5 December 2012 — Washington’s Blog
22nd August 2012 — NYT Op Docs
The filmmaker Laura Poitras profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
This video is part of a series by independent filmmakers who have received grants from the BRITDOC Foundation and the Sundance Institute. Continue reading
Like a vampire rising from it’s grave each night to feed on the privacy rights of Americans, the Federal Bureau of Investigation is moving forward with programs that drain the life blood from our constitutional liberties.
From the wholesale use of informants and provocateurs to stifle political dissent, to Wi-Fi hacking and viral computer spyware to follow our every move, the FBI has turned massive data-mining of personal information into a growth industry. In the process they are building the surveillance state long been dreamed of by American securocrats.
A chilling new report by investigative journalist Ryan Singel provides startling details of how the FBI’s National Security Branch Analysis Center (NSAC) is quietly morphing into the Total Information Awareness (TIA) system of convicted Iran-Contra felon, Admiral John M. Poindexter. According to documents obtained by Wired:
A fast-growing FBI data-mining system billed as a tool for hunting terrorists is being used in hacker and domestic criminal investigations, and now contains tens of thousands of records from private corporate databases, including car-rental companies, large hotel chains and at least one national department store. (Ryan Singel, “FBI’s Data-Mining System Sifts Airline, Hotel, Car-Rental Records,” Wired, September 23, 2009)
Among the latest revelations of out-of-control secret state spookery, Wired disclosed that personal details on customers have been provided to the Bureau by the Wyndham Worldwide hotel chain “which includes Ramada Inn, Days Inn, Super 8, Howard Johnson and Hawthorn Suites.” Additional records were obtained from the Avis rental car company and Sears department stores.
22 May, 2009 – CounterCurrents
At a time of corporate dominated media, a free and open Internet is democracy’s last chance to preserve our First Amendment rights without which all others are threatened. Activists call it Net Neutrality. Media scholar Robert McChesney says without it ‘the Internet would start to look like cable TV (with a) handful of massive companies (controlling) content’ enough to have veto power over what’s allowed and what it costs. Progressive web sites and writers would be marginalized or suppressed, and content systematically filtered or banned.
Media reform activists have drawn a line in the sand. Net Neutrality must be defended at all costs. Preserving a viable, independent, free and open Internet (and the media overall) is essential to a functioning democracy, but the forces aligned against it are formidable, daunting, relentless, and reprehensible. Some past challenges suggest future ones ahead.
The Wall Street Journal revealed April 24 that current National Security Agency (NSA) director Lt. General Keith Alexander will “head the Pentagon’s new Cyber Command.”
Friday’s report follows an April 22 piece published by the Journal announcing the proposed reorganization. The Obama administration’s cybersecurity initiative will, according to reports, “reshape the military’s efforts to protect its networks from attacks by hackers, especially those from countries such as China and Russia.”
When he was a presidential candidate, Obama had pledged to elevate cybersecurity as a national security issue, “equating it in significance with nuclear and biological weapons,” the Journal reported.
The new Pentagon command, according to The Washington Post, “would affect U.S. Strategic Command, whose mission includes ensuring U.S. ‘freedom of action’ in space and cyberspace, and the National Security Agency, which shares Pentagon cybersecurity responsibilities with the Defense Information Systems Agency.”
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.
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