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Wed Oct 29, 2014, 12:33 PM

British Spy Agency: We Don't Need Warrant for Americans' Data. We Have 'Arrangements'

Practices revealed by human rights organizations show how GCHQ gets warrantless access to NSA data

by Andrea Germanos, staff writer
Oct. 29, 2014, Common Dreams

British intelligence agencies can access Americans' communications data without a warrant and keep it for two years, newly released documents show.

The British spy agency, the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), revealed the practices, called "arrangements" by the government, to the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT), a watchdog for national surveillance practices.

Some of the details of of these "arrangements" were provided to human rights organizations including Privacy International, Liberty and Amnesty International, which had brought a challenge regarding GCHQ's surveillance activities to the IPT following revelations made possible by Edward Snowden.

The policies allow the British agencies to receive bulk data from the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) as well as other foreign agencies.

As detailed in a document (pdf) posted by Privacy International, the arrangements appear to serve as legal justification for the practice, stating that it not a circumvention of law when "it is not technically feasible" to get a warrant "and it is necessary and proportionate for the Intelligence Services to obtain those communications."

CONTINUED...

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2014/10/29/british-spy-agency-we-dont-need-warrant-americans-data-we-have-arrangements



There seems to be a SPECTRE looking over America's shoulder.

47 replies, 4964 views

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Reply British Spy Agency: We Don't Need Warrant for Americans' Data. We Have 'Arrangements' (Original post)
Octafish Oct 2014 OP
nashville_brook Oct 2014 #1
Octafish Oct 2014 #31
Tace Oct 2014 #2
Octafish Oct 2014 #32
woo me with science Oct 2014 #3
Octafish Oct 2014 #34
woo me with science Oct 2014 #4
Enthusiast Oct 2014 #20
randome Oct 2014 #5
woo me with science Oct 2014 #9
randome Oct 2014 #28
yellowcanine Oct 2014 #13
Octafish Oct 2014 #35
Maedhros Oct 2014 #6
polichick Oct 2014 #17
Maedhros Oct 2014 #18
woo me with science Oct 2014 #19
polichick Oct 2014 #24
pa28 Oct 2014 #26
Octafish Oct 2014 #36
bobthedrummer Oct 2014 #7
Octafish Oct 2014 #37
bobthedrummer Oct 2014 #44
Cleita Oct 2014 #8
Octafish Oct 2014 #38
gratuitous Oct 2014 #10
woo me with science Oct 2014 #11
gratuitous Oct 2014 #14
Octafish Oct 2014 #39
yellowcanine Oct 2014 #12
Octafish Oct 2014 #41
bobthedrummer Oct 2014 #47
riderinthestorm Oct 2014 #15
woo me with science Oct 2014 #16
Octafish Oct 2014 #25
Enthusiast Oct 2014 #21
Octafish Oct 2014 #40
KoKo Oct 2014 #22
bobthedrummer Oct 2014 #23
riderinthestorm Oct 2014 #29
JEB Oct 2014 #42
woo me with science Oct 2014 #46
wavesofeuphoria Oct 2014 #27
hootinholler Oct 2014 #30
WillyT Oct 2014 #33
JEB Oct 2014 #43
JEB Oct 2014 #45

Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 01:20 PM

1. "arrangements" -- we don't need no damn legalities.

jeezus.

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Response to nashville_brook (Reply #1)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:02 AM

31. If it's illegal for NSA to spy on Americans, no problem-o. GCHQ'll do it.

Is this a police state or what?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 01:35 PM

2. "Power tends to corrupt...

...and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men." --Lord Acton

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Response to Tace (Reply #2)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:03 AM

32. Lord Acton was spot-on.

Wonder what he'd think of Larry Summers?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 01:43 PM

3. Well, gee, I'm really confused now.

Our government would never do this, right? How could these "arrangements" possibly have been made?

I'm sure there is a good explanation. Something involving Smith vs. Maryland, or Judith Miller, or metadata, or the fact that Snowden is a poopyhead or Glenn Greenwald is gay.

Or maybe it's just necessary because ISIS is under our beds, or Ebola might get us.

I trust and adore my government so much I want every aspect of my life naked to them *and* anyone they choose to share it with. That's what's most important, right?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:05 PM

4. Keep this on top. Our government has no right to be making "ARRANGEMENTS" like this.


The crimes of our government against its own people are worse with every revelation.

None of this is compatible with democracy.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #4)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:27 PM

20. PLUS ONE, a huge bunch!

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:09 PM

5. Do these 'arrangements' have to do with specific suspects, perhaps?

 

It does seem like a lot of bureaucracy for the U.K. to put themselves under our laws when a suspected terrorist is in their country. And vice-versa. What other solution would anyone suggest, especially when, on a planet of 7 billion, there are probably thousands of suspects traveling back and forth between the two countries?

It's all laid out in very red-tape sounding language so it's not like there aren't protocols and procedures in place.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]There is nothing you can't do if you put your mind to it.
Nothing.
[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:29 PM

9. Don't even start. Seriously.

Last edited Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:18 PM - Edit history (1)


I know, the defensive spin *must* be issued....

But MY LORD what insulting drivel.

" Do these 'arrangements' have to do with specific suspects, perhaps?"

Good god. They have access to EVERYTHING. There is no excuse for that. Hell, there is no excuse for our OWN government to have the vast, vast majority of this information. How DARE they hand it out like Halloween candy to BRITISH SPY AGENCIES? (not to mention sharing with contractors, corporations, the DEA, and Goldman Sachs knows who else...)

"What other solution would anyone suggest"?!!!11!!1!

Solution to what? That's the cherry on top, seriously. When you want to defend the indefensible, pretend it's the only possible response to an imagined problem. Somehow, the USA managed for all these years without engaging in mass spying on Americans; creating detailed databases of Americans' private daily lives, associations, and communications; and handing it all to British Spy agencies. But gosh, what other SOLUTION could there be?

Yeah, Hitler called what he was doing a (final) "solution," too... Every nascent authoritarian state pretends to be coming up with "solutions."

You, of course, will respond with more of the same here, because having the last word is the unwritten rule for diversion and message control.

I won't be feeding your nonsense further, and I hope no one else does, either. But I just had to underscore how silly and absolutely insulting to all of DU these talking points have become.

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #9)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:33 PM

28. Can you read the PDF? There are checks and balances in place.

 

Just as with any other law enforcement, diplomatic coordination. Now if there was evidence that these procedures were being abused, it would be something to be up in arms about.

If you don't like these checks and balances, that's understandable. But it really does not appear as if this somehow equates to wholesale surveillance.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]Treat your body like a machine. Your mind like a castle.[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to randome (Reply #5)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:00 PM

13. If they have to do with "specific suspects" then there is probable cause to get a warrant.

Seriously. It is not that hard.

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Response to randome (Reply #5)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:12 AM

35. Ask the judge.



John Roberts Packed ‘Independent’ FISA Court With Republicans, Former Federal Employees

by Margaret Hartmann
New York Magazine, July 26, 2013

Last month, President Obama defended the government surveillance programs exposed by Edward Snowden, telling Charlie Rose, "It is transparent. That's why we set up the FISA court." He added that in addition to Congress, "you've got a federal court with independent federal judges overseeing the entire program." That's true, but he failed to mention that the judges approve nearly every government request, their decisions are classified, and they're all appointed by the Supreme Court's chief justice. For the first time, the New York Times has published a list of every judge to serve on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court since it was created in 1978. Their analysis reveals that compared to his predecessors, Chief Justice John Roberts's picks are far more likely to be Republicans, and to have worked in the executive branch.

Chief Justice Roberts was already known to select mainly conservatives to serve the seven-year terms on the court, but the the Times shows that his selections are even less diverse than those of the last two chief justices, who were also Republicans. Of Warren Burger and William Rehnquist's picks, 66 percent were appointed by Republican presidents and 39 percent had worked for the executive branch. As for Roberts, 86 percent of his selections have been Republican appointees, and 50 percent worked in the executive branch. The eleven judges currently serving on the court were all assigned by Roberts. Ten are Republicans and six have worked for the federal government.

What effect that has on the court is debatable. Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal tells the Times that judges who used to be executive branch lawyers are more likely to defer to federal government. Steven Bradbury, who headed the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel under the Bush administration, says judges with executive branch experience already understand some of the complex issues involved, and are thus more likely to ask tough questions. As for the judges' political leanings, the Times notes that studies of non-FISA cases have shown that judges appointed by Republicans since Reagan are more likely to side with the government over people who claim their civil liberties have been violated.

Part of the FISA court's extremely high approval rate for surveillance and property search warrants might be the nature of the requests. President Obama suggested, "Folks don't go [to the FISA court] with a query unless they've got a pretty good suspicion." And in a Times op-ed this week, former FISA court judge James G. Carr pointed out that to collect phone and Internet data, the government only has to show "probable cause that the target has a connection to a foreign government or entity or a foreign terrorist group," while for a regular search warrant they'd have to show probable cause that the target is suspected of a crime.

Regardless, Snowden's leaks have intensified calls to change how the secret court operates. Both Carr and another former FISA court judge, James Robertson, are pushing for more transparency and say lawyers should be appointed to challenge the government's requests. Several members of Congress have come up with plans to change how the judges are selected, in an attempt to wrest some control from the chief justice. For instance, Sen. Blumenthal has proposed that each of the chief judges of the twelve major appeals courts should select a FISA court judge. He says that in light of the new data, "people with responsibility for national security ought to be very concerned about the impression and appearance, if not the reality, of bias."

SOURCE w/links: http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/07/roberts-packed-fisa-court-with-republicans.html

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:19 PM

6. Why has Obama not ended this bullshit?

 

He's "liberal" and "progressive", right?

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:07 PM

17. Looks like he's the latest prez not to take on the mic...

Wonder if anyone ever will - and live to tell about it.

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Response to polichick (Reply #17)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:20 PM

18. Political courage is in very short supply these days. [n/t]

 

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:25 PM

19. +1 This was an important OP:

that would have received many more recs if people focused on the message rather than that the current president has a "D" after his name.

"Obama and the End of Greatness"
http://www.democraticunderground.com/10025712300

Sat Oct 25, 2014, 01:13 AM
MannyGoldstein (29,201 posts)

"Obama and the End of Greatness"

Decided to read the New Yorker tonight. Always love the writing, although the writers have gotten pretty stiff, could use some time at Burning Man. Or maybe it's the editors. Editors can turn wonderful prose into dreck, too.

In any case, Obama and the End of Greatness sounded pretty important, so I read it. The short story is that a former Clinton speechwriter tells us that Obama can do little more than show up and shrug, and that's OK. That we can't expect greatness anymore.

What have we become that we acquiesce to acquiescence? This stuff drives me $&@#ing nuts.

We can do much, much better, but only if we demand it. Indeed, we need a revolution. Hopefully one that's calm and without bloodshed, but the difference between what we expect and what we need is a grand canyon, and crossing it will be a bear.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #18)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:42 PM

24. True, and the ptb make sure that only compliant candidates...

make it to the WH.

I really wonder what would happen to a courageous people's candidate who managed to be elected. Seems like a major "revolution" is necessary.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #6)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:21 PM

26. I guess he's just fine with it. No resistance from him that I can see.

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Response to Maedhros (Reply #6)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:13 AM

36. Excellent questions for which the public has no right-to-know.

What do you think this is, a democracy or something?

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:20 PM

7. So let's join in with DNI CLAPPER leading his arrangement of "God Save the Queen"=no rule of law.n/t

 

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #7)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:29 AM

37. Did you see the NFL London broadcast Sunday morning?



The program:

Special Relationship: Check.
Big Stars and Stripes: Check.
Big Union Jack: Check.
Star Spangled Banner: Check.
God Save the Queen: Check.
Thank the men and women in Service to White Empire: Check.
Go-Go War War War: Check.

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Response to Octafish (Reply #37)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:31 AM

44. No-but I'm glad that the LIONS won. n/t

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:20 PM

8. K&R

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Response to Cleita (Reply #8)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:33 AM

38. The old end-around.

Outflanking the Constitution.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:32 PM

10. Aw, shoot!

This could have been bad, but it looks like Edward Snowden may have been involved in revealing this dirty little secret to the public, so now we can't do anything about it, and we have to say that we like it. A lot.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #10)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:54 PM

11. Theres no other solution!


Or so we are encouraged to consider upthread.

P.S. Please be careful about saying "shoot" that way. In neocorporate America, you never know when a helpful militarized policeman might be right around the corner...

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Response to woo me with science (Reply #11)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:01 PM

14. I was gonna say, "Aw shit"

But I changed it to "shoot." Maybe it should have been "shucks"? Or would that be racially insensitive? Prolly.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #10)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:37 AM

39. Did Snowden leak the Family Jewels back in '76?

Well, somebody had to do it, Patriot!



Top Ten Most Interesting "Family Jewels"
Released by the CIA to the National Security Archive, June 26, 2007


1) Journalist surveillance - operation CELOTEX I-II (pp. 26-30)

2) Covert mail opening, codenamed SRPOINTER / HTLINGUAL at JFK airport (pp. 28, 644-45)

3) Watergate burglar and former CIA operative E. Howard Hunt requests a lock picker (p. 107)

4) CIA Science and Technology Directorate Chief Carl Duckett "thinks the Director would be ill-advised to say he is acquainted with this program" (Sidney Gottlieb's drug experiments) (p. 213)

5) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) reflecting Agency employee resentment against participation (p. 326)

6) Plan to poison Congo leader Patrice Lumumba (p. 464)

7) Report of detention of Soviet defector Yuriy Nosenko (p. 522)

8) Document describing John Lennon funding anti-war activists (p. 552)

9) MHCHAOS documents (investigating foreign support for domestic U.S. dissent) (pp. 591-93)

10) CIA counter-intelligence official James J. Angleton and issue of training foreign police in bomb-making, sabotage, etc. (pp. 599-603)

Plus a bonus "Jewel":
Warrantless wiretapping by CIA's Division D (pp. 533-539)

SOURCE w/links and the drill: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB222/index.htm



This is the trouble with democracy. Truth.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 02:56 PM

12. "We don't need no stinkin' warrants!"

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #12)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:06 AM

41. Warrants are so Old School.

Obama's New FBI Chief Approved Bush's NSA Warrantless Wiretapping Scheme

James Comey becomes just the latest symbol of the Obama legacy: normalizing what was very recently viewed as radical

by Glenn Greenwald
Published on Thursday, May 30, 2013 by The Guardian

One of the biggest scandals of the Bush administration (which is really saying something) began on December 16, 2005. That was when the New York Times' James Risen and Eric Lichtblau were finally allowed to reveal what they had learned more than a year earlier: namely, that President Bush, in 2002, had ordered the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on the electronic communications of US citizens without first obtaining warrants from the FISA court as required by 30-year-old criminal law. For the next three years, they reported, the NSA "monitored the international telephone calls and international e-mail messages of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people inside the United States without warrants." The two NYT reporters won the Pulitzer Prize for that story.

To say that progressives and liberals bellowed sustained outrage over that revelation is to understate the case. That NSA program was revealed less than two months after I first began writing about political issues, and I spent the next full year overwhelmingly focused on that story, and also wrote my first book on it. In progressive circles, the NSA warrantless eavesdropping program was the pure symbol of Bush/Cheney radicalism and lawlessness: they secretly decided that they were empowered to break the law, to commit what US statutes classified as felonies, based on extremist theories of executive power that held that the President, as Commander-in-Chief, was entitled under Article II of the Constitution to eavesdrop however he wanted in the name of national security, even if it meant doing exactly that which the law forbade.

The FISA law provided that anyone who eavesdrops without the required warrants - exactly what Bush officials did - is committing a felony "punishable by a fine of not more than $10,000 or imprisonment for not more than five years, or both" - for each offense. Moreover, all three federal judges who actually ruled on the merits of the Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program concluded that it violated the law.

So why, then, was there no accountability for this systematic illegal spying? That happened for two reasons. First, both the Bush DOJ and then the Obama DOJ successfully convinced obsequious federal courts that the eavesdropping program was so secretive that national security would be harmed if courts were to adjudicate its legality - in other words, top government officials should be placed above and beyond the rule of law because doing so is necessary to Keep Us Safe™. Second, the Bush DOJ's most senior lawyers - Attorney General John Ashcroft, Deputy Attorney General James Comey and OLC chief Jack Goldsmith - approved a legal memorandum in 2004 endorsing radical executive power theories and warped statutory interpretations, concluding that the Bush NSA warrantless eavesdropping program was legal, thus making it more difficult to prosecute the Bush officials who ordered it (even if the Obama DOJ were inclined to prosecute, which they were not).

CONTINUED w/links...

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2013/05/30-7

Greenwald. Hah!

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Response to Octafish (Reply #41)

Fri Oct 31, 2014, 02:01 PM

47. The FBI's shameful recruitment of Nazi war criminals (Richard Rashke essay 3-6-13 Reuters)

 

http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2013/03/06/the-fbis-shameful-recruitment-of-nazi-war-criminals

Talk about Old School-The Master of Deceit--John Edgar Hoover, some damn building is named after him, so I hear.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:03 PM

15. The Five Eyes program whereby plausible deniability exists for the participating countries

 

To deny "spying" on their citizens...

.... We simply let one of our partners do it instead and turn over the results.

Nifty like that.



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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:07 PM

16. ^^^^^^ Thank you. ^^^^^^^

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Response to riderinthestorm (Reply #15)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:05 PM

25. That's the Formula!

America's Spy Technology Should Never Be Turned on America

From a Church Committee hearing...

"At the same time, that capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such (is) the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide.

"If this government ever became a tyranny, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back, because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. Such is the capability of this technology...

"I don't want to see this country ever go across the bridge. I know the capacity that is there to make tyranny total in America, and we must see to it that this agency and all agencies that possess this technology operate within the law and under proper supervision, so that we never cross over that abyss. That is the abyss from which there is no return."

- During 1975 investigation of ECHELON / Project Shamrock, as Senate Intelligence Committee chairman

Weird SOURCE, but, hey! It's got Sen. Frank Church quotes in full on there...

http://web.archive.org/web/20071016231034/http://fdrs.org/frank_church_quotes.html

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:29 PM

21. Kicked and recommended a whole bunch!

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #21)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:04 AM

40. Safe and effective, secret spying is quite profitable, too.

For those "in the know," that is.



NSA Spying Not Very Focused on Terrorism: Power, Money and Crushing Dissent Are Real Motives Ops

Proof that Power, Money and Crushing Dissent Are NSA’s Real Motives for Spying

By Washington's Blog
Washington's Blog 24 October 2013

The NSA not only spied on the leaders of Germany, Brazil and Mexico, but on at least 35 world leaders.

The Guardian reports:

One unnamed US official handed over 200 numbers, including those of the 35 world leaders, none of whom is named. These were immediately “tasked” for monitoring by the NSA.


SNIP...

And even the argument that 9/11 changed everything holds no water. Spying started before 9/11 … and various excuses have been used to spy on Americans over the years. Even NSA’s industrial espionage has been going on for many decades. And the NSA was already spying on American Senators more than 40 years ago.

Governments who spy on their own population always do it to crush dissent. (Why do you think that the NSA is doing exactly the same thing which King George did to the American colonists … which led to the Revolutionary War?)

Of course, if even half of what a NSA whistleblower Russel Tice says – that the NSA is spying on – and blackmailing – top American government officials and military officers (and see this) – then things are really out of whack.

SOURCE with LINKS to details and sources:

http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/10/proof-that-nsa-spying-is-not-really-focused-on-terrorism.html



Someday we'll all look back fondly on these days and say, "Whatever happened to democracy, anyway?" Then, the police will knock down the door and take the person who said that away.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:36 PM

22. Recommend......

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 03:38 PM

23. Mass Surveillance in America: A Timeline of Loosening Laws and Practices (Cora Currier, Justin

 

Elliott & Theodoric Meyer 6-7-13 ProPublica)
http://projects.propublica.org/graphics/surveillance-timeline

God Save the Queen, Herr CLAPPER et al

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #23)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 07:30 PM

29. This is a great overview. Kick for your addition. Thanks! Nt

 

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #23)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:17 AM

42. Passing and renewing the "Patriot" act are two huge steps

 

away from democracy. Thanks for the link. Could be its own post.

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Response to bobthedrummer (Reply #23)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 04:08 PM

46. Thank you.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Wed Oct 29, 2014, 04:28 PM

27. Recommend

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 08:54 AM

30. Seems to me that this needs another kick.

I'd go on a rant but anyone who cares has already heard it from me and the defenders of this shit (who are somewhat despicable) won't read what I say anyway and just trot out some random talking point. Fuck that.

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 09:05 AM

33. HUGE K & R !!! - THANK YOU !!!

 


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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 10:18 AM

43. K&R for the original post and subsequent informative posts and links.

 

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Response to Octafish (Original post)

Thu Oct 30, 2014, 11:55 AM

45. Are people afraid to post on this subject?

 

Or are they willfully ignoring the creeping Fascism?

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