Guilty until proven innocent in the age of ubiquitous electronic surveillance

Upon taking office, President Obama issued a memorandum on the subject of transparency: “My Administration,” he said, “is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government.” Apparently, though, in spite of this stated goal, the Obama administration has been doing quite the opposite. Instead of sharing information openly with the American people, they’ve been collecting information, in secret, about the American people, building the largest domestic spying infrastructure known to man. While this has been suspected for some time, it became irrefutable fact yesterday when the Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald made public a top-secret court order requiring Verizon, on an “ongoing, daily basis,” to hand over to the FBI and National Security Agency all metadata for calls made through their network, by millions of their US customers. The following clip is from Greenwald’s incendiary report:

…The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19.

Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered…

In spite of the administration’s insistence that they’re just capturing and monitoring metadata, and not listening to the content of the calls themselves, numerous people have come out today saying not just that they’ve crossed the line by collecting this private information, but that they may already have the capability to electronically monitor and catalog our conversations. Retired National Security Agency intelligence analyst turned whistleblower Russell Tice this morning said, “What is going on is much larger and more systemic than anything anyone has ever suspected or imagined…. I figured it would probably be about 2015 (before the NSA had) the computer capacity to collect all digital communications word for word. But I think I’m wrong. I think they have it right now.”

Al Gore called the operation, which, it would seem, was made possible by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) as amended in the wake of the 9/11 attacks by the Patriot Act of 2001, “obscenely outrageous.” And Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a long time defender of privacy rights, had the following to say:

“As one of the few members of Congress who consistently voted against the Patriot Act, I expressed concern at the time of passage that it gave the government far too much power to spy on innocent United State citizens and provided for very little oversight or disclosure. Unfortunately, what I said turned out to be exactly true… The United States should not be accumulating phone records on tens of millions of innocent Americans. That is not what democracy is about. That is not what freedom is about. Congress must address this issue and protect the constitutional rights of the American people.”

Happily, though, the stock price of Verizon was not affected, as no one, it would seem, cares about such things… We’ll see how that changes over the coming days, however, as we hear about more and more companies working with the NSA to spy on American citizens, despite the presumption of innocence that we’re all supposed to be living under.

And it’s probably worth noting that this apparently isn’t anything new. Dianne Feinstein, the Democratic chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told the press today that the Verizon court order had been in existence for seven years, and that this court order, which was released by the Guardian, was just the most recent renewal. “People want the homeland kept safe,” she said.

While this apparently started before Obama, one would have thought that by electing a professor of constitutional law that we would have been able to avoid much of this anti-democratic nonsense set in motion after the 9/11 attacks. But, if we’ve learned nothing else over the course of the past decade, it’s that when tools are created, they will be used… as we were discussing not too long ago in the post about the militarization of American police forces… and as we’ve seen in the so-called War on Drugs, where tools developed for the purposes of fighting international terrorists are be utilized against small-time drug dealers.

And this, my friends, is what happens when you sacrifice liberty for the illusion of safety. You get neither. Instead, you create infrastructure that needs to be put to use. And that’s where we find ourselves today, living in a world of constant surveillance, hoping that we don’t one day dial a wrong number, connecting us to a pot dealer, or, worse yet, someone who might have, twenty years ago, vacationed at the same resort as Bradley Manning.

So, would it be incredibly unpatriotic of me to suggest that we all take to our smart phones right now and text, call, tweet and email out the word “bomb” until the whole thing implodes?

update: When I said that this would likely snowball, I had no idea how soon it would happen. According to a story just put out by the Washington Post, there are now nine more companies involved. Here’s a clip.

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple.”

PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.

Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

So, while they may not be listening to every call (if you believe them), they are reading every email… And, guess what? In spite of that fact, the Boston Marathon was still bombed.

update: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has put together a very helpful timeline showing how we got to where we are today. (If you’re up for it, please consider giving a donation to EFF. They’re one of the few groups working on this, and we need to give them all the support we can.)

[This post is dedicated to Russ Feingold – the only member of the US Senate to vote against the Patriot Act – and the cowardly men and women of Wisconsin, who voted him out of office as a result.]

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  1. K2
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Do you think they’re monitoring our comments here? If so I may change my strategy.

    Did I ever mention how much I love Obama?

  2. Jim
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    Credit card transactions too.

  3. Joss
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 6:48 am | Permalink

  4. Edward
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    Who watches the watchers?

  5. Mr. X
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Does anyone remember Carnivore? People were outraged at the idea, and, as a result, my understanding was that the program was scrapped. Instead, though, it looks like they just renamed it, made it more top-secret, and increased the evil by an order of magnitude.

  6. [Redacted]
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    (This comment was deleted by the NSA.)

  7. Meta
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    For those that want to make their way through it, Anonymous has released a number of NSA documents relating to PRISM.

  8. roots
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Feeling very East German today.

  9. Jim
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Prism may be software provided by a company called Palantir. Very interesting post here:

  10. Micah
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Let us all hope that one day our society-wide panopticon will eliminate the need for such superfluous boundaries as clothes.

  11. Elliott
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I heard someone int he administration quoted today saying that we were all less safe now that this has become known.

  12. anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Let’s remember also that when OBL and Atta were planning the September 11 attacks they would use coded messages. I believe, for instance, they referred to the attack as “the birthday cake.” Will we be flagging every call where old ladies are exchanging recipes?

  13. Meta
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    The EFF link in the post is currently not working. Here’s a mirror:

    Among other things, it seems to indicate that the conspiracy theories about Skype were true.

    From a Reddit user named who_stole_my_name:

    I remember a “conspiracy” post here on reddit a while ago about how Microsoft bought Skype so that FBI could snoop on Skype calls (which was impossible before the purchase due to it’s decentralised design). A paper came out discussing the redesign of the network after the purchase but people still wrote it off as conspiracy and a bit crazy, FBI wouldn’t encourage Microsoft to buy Skype just so it could spy on it, right?

    Look at the timeline now, Skype was purchased on the 10th of May 2011, on the 2nd of June 2011 (according to the PRISM slides) Skype was added to the list of services that PRISM can access…

  14. anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Micah, I don’t understand your comment. Do you see PRISM as an argument against clothes?

  15. Lynne
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The thing that surprised me about this actually was how surprised people were when this story broke. I’ve known that Google has been reading my emails for years since the ads they show me are very related to the content of my emails. I figured if Google has the technology, the government has the technology. I’ve always assumed that most of what I post on the internet is public. I already knew about the cell phone monitoring in that although I didn’t know the specifics, I was aware that the technology existed and that the post 9/11 laws allowed for such things.

    I am really glad that we are now having a conversation about privacy. How much privacy is it reasonable to expect? What is in the public record and what shouldn’t be. There are already things which are required to be in the public record but which I would rather keep private such as my address. There are also things which legally are private but which I guess I don’t mind the government knowing anyways such as my medical status.

    One has to wonder though, just what sort of privacy one can expect ever in this day and age and not just from the government either. For example, I have been considering putting up security cameras on the outside of my home so I can record the people who break into my car. I’ll be recording every single person who walks by. What if I post these videos to the internet. Does a person walking down the street have a reasonable expectation of privacy? What if it is the government using cameras and face recognition software to track people?

  16. double anonymous
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    A letter from a reader of Talking Points Memo:

    “PRISM” is the government’s name for a program that uses technology from Palantir. Palantir is a Silicon Valley start-up that’s now valued at well over $1B, that focuses on data analysis for the government. Here’s how Palantir describes themselves:

    “We build software that allows organizations to make sense of massive amounts of disparate data. We solve the technical problems, so they can solve the human ones. Combating terrorism. Prosecuting crimes. Fighting fraud. Eliminating waste. From Silicon Valley to your doorstep, we deploy our data fusion platforms against the hardest problems we can find, wherever we are needed most.”
    They’re generally not public about who their clients are, but their first client was famously the CIA, who is also an early investor.

    With my theory in mind, re-read the denials from the tech companies in the WSJ (emphasis mine):
    Apple: “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers…”
    Google: “… does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data…”
    Facebook: “… not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers…”
    Yahoo: “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network…”

    These denials could all still be technically true if the government is accessing the data through a government contractor, such as Palantir, rather than having direct access.

    I just did a quick Google search of “Palantir PRISM” to see if anyone else had this theory, and the top results were these pages:

    Apparently, Palantir has a software package called “Prism”: “Prism is a software component that lets you quickly integrate external databases into Palantir.” That sounds like exactly the tool you’d want if you were trying to find patterns in data from multiple companies.

    So the obvious follow-up questions are of the “am I right?” variety, but if I am, here’s what I really want to know: which Palantir clients have access to this data? Just CIA & NSA? FBI? What about municipalities, such as the NYC police department? What about the governments of other countries?

  17. Robert
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    My friends and I have been deliberately using terrorist slang all the time in our communications for many years now. I would hope every red blooded American citizen out there has been doing the same.

  18. Robert
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

    For example, I refer to Lindsey Graham as “that gay time-bomb set to explode in the capital building.”

  19. Robert
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how they kept terrorists from attacking in the US all through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. They must have used magic.

  20. John Galt
    Posted June 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

    Privacy is for criminals. If you aren’t doing evil, you have nothing to hide.

  21. Posted June 7, 2013 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    An interesting comment from a user on Reddit:

    I live in a country generally assumed to be a dictatorship. One of the Arab spring countries. I have lived through curfews and have seen the outcomes of the sort of surveillance now being revealed in the US. People here talking about curfews aren’t realizing what that actually FEELS like. It isn’t about having to go inside, and the practicality of that. It’s about creating the feeling that everyone, everything is watching. A few points:

    1) the purpose of this surveillance from the governments point of view is to control enemies of the state. Not terrorists. People who are coalescing around ideas that would destabilize the status quo. These could be religious ideas. These could be groups like anon who are too good with tech for the governments liking. It makes it very easy to know who these people are. It also makes it very simple to control these people.

    Lets say you are a college student and you get in with some people who want to stop farming practices that hurt animals. So you make a plan and go to protest these practices. You get there, and wow, the protest is huge. You never expected this, you were just goofing off. Well now everyone who was there is suspect. Even though you technically had the right to protest, you’re now considered a dangerous person.

    With this tech in place, the government doesn’t have to put you in jail. They can do something more sinister. They can just email you a sexy picture you took with a girlfriend. Or they can email you a note saying that they can prove your dad is cheating on his taxes. Or they can threaten to get your dad fired. All you have to do, the email says, is help them catch your friends in the group. You have to report back every week, or you dad might lose his job. So you do. You turn in your friends and even though they try to keep meetings off grid, you’re reporting on them to protect your dad.

    2) Let’s say number one goes on. The country is a weird place now. Really weird. Pretty soon, a movement springs up like occupy, except its bigger this time. People are really serious, and they are saying they want a government without this power. I guess people are realizing that it is a serious deal. You see on the news that tear gas was fired. Your friend calls you, frantic. They’re shooting people. Oh my god. you never signed up for this. You say, fuck it. My dad might lose his job but I won’t be responsible for anyone dying. That’s going too far. You refuse to report anymore. You just stop going to meetings. You stay at home, and try not to watch the news. Three days later, police come to your door and arrest you. They confiscate your computer and phones, and they beat you up a bit. No one can help you so they all just sit quietly. They know if they say anything they’re next. This happened in the country I live in. It is not a joke.

    3) Its hard to say how long you were in there. What you saw was horrible. Most of the time, you only heard screams. People begging to be killed. Noises you’ve never heard before. You, you were lucky. You got kicked every day when they threw your moldy food at you, but no one shocked you. No one used sexual violence on you, at least that you remember. There were some times they gave you pills, and you can’t say for sure what happened then. To be honest, sometimes the pills were the best part of your day, because at least then you didn’t feel anything. You have scars on you from the way you were treated. You learn in prison that torture is now common. But everyone who uploads videos or pictures of this torture is labeled a leaker. Its considered a threat to national security. Pretty soon, a cut you got on your leg is looking really bad. You think it’s infected. There were no doctors in prison, and it was so overcrowded, who knows what got in the cut. You go to the doctor, but he refuses to see you. He knows if he does the government can see the records that he treated you. Even you calling his office prompts a visit from the local police.

    You decide to go home and see your parents. Maybe they can help. This leg is getting really bad. You get to their house. They aren’t home. You can’t reach them no matter how hard you try. A neighbor pulls you aside, and he quickly tells you they were arrested three weeks ago and haven’t been seen since. You vaguely remember mentioning to them on the phone you were going to that protest. Even your little brother isn’t there.

    4) Is this even really happening? You look at the news. Sports scores. Celebrity news. It’s like nothing is wrong. What the hell is going on? A stranger smirks at you reading the paper. You lose it. You shout at him “fuck you dude what are you laughing at can’t you see I’ve got a fucking wound on my leg?”

    “Sorry,” he says. “I just didn’t know anyone read the news anymore.” There haven’t been any real journalists for months. They’re all in jail.

    Everyone walking around is scared. They can’t talk to anyone else because they don’t know who is reporting for the government. Hell, at one time YOU were reporting for the government. Maybe they just want their kid to get through school. Maybe they want to keep their job. Maybe they’re sick and want to be able to visit the doctor. It’s always a simple reason. Good people always do bad things for simple reasons.

    You want to protest. You want your family back. You need help for your leg. This is way beyond anything you ever wanted. It started because you just wanted to see fair treatment in farms. Now you’re basically considered a terrorist, and everyone around you might be reporting on you. You definitely can’t use a phone or email. You can’t get a job. You can’t even trust people face to face anymore. On every corner, there are people with guns. They are as scared as you are. They just don’t want to lose their jobs. They don’t want to be labeled as traitors.

    This all happened in the country where I live.

    You want to know why revolutions happen? Because little by little by little things get worse and worse. But this thing that is happening now is big. This is the key ingredient. This allows them to know everything they need to know to accomplish the above. The fact that they are doing it is proof that they are the sort of people who might use it in the way I described. In the country I live in, they also claimed it was for the safety of the people. Same in Soviet Russia. Same in East Germany. In fact, that is always the excuse that is used to surveil everyone. But it has never ONCE proven to be the reality.

    Maybe Obama won’t do it. Maybe the next guy won’t, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn’t about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. Maybe it’s about your daughter or your son. We just don’t know yet. But what we do know is that right now, in this moment we have a choice. Are we okay with this, or not? Do we want this power to exist, or not?

    You know for me, the reason I’m upset is that I grew up in school saying the pledge of allegiance. I was taught that the United States meant “liberty and justice for all.” You get older, you learn that in this country we define that phrase based on the constitution. That’s what tells us what liberty is and what justice is. Well, the government just violated that ideal. So if they aren’t standing for liberty and justice anymore, what are they standing for? Safety?

    Ask yourself a question. In the story I told above, does anyone sound safe?

    I didn’t make anything up. These things happened to people I know. We used to think it couldn’t happen in America. But guess what? It’s starting to happen.

    I actually get really upset when people say “I don’t have anything to hide. Let them read everything.” People saying that have no idea what they are bringing down on their own heads. They are naive, and we need to listen to people in other countries who are clearly telling us that this is a horrible horrible sign and it is time to stand up and say no.

  22. Posted June 8, 2013 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    I have real problems with surveilling people without their knowledge or consent, though the idea of what constitutes “surveillance” is complex and ever changing.

    I do, however, think that being completely transparent with everything, one’s political views, religious views, choice of foods, odd sexual kinks, etc. would be a good thing for the world.

  23. Demetrius
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    Re: the article from Reddit, the whole thing is great … but I think this is the most important part:

    “Maybe Obama won’t do it. Maybe the next guy won’t, or the one after him. Maybe this story isn’t about you. Maybe it happens 10 or 20 years from now, when a big war is happening, or after another big attack. …”

    I’ve actually heard people say they’re not troubled by this because they “trust” Obama not to abuse this power. I don’t agree, but even so, I think it’s a remarkable short-sighted argument.

    Once this kind of power becomes established within the Presidency, there’s simply no way it’s going to be relinquished. And, I think history offers ample proof that such powerful tools WILL be used in inappropriate ways, sooner or later. So what happens, for example, when a future (hard-core conservative? fundamentalist christian?) President Ryan or President Cruz decides to use it to spy upon (and perhaps harrass/jail) those they deem to be their “enemies?”

  24. EOS
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Really? How can you be so deceived? How can you not see that such powerful tools have already been used in inappropriate ways? President Clinton enacted an enormous amount of legislation through executive orders. “Stroke of the pen, law of the land.” And Congress and the Courts did nothing. Pres. Bush had thousands of pages of Patriot Act legislation ready before 9/11, usurping the Constitutional rights of anyone deemed to be a terrorist suspect, and Congress passed it with an overwhelming majority. Pres. Obama, using secret executive orders, expanded the revocation of constitutionally guaranteed rights to include all citizens.

    We incarcerate suspected terrorists in oversea prisons, torture them and hold them for more than a dozen years without even charging them. The president has the authority to authorize assassinations by drone attack against any individual in the world, citizens and non-citizens alike. Collateral kills are considered unfortunate, but inevitable.

    The government takes a DNA sample at birth from every child born in the USA and citizens have no recourse but to comply. Every phone call, email, Facebook entry, and Skype is retained in large government databases. GPS units in our cell phones track our movements and black boxes in our cars record our driving records. Bank records, ATMs and Credit Cards monitor every dime we spend. We have no right to privacy in regards to any medical treatment. We even surrendered the power to determine who lives and who dies by allowing government to determine which individuals are deemed worthy of treatment, as evidenced by Sebelius’ recent refusal to allow a 10 year old to be put on a lung transplant list. Every site we visit on the Internet and every book we check out of the library is monitored and recorded in massive government databases.

    In the last presidential election, the IRS was used to obtain unauthorized information from political groups which was shared with the campaigns of opposing political groups. President Obama’s administration used their powers to spy on and harass conservative political groups and journalists which influenced the outcome of the last election.

    And those persons who support reducing the size of government are the ones deemed radical extremists???

  25. alan2102
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

    “in spite of this stated goal, the Obama administration has been doing quite the opposite…”

    “it’s probably worth noting that this apparently isn’t anything new…”

    “one would have thought that by electing a professor of constitutional law that we would have been able to avoid much of this anti-democratic nonsense…”

    Bwaaahahaha! Oh, Marky, you are SUCH a cute kid!


    apropos the current kerfuffle:


  26. alan2102
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    “would it be incredibly unpatriotic of me to suggest that we all take to our smart phones right now and text, call, tweet and email out the word “bomb” until the whole thing implodes?”

    Certainly not! Indeed, you’re finally showing some signs of life.

    No need to stop at the humdrum “bomb”.

    There’s tons of sources of lists of carnivore/echelon/etc. stop/key words on the internet; here’s a long list of the lists:

    “The U.S. government is making it known that it can and does sift through all the data packets on the internet, if need be, using Carnivore and Echelon, hoping to find some terrorist’s malicious email in the process. And if that’s what the three-letter agencies are really up to, I wish them all the best….”

    “The Carnivore system is apparently designed to detect any discussion via the internet which includes certain combinations of “suspicious” words and phrases. To stay safely “below the radar” you should never mention anything about certain people such as Satoshi Nakamoto, Brandon Raub, Viet Dinh, Ralph Merkle, Whitfield Diffie, Martin Hellman, Mohan Srivastava, Joan Ginther, Lou Montulli, Peter Calvocoressi, Joseph Kony, Jack Cashill, Doremus Jessup, Geert Wilders, Ira Magaziner, Henry Cisneros, Khalid bin Mahfouz, Buell Frazier, Alan G. Whicher, Hillary Rodham, Tenchi Seikyo, Jayna Davis, Danny Jowenko, Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Doherty…..”

    “…and you should stay away from any discussion of things such as money laundering, the vast right-wing conspiracy, the Second Amendment, or for that matter the First Amendment, rendition flights, the right to keep and bear arms, cryptanalysis, key escrow, invasion of privacy, the Cloward-Piven strategy, world government, improper acquisition and use of 900 FBI files, improper futures trading, sexual abuse of employees, false testimony before a federal judge, shredding of documents, withholding and concealment of subpoenaed documents, fabricated charges against (and improper firing of) White House employees; or obscure places like Ruby Ridge, Orofino, Kogello, Nanaimo, Muzaffarabad, Bretton Woods, the Lenexa caves, Kecksburg, Warrenton Training Center, Room 2A0120, Swift Luck Greens, Intelligence Fusion Centers, Fort Marcy Park, Area 51,…..”

    “…or anything about organizations such as the CIA, NSA, GHCQ, Netline, Wackenhut, the Hutaree militia, Neustar, Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, Defense Information Systems Agency, Central Security Service, the Lord’s Resistance Army, Business International Corporation, Defense Security Service, Government Emergency Telecommunications Service, Diplomatic Telecommunications Service, The Justice Through Music Project, Defense Security Cooperation Agency, U.S. Peace Council, Jamaat-ud-Dawa, Lashkar-e-Taiba, United Fruit Company, International Seabed Authority, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, Missile Defense Agency, Ikhwan, Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Detachment 88, Falun Gong,…..”

    “…and especially dangerous words and phrases like INFOSEC (or InfoSec), Radio Aspidistra, Project Azorian, PGP, PEM, RIPEM, Glock, K&R, Uzi, CORNERSTONE, GUARDIAN, PINWALE, Stellar Wind, Extortion 17, Ingram Mac-10, Rijndael, CONUS, UFO crash, ARPA, above top secret, Project Megiddo, the Liverpool Care Pathway, HSFEHQ-10-R-0027, Offensive Information Warfare, ballistic media, Chicago Posse, eject-specimen-from-the-hive, Lithium Niobate, Project Paperclip, Investigative Data Warehouse, Zyklon-B, Project Minaret, Al Qaida,….”

    “Only an anti-capitalist troublemaker would go on and on about about the biggest defense contractors, such as Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, McDonnell Douglas, General Dynamics, Litton, Raytheon, Halliburton, United Technologies, General Motors, BAE Systems, Brown and Root, United Technologies, Sikorsky Aircraft, L-3 Communications, Humana, Occupational Health Services, Science Applications Intl, Triwest Healthcare Alliance, ITT Industries, General Electric, Honeywell, Bechtel Group, Fedex, Exxon Mobil, Textron, Oshkosh Truck, Rockwell Collins, Johnson Controls, Electronic Data Systems, Texas Instruments, United Parcel Service, and IBM.”

    etc. etc.

  27. alan2102
    Posted June 8, 2013 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    geez, I almost forgot, in addition to —

    a couple of recent stories…
    NSA Building $860 Million Data Center in Maryland
    June 7th, 2013
    [as if the Utah monstrosity were not enough!]
    NSA Is Wired Into Top Internet Companies’ Servers, Including Google and Facebook
    June 7th, 2013
    [yawn. what else is new?]

  28. ChelseaL
    Posted June 11, 2013 at 5:26 am | Permalink

    From what I remember, President Obama was an extremely secretive candidate. This should surprise no one.

  29. hiedak
    Posted July 3, 2013 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I am a victim of “the brain initiative”. It is the great deception. Law enforcement are implanting everyone with radio frequency communication chips aka nerve stimulators or wireless in-body antennas. In Virginia, state and local police give you three options: 1) be put in a stabilization ward and be tortured, 2) be put in jail and be tortured, or 3) be infected with an infectious disease. They have tried the first two and are threatening the third. The chip is protruding from my cancer surgery scars. Even though it was implanted without my knowledge and consent by Dr. Lawrence Chang of Pariser Dermatology, surgeons refuse to remove it. It uses technologies like the audio spotlight by Holosonics. They bombard your mind with obscenities, cursing, and all manner of evil things. Wireless tazing with lasers that come through the electrical outlets – see network world (hacking your computer through elctrical outlets). The Army at Picatinny created a laser induced plasma channel and steered lightening at a target. Police use lasers and steer electricity at my mind, body, heart, and private parts. State Trooper Jared Vance informed everyone they come through the electronics in your home. They use radio frequency software, lasers, and millimeter wave transmitters to create holograms and tap into your mind seeing through your eyes what your brain sees and hearing what you hear. (See The Mind Weapon by DARPA scientists). It is a microchip implant initiative to enable law enforcement ubiquitous surveillance. See Safeguards in a World of Ambient Intelligence by Springer to learn about the project. At lease the European Union is trying to inform their public and protect them. After everyone is defamed, defrauded, unemployable, crippled and suffering, who takes care of us. Will there be indentured servitude? Even the Federal District Court Judge knew I was in excruciating pain (according to her own clerk of courts) and she refused to grant a motion for cessation of torture. This is the weapon of the anti-Christ and the mark of the beast. These law enforcement officers are criminals and do not uphold the Constitution. People need to read about these new weapons. (See Mental Illness and Terrorism: New weapons mimic mental health disease). See and search Brandon Raub. Virginia has one of the highest suicide rates in the country! Check out Brian Castner’s book The Long Walk – our vets are being tortured into suicide. He says, “this is my new life. It’s intolerable.” I never served in the war, but I know how he feels. I am no longer free to live my life. I am enduring it.

  30. Meta
    Posted July 22, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The ACLU is still swinging.

    Local New Jersey police departments that compile data collected by automated license plate readers store the information for at least five years by order of the state’s attorney general. That means thousands, if not millions, of pictures can be stored in a departmental database, the ACLU said in a report issued last week.

    But police cannot sort through collected images on a whim, Phillipsburg Chief James Faulborn said. To track a plate, police must have a legitimate reason, such as a vehicle being suspected in connection with a crime, he said.

    “As far as using that information, anything garnered from that is strictly governed by attorney general guidelines and case law,” Faulborn said, adding there can be serious repercussions should an officer or department stray from the rules.
    Police departments around the country are using automated license plate scanners to solve crimes, and in the process, collecting millions of digital records that could be used to track innocent U.S. drivers, the American Civil Liberties Union said.

    In a new report, “You Are Being Tracked: How License Plate Readers Are Being Used to Record Americans’ Movements,” the civil rights group details how the scanners, affixed to police cars, bridges or buildings, capture images of passing or parked vehicles and note their location, uploading that information into police databases. Departments keep the records for weeks or years, sometimes indefinitely.

    Read more:

  31. mature
    Posted August 5, 2013 at 6:01 am | Permalink

    Must read:

    “Michele Catalano was looking for information online about pressure cookers. Her husband, in the same time frame, was Googling backpacks. Wednesday morning, six men from a joint terrorism task force showed up at their house to see if they were terrorists. Which prompts the question: How’d the government know what they were Googling?”

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] cost himBy Mark | June 9, 2013Earlier today, the identity of last week’s much-talked-about NSA whistleblower was made public. His name is Edward Snowden, and he’s a former technical assistant for the […]

  2. […] browser, has apparently stepped into the fray to lead the protest against our government’s recently uncovered campaign to aggressively monitor, record and mine the private communications of law-abiding […]

  3. […] it seemed as though people bought it… at least for a while. Then, of course, Snowden began releasing his classified government documents from Hong Kong, where he’d run to avoid prosecution. And the company line began to […]

  4. […] militarized police forces are killing us in unprecedented numbers. All of our actions are being watched and recorded. Religious extremism is on the rise. Science is under attack. Reproductive rights are being […]

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