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Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 72,631

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David Miranda And The Preclusion Of Privacy - HuffPo

David Miranda and the Preclusion of Privacy
Barry Eisler - Novelist, blogger, former CIA - HuffPo
Posted: 08/24/2013 1:20 pm


I think it's obvious to any reasonable observer that the UK authorities detained David Miranda, spouse of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, to intimidate journalists and whistleblowers -- to "send a message," as Greenwald put it. But I also think there's something more going on.

Put yourself in the shoes of the National Surveillance State (given the kind of US/UK cooperation involved in Miranda's detention, we could as easily call it the International Surveillance State). In collusion with US telcos, you've succeeded in commandeering the Internet, and are able to monitor at least 75% of American Internet activity. Further such monitoring represents opportunities for improved coverage only at the margins, and because people are now changing their Internet behavior to evade government eavesdropping, you realize you have to turn your attention to emerging attempts at privacy. You will have to focus especially on journalists, the fourth estate: as Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger has observed, "The Guardian's work on the Snowden story has involved many individuals taking a huge number of flights in order to have face-to-face meetings. Not good for the environment, but increasingly the only way to operate. Soon we will be back to pen and paper."

Under these circumstances, if you were the NSA, and you learned -- say, by examining passenger manifests and customs data -- that Glenn Greenwald's spouse was traveling from the couple's home in Rio to Berlin, currently the home of Laura Poitras, Greenwald's collaborator on the blockbuster Snowden revelations, what would you do?

You might reasonably suspect that the spouse, trusted by both parties, was helping Greenwald and Poitras in some fashion with their reporting. If you dug into credit card transactions and learned the Guardian was paying for the spouse's travel, your suspicions would harden. You might decide to place a call to your contacts at Britain's GCHQ, mentioning to them that a certain Brazilian national would soon be transiting Heathrow en route from Berlin to his home in Rio, and recommending ever so artfully that this Brazilian national be detained, all his electronic gear confiscated, his personal passwords revealed to you under the threat of imprisonment (yes, the UK airport authorities really can legally imprison you if you don't tell them your Facebook password. They have to, to keep you safe).

Of course you wouldn't formally direct the UK authorities to do anything; you'd want to maintain the ability to obscure your involvement without outright lying about it if possible. And of course you might not even be sure the spouse would be carrying anything secret at all, but intercepting secret information wasn't really the purpose of the exercise anyway. The purpose was to demonstrate to journalists that what they thought was a secure secondary means of communication -- a courier, possibly to ferry encrypted thumb drives from one air-gapped computer to another -- can be compromised, and thereby to make the journalists' efforts harder and slower.

Does this sort of "deny and disrupt" campaign sound familiar? It should: you've seen it before...


More: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/barry-eisler/david-miranda-and-the-pre_b_3810039.html

Obama Was Wrong: NSA Employees Have Deliberately "Abused" Their Power - Slate

Obama Was Wrong: NSA Employees Have Deliberately "Abused" Their Power
By Ryan Gallagher | Slate
Posted Friday, Aug. 23, 2013, at 5:29 PM


In recent weeks, government officials have insisted that Americans need not worry about NSA surveillance because there are no cases of the system being wilfully abused. But new details have emerged showing these assurances to be blatantly false—in yet another twist that is sure to undermine trust in the NSA oversight regime.

On Friday, Bloomberg reported that NSA analysts have “deliberately ignored restrictions on their authority to spy on Americans multiple times in the past decade.” According to Bloomberg, an average of one case of intentional abuse per year has been documented in internal reports. Given that the NSA intercepts billions of communications weekly, the number of reported deliberate abuses is small. However, that there are any documented cases at all is highly significant because of how this contradicts statements made by both current and former senior officials in the aftermath of a series of stories about vast NSA spy programs based on leaked secret documents.

NSA chief Gen. Keith Alexander claimed at a New York cybersecurity conference earlier this month that “no one has wilfully or knowingly disobeyed the law or tried to invade your civil liberties or privacy.” A similar statement was made by the head of the Senate intelligence committee tasked with conducting oversight of the NSA. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on Aug. 16 that the committee had “never identified an instance in which the NSA has intentionally abused its authority to conduct surveillance for inappropriate purposes.”

In an Aug. 9 news conference, President Obama stated, too, that abuse had not been occurring. “All the stories that have been written, what you're not reading about is the government actually abusing these programs and listening in on people's phone calls or inappropriately reading people's emails,” Obama said. Two days later, this statement was enthusiastically reiterated by former NSA chief Gen. Michael Hayden, who appeared on Face of the Nation. “There have been no abuses under him <President Obama> or under his predecessor <President Bush>,” Hayden insisted.

According to the Bloomberg report...


More: http://www.slate.com/blogs/future_tense/2013/08/23/bloomberg_report_nsa_employees_have_deliberately_abused_their_power.html

So.. What IS Freedom ??? Apparently... Nothing Left To Lose... And We Are Growing Every Day...

Me & Bobby McGee Lyrics

Busted flat in Baton Rouge, waiting for a train
And I's feeling nearly as faded as my jeans.
Bobby thumbed a diesel down just before it rained,
It rode us all the way to New Orleans.

I pulled my harpoon out of my dirty red bandanna,
I was playing soft while Bobby sang the blues.
Windshield wipers slapping time, I was holding Bobby's hand in mine,
We sang every song that driver knew.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing don't mean nothing honey if it ain't free, now now.
And feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
You know feeling good was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

From the Kentucky coal mines to the California sun,
Hey, Bobby shared the secrets of my soul.
Through all kinds of weather, through everything we done,
Hey Bobby baby? kept me from the cold.

One day up near Salinas,I let him slip away,
He's looking for that home and I hope he finds it,
But I'd trade all of my tomorrows for just one yesterday
To be holding Bobby's body next to mine.

Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose,
Nothing, that's all that Bobby left me, yeah,
But feeling good was easy, Lord, when he sang the blues,
Hey, feeling good was good enough for me, hmm hmm,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

La la la, la la la la, la la la, la la la la
La la la la la Bobby McGee.
La la la la la, la la la la la
La la la la la, Bobby McGee, la.

La La la, la la la la la la,
La La la la la la la la la, ain`t no bumb on my bobby McGee yeah.
Na na na na na na na na, na na na na na na na na na na na
Hey now Bobby now, Bobby McGee, yeah.

Lord, I'm calling my lover, calling my man,
I said I'm calling my lover just the best I can,
C'mon, hey now Bobby yeah, hey now Bobby McGee, yeah,
Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee, Lord!

Yeah! Whew!

Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lordy Lord
Hey, hey, hey, Bobby McGee.

Link: http://www.sing365.com/music/lyric.nsf/Me-Bobby-McGee-lyrics-Janis-Joplin/DB4A0F6EDA995B334825695900340DC4

NSA Analysts Deliberately Broke Rules To Spy On Americans, Agency Reveals - GuardianUK

NSA analysts deliberately broke rules to spy on Americans, agency reveals
Inspector general's admission undermines fresh insistences from president that breaches of privacy rules were inadvertent

Dan Roberts in Washington - theguardian.com
Friday 23 August 2013 13.46 EDT


US intelligence analysts have deliberately broken rules designed to prevent them from spying on Americans, according to an admission by the National Security Agency that undermines fresh insistences from Barack Obama on Friday that all breaches were inadvertent.

A report by the NSA's inspector general is understood to have uncovered a number of examples of analysts choosing to ignore so-called "minimisation procedures" aimed at protecting privacy, according to officials speaking to Bloomberg.

"Over the past decade, very rare instances of wilful violations of NSA's authorities have been found," the NSA confirmed in a statement to the news agency. "NSA takes very seriously allegations of misconduct, and cooperates fully with any investigations – responding as appropriate. NSA has zero tolerance for willful violations of the agency's authorities."

Though likely to be a small subset of the thousands of supposedly accidental rule breaches recently revealed by the Washington Post, these cases flatly contradict assurances given by President Obama that the NSA was only ever acting in good faith.

Asked by CNN interviewer Chris Cuomo on Thursday whether he was "confident that you know everything that's going on within that agency and that you can say to the American people, 'It's all done the right way'?", Obama insisted he was.

"Because there are no allegations, and I am very confident – knowing the NSA and how they operate – that purposefully somebody is out there trying to abuse this program or listen in on people's email," he said in the interview that aired on Friday.

The fresh revelations came as Obama's new privacy watchdog delivered its first bark, with a letter to intelligence chiefs urging them draft stronger rules on domestic surveillance, something it revealed had not been updated for 30 years.


More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/nsa-analysts-broke-rules-spy

A Humble Plea For Peace... Is There Any Possible Way We Could Discuss Trangender Issues...

In A Thoughtful, Repectful, And Enlightening Way?

Of the LGBT issues, the Transgender issues have always been the most... mysterious, or misunderstood, or least dicussed...

For many folk, this is uncharted territory, and we might need a map to show us the way.

Hell... I almost started a post with Chelsea's former name, before I caught myself... it's only been 24 hours, and it might take some longer than others.

I've been standing with the LGBT community since the Briggs Initiative in California in 1978.

California Proposition 6 was an initiative on the California State ballot on November 7, 1978,[1] and was more commonly known as The Briggs Initiative.[2] Sponsored by John Briggs, a conservative state legislator from Orange County, the failed initiative would have banned gays and lesbians, and possibly anyone who supported gay rights, from working in California's public schools. The Briggs Initiative was the first failure in a movement that started with the successful campaign headed by Anita Bryant and her organization Save Our Children in Dade County, Florida, to repeal a local gay rights ordinance.

Openly gay San Francisco politician Harvey Milk was instrumental in fighting the measure, and opposition from a variety of public figures from California Governor Ronald Reagan to President Jimmy Carter helped to defeat it. Public opinion swung fairly quickly from general support of Proposition 6 to what became overwhelming opposition.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Briggs_Initiative

And believe me... it's been a long time just to get where we are now.

Yet... after watching several threads in the last 24 hours, I've been reluctant to ask a question because I've seen some very good DUers, in good standing with the community, get mercilessly torn down.

All I'm asking for here in my own hinky way... is for more light, and less heat...


In Her Request For A Pardon, Manning Said:

In her request for a pardon, Manning said: "Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture," she continued. "We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror."

From: http://www.democraticunderground.com/10023516974

NSA Paid Millions To Cover Prism Compliance Costs For Tech Companies - GuardianUK

NSA paid millions to cover Prism compliance costs for tech companies
Ewen MacAskill in New York - GuardianUK
theguardian.com, Friday 23 August 2013 10.34 EDT


The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency's activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.

The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court. The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA's inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.

While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance. The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.

The intelligence agency requires the Fisa court to sign annual "certifications" that provide the legal framework for surveillance operations. But in the wake of the court judgment these were only being renewed on a temporary basis while the agency worked on a solution to the processes that had been ruled illegal.

An NSA newsletter entry, marked top secret and dated December 2012, discloses the huge costs this entailed. "Last year's problems resulted in multiple extensions to the certifications' expiration dates which cost millions of dollars for Prism providers to implement each successive extension – costs covered by Special Source Operations," it says.


More: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/23/nsa-prism-costs-tech-companies-paid

THANK YOU !!! - U.S. Admits Electronic Spying On Americans Was Illegal - AFP

U.S. Admits Electronic Spying On Americans Was Illegal
August 22nd, 2013 9:57 am


WASHINGTON (AFP) – The U.S. government spied on electronic communications between Americans with no links to terror suspects until a judge ruled it illegal in 2011, officials acknowledged.

The unlawful program,
which involved tens of thousands of emails, was revealed in declassified documents from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews the legality of eavesdropping programs. The court’s opinions are usually kept secret but the government chose to release the documents amid a firestorm over sweeping surveillance operations, following bombshell leaks from a former U.S. intelligence contractor, Edward Snowden.

Officials said the court rulings had been declassified to better inform the public about how the eavesdropping programs are carried out with what they called rigorous “oversight.”

Under the program addressed by the court in 2011, the NSA had diverted a massive trove of international data flowing through fiber-optic cables in the United States, purportedly to sift through foreign communications.

But the NSA proved unable to separate out emails between Americans who had no links to terror suspects, and the agency was collecting tens of thousands of “wholly domestic communications” every year, the court said in documents posted by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.

The court concluded the program violated privacy rights enshrined in the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

The surveillance resulted “in the acquisition of a very large number of Fourth Amendment-protected communications that have no direct connection to any targeted facility and thus do not serve the national security needs” defined under the law, the court said.


Link: http://www.nationalmemo.com/u-s-admits-electronic-spying-on-americans-was-illegal/

Manning's Leaks Led To Change For Better - SFGate

Manning's leaks led to change for better
James Temple - SFGate
Updated 6:10 pm, Thursday, August 22, 2013


(08-22) 18:08 PDT San Francisco -- On July 12, 2007, two U.S. Apache helicopters hovered above a district of Baghdad and rained down 30mm rounds on a group of men standing on the street.

Two worked for the Reuters news service: Saeed Chmagh, a 40-year-old driver, camera assistant and father of four, and Namir Noor-Eldeen, a talented 22-year-old photojournalist. Both were killed, as were at least 10 others that day. Two children were also seriously wounded as the soldiers opened fire on a minivan attempting to pick up the wounded.

The onboard communications suggested the men took pleasure in their work: "Light 'em all up." "Oh yeah, look at those dead bastards." "Nice." "Oh yeah, look at that right through the windshield." "Haha!" "Well, it's their fault bringing their kids to a battle."

We know about this "delightful bloodlust" because of Pfc. Bradley Manning, an Army intelligence analyst who provided encrypted video of the events to WikiLeaks. On Wednesday, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for passing that and hundreds of thousands of other classified military documents to the organization. (On Thursday, Manning announced that she will live as a woman going forward, go by the name Chelsea and hopes to begin hormone therapy soon.)

None of the soldiers who killed innocent civilians that day were so much as reprimanded.

I'm no longer outraged by this, it's been clear for too long that this is how things would end. I'm saddened by this. It says something awful about the skew of our national priorities and the tilt of our moral compass.

I won't argue that Manning didn't break the law. I'll only argue that a sentence of 35 years is an incredibly harsh punishment for a troubled young adult whose every utterance and action makes clear that her motivation was to draw attention to the slipping principles of this nation. Her job required reading secret military reports each day that underscored how the terror of 9/11 allowed our military to rationalize unprovoked attacks, humiliation and torture, and steep collateral damage.

In her request for a pardon, Manning said: "Whenever we killed innocent civilians, instead of accepting responsibility for our conduct, we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability. In our zeal to kill the enemy, we internally debated the definition of torture," she continued. "We held individuals at Guantanamo for years without due process. We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror."


More: http://www.sfgate.com/technology/dotcommentary/article/Manning-s-leaks-led-to-change-for-better-4754135.php

Here Is The Article That Triggered The Stop & Frisk/NSA Discussion On Chris Hayes Tonight...

Where is the white liberal outrage on stop-and-frisk?
Opinion - by James Braxton Peterson | TheGrio
August 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM


Growing up as a teenager in Newark, N.J., the summers were often correlated with the dread of enhanced police presence in the city brought on by the infiltration of New Jersey State Troopers. This practice of state police support in Newark continues to this day. Much like the entire nation, the citizens of Newark accept the appearance of enhanced security without much discussion about privacy and/or civil liberties especially significant given the state’s long history of racial profiling and the plethora of police stops casually justified as “driving while black.”

What we refer to now as “stop and frisk” has been tactical practice for urban police departments for nearly all of my life. That it has been formalized and institutionalized in the 21st century only serves to strengthen law enforcement’s reliance on it and faulty justifications for it.

Maybe if you’ve never been profiled; if you’ve never been stopped for no apparent reason, questioned about your destination, tousled and frisked, searched and put up against a wall or a car; maybe if you’re not painfully aware of how many of these kinds of encounters (between police and innocent citizens) have ended in the deaths of too many innocent victims to tally here; maybe if you have no connection to the utter humiliation of being publicly detained by police for no reason, then it might be difficult to comprehend the underpinnings of privilege in the recent discourses on the NSA, Manning, Snowden, and the unchecked access to our digital lives.

The left’s outrage directed at the Obama administration in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaking of classified information has been palpable and well documented in both print and television media. While the discussion has sometimes centered too much on Snowden and not enough on the principles of civil liberties in relationship to national security, I find myself in agreement with those who are suspicious of any government that wants us to simply trust that they will do the right thing regarding our rights.

Yet how can we have a discussion about civil liberties and security, privacy and safety without connecting it to the physical surveillance to which black and brown Americans have been historically subject? In short, why aren’t the champions of Snowden, Manning, and others saying anything at all about stop-and-frisk and Stand Your Ground laws/policies. They have been and remain silent on the historical and perpetual encroachment upon the civil liberties – the freedom to walk the streets without being detained or shot – of black and brown citizens of the United States.


More: http://thegrio.com/2013/08/21/where-is-the-white-liberal-outrage-on-stop-and-frisk/

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