that justice shall be done?”

We also find reprehensible your administration’s Espionage Act prosecution of Edward for disclosures indistinguishable from those which routinely find their way into the public domain via your high level appointees for partisan political advantage. Classified details of your predator drone protocols, for instance, were shared with the New York Times with impunity to bolster your national security credentials. Justice Jackson observed in Railway Express Agency, Inc. v. New York: “The framers of the Constitution knew, and we should not forget today, that there is no more effective practical guaranty against arbitrary and unreasonable government than to require that the principles of law which officials would impose upon a minority must be imposed generally.”

In light of the circumstances amplified above, we urge you to order the Attorney General to move to dismiss the outstanding criminal complaint against Edward, and to support legislation to remedy the NSA surveillance abuses he revealed. Such presidential directives would mark your finest constitutional and moral hour.

Sincerely,
Bruce Fein
Counsel for Lon Snowden
Lon Snowden

Bruce Fein & Associates, Inc.
722 12th Street, N.W., 4th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
Phone: 703-963-4968
bruce@thelichfieldgroup.com

Posted at: http://www.activistpost.com/2013/07/snowdens-dad-schools-obama-pelosi-and.html?m=1

ANONYMOUS: Senator Dianne Feinstein has received over $698,244 from NSA affiliates in political donations, since the formation of PRISM in 2007


Anonymous Operation NSA’s first target: Californian Senator Dianne Feinstein. She has taken over $698,000 in bribes from security and defense contractors to vote in favor of them and against you. – See more at:




Video transcript:

Greetings Californian State Senator Dianne Feinstein. We are Anonymous.
Did you think that your actions against the citizens of this country would go unnoticed?

Did you think that we the people, would not respond to your gruesome dishonesty?

We have been watching.

In accordance with phase II of #Op NSA we have found you, Senator Feinstein, GUILTY Of supporting unconstitutional acts carried out by the Government and its agencies.

Although the opinion of the FISA court that oversees the National Security Agency’s operations is often not released to the public, we are now making it known to the public.

While the public may have been kept in the dark; you, Senator Feinstein were fully aware  of the FISA court’s two thousand and eleven opinion. Eighty pages detailing how the National Security Agency’s surveillance conduct is in direct violation of the fourth amendment of the United States Constitution as well as in excess of the limitations imposed by the statute:  The FISA amendments act of two thousand and eight.

When you told the American people that you have no knowledge of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, PRISM, of violating anyone’s civil liberties or freedoms:
You were lying.

Today the first strand of the virus has been identified.  Here is the information you, the people need to know to address the system failure.

Californian State Senator Dianne Feinstein has received over $698,244 from NSA affiliates in political donations, since the formation of PRISM in 2007.
These relationships go back much longer than that however, and will continue to do so.

These donations come from organizations such as BAE Systems, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, SAIC, Raytheon, General Dynamics, QualComm, L-3 Communications, Palantir and Lockheed Martin.

She also voted in favor of the PATRIOT act in two thousand and eleven and sits on various committees as Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

Member of the Subcommittee on Department of Defense,

Member of the Subcommittee on Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies and a Member of the Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law amongst many others.

Lastly let us not forget Senator Feinstein firmly stands by her wishes to see NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden tried for treason, punished to the fullest extent of the law.

We are Anonymous.
We are Legion.
You should have expected us.

http://xrepublic.tv/node/4463

 

Federal Services Data hub: mysterious, centralized database will contain tons of your private data


Monday, July 22, 2013

 

 

Madison Ruppert
Activist Post

While many news outlets are discussing the exposure of the National Security Agency’s surveillance programs, far fewer are discussing the “Federal Data Services Hub,” a database created by the Affordable Care Act.

The hub will allow access to one of the largest centralized collections of personal data in American history, perhaps even dwarfing the Next Generation Identification program and its predecessor, Secure Communities.

Stephen Parente, finance professor t the University of Minnesota, and Paul Howard, director of the Manhattan Institute’s Center for Medical Progress, wrote that the data hub “could be the largest consolidation of personal data in the history of the republic.”

“If you think identity theft is a problem now, wait until Uncle Sam serves up critical information on 300 million American citizens on a platter,” they wrote.

However, the government claims that it isn’t actually a database in the traditional sense.

The hub acts as a way to route mass amounts of personal information between state and federal systems and will not store consumer information directly, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

The data hub will be operated by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under the authority of the Affordable Care Act, better known as Obamacare, but many others will have access to the personal information contained therein.

Data will include everything from Social Security numbers to income data, family size, citizenship and immigration status, incarceration status and enrollment status in other health plans, Investor’s Business Daily reported.

While CMS claims that the data hub won’t actually store our personal information, an Obama administration regulatory notice seems to contradict that claim.

In the filing, it is revealed that information will be “maintained in the system” and will include “but may not be limited to” the following:

the applicant’s first name, last name, middle initial, mailing address or permanent residential address (if different from the mailing address), date of birth, Social Security Number (if the applicant has one), taxpayer status, gender, ethnicity, residency, email address, and telephone number.

It continues to state that the “system will collect and maintain information that the applicant or the application filer on behalf of other applicants submits pertaining to” citizenship or immigration status, enrollment in “Federally funded minimum essential health coverage,” Indian status, and enrollment in employer-sponsored coverage.

It gets considerably worse from there with, “requests for and accompanying documentation to justify receipt of individual responsibility exemptions,” employer information, status as a veteran, health status information (like pregnancy status, disability, blindness), household income “including tax return information from the IRS, income information from the Social Security Administration, and financial information from other third party sources.”

To make it even more clear that CMS isn’t being all that truthful about their claims, the filing states that the “The purpose of this system is to collect, create, use and disclose PII [personally identifiable information] on individuals who apply for eligibility determinations.”

To make matters even worse, the filing states that the federal government claims the authority disclose highly personal information like that outlined above “without the consent of the individual.”

This information can be disclosed to a disturbingly broad range of entities and individuals, including “agency contractors, consultants, or grantees” who claim they “need to have access to the records” to help Obamacare function.

Individuals in law enforcement also have access to the records, in order to “investigate potential fraud.”

It is quite clear that many are quite concerned about this new database.

While some bloggers have said that “the potential for abuse is enormous,” pointing out the fact that the system would be potentially vulnerable to hackers and others, politicians have spoken out as well.

Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.), for instance, wrote that the Obama administration still has not answered “even the most basic questions about the Data Hub,” including a list of who will have access to what records and what training and clearances will be required for access.

You might not have a problem with such a massive database being created for the purposes of implementing Obamacare, but you probably don’t like the idea of that information being vulnerable to hackers.

Unfortunately, the federal and state governments don’t have a great track record when it comes to keeping data like this safe.

In 2012, a foreign hacker accessed 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers from the South Carolina Department of Revenue’s computer system.

The Internal Revenue Service is similarly insecure with a 2012 Government Accountability Office report stating that security holes in IRS systems “continue to jeopardize the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the financial and sensitive taxpayer information.”

Between 2009 and 2010, the IRS also released personally identifiable information belonging to taxpayers and failed to notify people of the breaches in a timely fashion, according to a Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration report.

In 2011, it was reported that the Social Security Administration did not tell thousands of Americans that the agency had released their Social security numbers, names and dates of birth in a widely used electronic database.

“If these government agencies can’t protect data kept on their own servers, how much more vulnerable will these databases be when they’re constantly getting tapped by the ObamaCare Data Hub?” wrote John Merline for Investor’s Business Daily.

Indeed, given the fact that so-called “Navigators” will have widespread access to your highly personal data, the chances of the information being improperly used skyrocket.

Who can actually be a navigator is not all that clear, though one document states that navigators are “organizations which facilitate education about and enrollment in qualified health plans (QHPs) through Exchanges.”

One writer stated that they are “community and consumer-focused nonprofit groups, to which exchanges award grants to provide fair and impartial public education” and “refer consumers as appropriate for further assistance.”

“Thousands of such people will have unfettered access to the Data Hub, but there are only sketchy guidelines on how they will be hired, trained and monitored,” James S. Robbins wrote.

In addition to navigators, agencies ranging from the Social Security Administration to the IRS to the Department of Homeland Security, Veterans Administration, Office of Personnel Management, Department of Defense, state governments, the Department of Justice and even the Peace Corps will have access to the data hub.

In late June, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas), Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany Jr., M.D. (R-La.) wrote a letter expressing their concerns about the Federal Data Services Hub.

“The failure to conduct and conclude testing of the system raises questions about whether all the necessary safeguards will be in place to protect the release of confidential health and taxpayer information once the exchanges begin accepting enrollees this fall,” the signatories stated.

For those concerned about the NSA’s massive surveillance programs, it looks like you have yet another alarming government program to keep on your radar.

I’d love to hear your opinion, take a look at your story tips and even your original writing if you would like to get it published. I am also available for interviews on radio, television or any other format. Please email me at Admin@EndtheLie.com

Please support our work and help us start to pay contributors by doing your shopping through our Amazon link or check out some must-have products at our store.

This article first appeared at End the Lie.

Madison Ruppert is the Editor and Owner-Operator of the alternative news and analysis database End The Lie and has no affiliation with any NGO, political party, economic school, or other organization/cause. He is available for podcast and radio interviews. Madison also now has his own radio show on UCYTV Monday nights 7 PM – 9 PM PT/10 PM – 12 AM ET. Show page link here: http://UCY.TV/EndtheLie. If you have questions, comments, or corrections feel free to contact him at admin@EndtheLie.com

http://www.activistpost.com/2013/07/federal-services-data-hub-mysterious.html#more

 

Obama administration drowning in lawsuits filed over NSA surveillance


 

AFP Photo / DPA / Angelika Warmuth / Germany out

Obama administration drowning in lawsuits filed over NSA surveillance
Get short URL Published time: July 16, 2013 17:39
Edited time: July 17, 2013 10:26
http://rt.com/usa/snowden-leaks-surveillance-suits-174/

Attorneys for the Electronic Frontier Foundation have sued the Obama administration and are demanding the White House stop the dragnet surveillance programs operated by the National Security Agency.

Both the White House and Congress have weighed in on the case of Edward Snowden and the revelations he’s made by leaking National Security Agency documents. Now the courts are having their turn to opine, and with opportunities aplenty.

Day by day, new lawsuits waged against the United States government are being filed in federal court, and with the same regularity President Barack Obama and the preceding administration are being charged with vast constitutional violations alleged to have occurred through the NSA spy programs exposed by Mr. Snowden.

The recent disclosures made by Snowden have generated commotion in Congress and the White House alike. The Department of Justice has asked for the 30-year-old former Booz Allen Hamilton worker to be extradited to the US to face charges of espionage, and members of both the House and Senate have already held their share of emergency hearings in the wake of Snowden’s series of disclosures detailing the vast surveillance programs waged by the US in utmost secrecy. But with the executive and legislative branches left worrying about how to handle the source of the leaks — and if the policies publicized should have existed in the first place — the courts could soon settle some disputes that stand to shape the way the US conducts surveillance of its own citizens.

Both longstanding arguments and just-filed claims have garnered the attention of the judicial branch in the weeks since the Guardian newspaper first began publishing leaked NSA documents attributed to Snowden on June 6. But while the courts have relied previously on stalling or stifling cases that challenge Uncle Sam’s spy efforts, civil liberties experts say the time may be near for some highly anticipated arguments to finally be heard. Now on the heels of lawsuits filed by the likes of the American Civil Liberties Union and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, groups are coming out of the woodwork to wage a legal battle against the White House.


The most recent example came this week when a coalition of various organizations filed suit together against the Obama administration by challenging “an illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet electronic surveillance, specifically the bulk acquisition, collection, storage, retention and searching of telephone communications information.” Represented by attorneys from the EFF and others, the plaintiffs in the latest case filed Tuesday in San Francisco federal court include an array of groups, such as: First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles; Bill of Rights Defense Committee; Calguns Foundation; California Association of Federal Firearms Licensees; Council on Islamic Relations; Franklin Armory; Free Press; Free Software Foundation; Greenpeace; Human Rights Watch; Media Alliance; National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; Open Technology Institute; People for the American Way, Public Knowledge; Students for Sensible Drug Policy; TechFreedom; and Unitarian Universalist Service Committee.

Cindy Cohn, the legal director of the EFF, told the Washington Post that the NSA leaks credited to Snowden have been a “tremendous boon” to the plaintiffs in recently filed court cases challenging the surveillance state. The courts are currently pondering at least five important cases, Cohn told the Post, which could for once and for all bring some other issues up for discussion.

Since June 6, the American Civil Liberties Union, a Verizon Wireless customer and the founder of conservative group Judicial Watch have all filed federal lawsuits against the government’s collection of telephony metadata, a practice that puts basic call records into the government’s hands without a specific warrant ever required and reported to the media by Mr. Snowden. Larry Klayman of Judicial Watch has also sued over another revelation made by Snowden — the PRISM Internet eavesdropping program — and the Electronic Privacy Information Center, or EPIC, has asked the Supreme Court to vacate the order compelling Verizon Business Network Services to send metadata to the feds.

Perhaps most important, however, is a California federal court’s recent decision to shutdown the government’s request to stop the case of Jewel vs. NSA from proceeding. That debate first began in 2008 when Jewel, a former AT&T customer, challenged the government’s “illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance” as exposed by a whistleblower at the telecom company. That case has seen roadblock after roadblock during the last five years, but all that changed earlier this month.  The government long argued that Jewel v. NSA can’t go up for discussion because the issues at hand are privileged as ‘state secrets’ and can’t be brought into the public realm.

“[T]he disclosure of sensitive intelligence sources and methods . . . reasonably could be expected to cause exceptionally grave harm to national security,” the government wrote in one earlier filing. “The very purpose of these cases is to put at issue whether the NSA undertook certain alleged activities under presidential authorization after 9/11, and whether those activities continue today. At every stage, from standing to the merits, highly classified and properly privileged intelligence sources and methods are at risk of disclosure. The law is clear, however, that where litigation risks or requires the disclosure of information that reasonably could be expected to harm national security, dismissal is required.”

Following Snowden’s recent disclosures, though, Judge Jeffrey White of the Northern District of California ruled on July 8 that there’s a way for those cases to still be heard.

“The court rightly found that the traditional legal system can determine the legality of the mass, dragnet surveillance of innocent Americans and rejected the government’s invocation of the state secrets privilege to have the case dismissed,” the EFF’s Cohn, who is working on the case, said in a statement issued at the time of the ruling. “Over the last month, we came face-to-face with new details of mass, untargeted collection of phone and Internet records, substantially confirmed by the Director of National Intelligence. Today’s decision sets the stage for finally getting a ruling that can stop the dragnet surveillance and restore Americans’ constitutional rights.”

Sen. Ron Wyden (Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images / AFP)

Weighing in weeks later to the Post, Cohn said that outcome could have more of an impact than many might imagine. “It’s tremendous, because anything that allows these cases to proceed is important,” she said.

Speaking to the New York Times this week, American Civil Liberties Union attorney Jameel Jaffer said that until now the government has operated a “shell game” to shield it’s surveillance programs from litigation. “[T]he statute has been shielded from judicial review, and controversial and far-reaching surveillance authorities have been placed beyond the reach of the Constitution,” he said.

Should Cohn’s prediction come true, though, the courts could decide to weigh in and reshape the way the government currently conducts surveillance.

According to University of Pittsburgh law professor Jules Lobel, a victory there could come in more than one way. “There is a broader function to these lawsuits than simply winning in court,” he told the Post. “The government has to respond, and forcing them to go before a court might make them want to change aspects of the programs.”

“The government does things to avoid embarrassment,’’ he added, “and lawsuits are a key pressure point.’’

Interviews to the Post and the Times come just days after Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Oregon), a long-time member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he thought the revelations made by Snowden may influence the White House to reconsider their surveillance practices before the courts can even have their chance.

“I have a feeling that the administration is getting concerned about the bulk phone records collection, and that they are thinking about whether to move administratively to stop it,” Sen. Wyden told the Times.

“I think we are making a comeback,” he said.

 

James Bamford ~ NSA, U.S. Cyber Command & the Global Brave New World of Surveillance ~ Red Ice Creations



July 15, 2013
James Bamford is an American author and journalist noted for his writing about United States intelligence agencies, especially the National Security Agency (NSA). He has written for The New York Times Magazine, The Atlantic, Harper’s, and many other publications. James is the author of three books, his latest being The Shadow Factory. We’ll discuss a brief history of NSA before moving on to the most recent news regarding Edward Snowden and the CIA. James describes the connected activities of the US Cyber Command, overseen by Commander Keith Alexander who also is the current Director of the NSA. U.S. Cyber Command is the world’s most advanced cyber warfare agency. We ask James who the targets are. He explains how terrorism is being used as the excuse to take us further into a global brave new world of surveillance.

LISTEN HERE

 

TalkingStickTV – Naomi Wolf – The End of America


On the heels of the Edward Snowden revelations of widespread surveillance of American citizens by the NSA, Naomi’s speech is far more relevant today than it was in 2007. She nailed it…maybe now, more people will be willing to listen. 

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Talk by Naomi Wolf author of “The End of America: Letter of Warning To A Young Patriot” given October 11, 2007 at Kane Hall on the University of Washington campus.

Downloadable audio mp3 of this talk can be found at http://www.radio4all.net/proginfo.php…

Interview with Naomi Wolf discussing “The End of America” available at http://youtube.com/watch?v=aW9PulYpjGs