The PATRIOT Act And The Whistleblowers Who Challenged Mass Surveillance After 9/11

26 October 2021 — THE DISSENTER

Mark Klein, former AT&T technician who blew the whistle on NSA warrantless wiretapping (Photo: insunlight)

[Editor’s Note: To mark the 20th anniversary of the rise of the American security state after the September 11th attacks, The Dissenter continues a retrospective on this transformation in policing and government.]

Mark Klein worked for over twenty years as a technician for the AT&T Corporation. He blew the whistle on the AT&T’s collaboration with the National Security Agency, which allowed for warrantless wiretapping of phone and internet communications.

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DC Court of Appeals Requires Environmental Review for Implementation of 5G

30 October 2019 —

Appeals Court unanimously overturns FCC Effort to Eliminate NEPA and Historic Review

Duns agency ‘arbitrary and capricious’ actions

A federal appeals court has vacated and remanded the “arbitrary and capricious” Federal Communications Commission’s decision to allow AT&T Inc., Verizon, and other wireless carriers, cell phone facilities owners and operators to bypass historic preservation and environmental reviews for 5G networks.

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Net neutrality and the drive to censor the internet

25 November 2017 — WSWS

Wednesday’s move by the Trump administration to end net neutrality marks a milestone in the offensive by the US government and major corporations to put an end to the free and open internet, paving the way for widespread government censorship of oppositional news and analysis.

Under the current law, upheld by numerous court decisions and reaffirmed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in 2015, companies that provide internet access to users, known as internet service providers (ISPs), cannot block or impede their users’ access to any website or service.

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We Need To Put Our Foot Down On Net Neutrality By Justine Bateman

24 November, 2009 – Media Channel 2.0

net-neutrality.jpgThe web as you know it is going to end.

  • The ease with which to reach your favorite sites is going to end.
  • The speed with which to reach those sites is going to end.
  • The ease with which you share videos with friends is going to end.
  • The freedom to access the site of any organization from Planned Parenthood to The Christian Coalition is going to end.
  • Access to the wide selection of web-series is going to end.
  • Access to the amazing choice of shopping sites is going to end.
  • Access to information from a multitude of educational institutions is going to end.

This is because:

a) You are moving to China.
b) You are moving to Iran.
c) You are severing your ISP connection.
d) The efforts of ATT, Comcast, Time/Warner Cable, Verizon, Verizon Wireless, The NCTA

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Spying on Americans: The Bipartisan National Security State – Telecoms Lobby US Congress By Tom Burghardt

20 October, 2009 — Global ResearchAntifascist Calling

The bipartisan consensus that encourages unaccountable secret state agencies to illegally spy on the American people under color of a limitless, and highly profitable, “war on terror” was dealt a (minor) blow October 13.

Federal District Court Judge Jeffrey White denied a motion by the Obama administration that the court issue a 30-day stay to “release records relating to telecom lobbying over last year’s debate over immunity for corporate participation in government spying,” the Electronic Frontier Foundation reported.

The Justice Department had argued that the Bush, and now, the Obama administration’s Office of Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and Congress were exempt from releasing lobbying records under the Freedom of Information Act, since consultations amongst said grifters were protected as “intra-agency” records.

One might add, since the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a well-funded surveillance-industrial-complex fueled by giant defense firms and the telecommunications industry have, as investigative journalist Tim Shorrock reported back in 2005 “fielded armies of lobbyists to keep the money flowing.”

White’s denial of a motion for a stay followed a startling admission by Department of Justice (DoJ) attorneys that America’s telecommunication firms are actually “an arm of the government–at least when it comes to secret spying,” Wired reported October 8. The government had argued that:

“The communications between the agencies and telecommunications companies regarding the immunity provisions of the proposed legislation have been regarded as intra-agency because the government and the companies have a common interest in the defense of the pending litigation and the communications regarding the immunity provisions concerned that common interest.”

U.S. District Court Judge Jeffery White disagreed and ruled on September 24 that the feds had to release the names of the telecom employees that contacted the Justice Department and the White House to lobby for a get-out-of-court-free card. (Ryan Singel, “Telephone Company Is Arm of Government, Feds Admit in Spy Suit,” Wired, October 8, 2009)

EFF had sued the state in order to discover what role telecom lobbyists played in persuading Congress to grant the nation’s telecommunications’ giants retroactive immunity for their role in illegal spying as part of the Bush, and now, Obama regime’s Presidential Spying Program.

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Spying on Individuals and Organizations: Anglo-American Defense Giants Entrusted with “Mastering the Internet” by Tom Burghardt

8 May, 2009 – Global ResearchAntifascist Calling

The Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the National Security Agency’s ‘kissin’ cousin’ across the pond, has awarded a £200m ($300m U.S.) contract for an internet panopticon.

American defense and security giant Lockheed Martin and BAE subsidiary Detica (yet another firm specializing ‘in collecting, managing and exploiting information to reveal actionable intelligence’), snagged the contract The Register and The Sunday Times revealed May 3.

According to The Register the new system, called Mastering the Internet (MTI) ‘will include thousands of deep packet inspection probes inside communications providers’ networks, as well as massive computing power at the intelligence agency’s Cheltenham base, ‘the concrete doughnut’.’

Lockheed Martin and Detica aren’t talking and have referred all inquiries on the MTI contract to GCHQ. ComputerWeekly however, reported May 6 that Detica, a firm with close ties to MI5 and MI6, ‘has data mining software that can detect links between individuals based on their contacts with sometimes widely separated organisations.’
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Obama Administration Endorses Continued Spying on Americans By Tom Burghardt

13 April, 2009 Global Research, Antifascist Calling

Justice Department Moves to Squash NSA Spying Suits

Since fatuously declaring his to be a “change” administration, President Barack Obama has quickly donned the blood-spattered mantle of state secrecy and executive privilege worn by the Bush regime.

On Friday April 3, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss one of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) landmark lawsuits against illegal spying by the National Security Agency (NSA).

That suit, Jewell v. NSA, was filed last September against the NSA, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence. But with the departure of the Bush gang, the defendants now include President Barack Obama, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence.

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Inside the AT&T – NSA ‘Secret’ Relationship

In its submission to a San Francisco district court, the Obama Justice Department states that any disclosures concerning the relationship between AT&T and the National Security Agency would “cause exceptional harm to national security.” Here’s an AT&T engineer explaining just what NSA wants to keep from American citizens: that the NSA is engaged in the warrantless surveillance of all communications (whether telephone conversations, emails, IMs or in other forms) involving AT&T customers.

AT&T and NSA entered into this agreement in flagrant violation of U.S. criminal law, with the assumption that the Bush Administration would not enforce the criminal law against itself or those who entered into criminal conspiracies with it. There is without a doubt an “exceptional harm to national security” here, and it emanates directly from NSA and the Department of Justice. The Jewel litigation should proceed so that the full extent of criminal wrongdoing can be charted–the first step towards stopping it and providing accountability for the instigators.

– By Scott Horton

Posted with vodpod

Move to End “Internet Neutrality”: Blow to Bloggers. “Ten Pin Strike against Political Freedom” By Sherwood Ross

26 January, 2009 Global Research

If the cable and phone companies that transmit Internet data are allowed to charge higher rates to some producers for faster service the result will be “a ten pin strike against political freedom,” a prominent legal authority warns.

That’s because the change will enable the wealthy to “quickly take over the high speed transmissions (for their trash commercial content) just as they completely monopolize radio and TV, and just as their incredibly greedy profit-seeking has had a very deleterious effect on print journalism,” writes Lawrence Velvel, dean of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

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