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U.S. Gov’t ‘Privacy Terrorism’ Against U.S. Citizens Gone Too Far – Time For Constitutional Amendment

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The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency....

The seal of the U.S. National Security Agency. The first use was in September 1966, replacing an older seal which was used briefly. For more information, see here and here. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

By now, it is probably clear there are no checks and balances to protect Americans from the ever-growing threat to privacy by the foreign-serving U.S. intelligence regime, despite the hollow reassurances from government officials who want Americans to trust their word alone that the NSA is not going after Americans. As shown in a previous article, the 9/11 attacks, though very tragic, do not come anywhere close to justifying the ominous, extremely wide net of intelligence gathering against all Americans and foreign citizens. It is interesting that, despite the growing surveillance and hacking done by the NSA and other American intelligence agencies, terrorist acts still go on. And for those who study terrorist groups closely, it should be very clear that the U.S. intelligence community is actually behind Al Qaeda (look at Syria) and other related groups. The bizarre basis for surveillance is that because of the threat posed by a few thousand so-called terrorists, hundreds of millions of Americans and other citizens and their leaders have to be subject to “privacy terrorism” by western intelligence. This is a preposterous and absurd premise. It is time for citizens to vote these privacy terrorists out of office and vote in sensible leaders who will agree to amend the constitution to keep prying eyes out of our private lives and focus on traditional investigative and law enforcement techniques.

Here’s a sampling of the latest articles exposing the privacy terrorists in our governments.

I Want Your Data

I Want Your Data (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NSA collects millions of e-mail address books globally

The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.

Rather than targeting individual users, the NSA is gathering contact lists in large numbers that amount to a sizable fraction of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts. Analysis of that data enables the agency to search for hidden connections and to map relationships within a much smaller universe of foreign intelligence targets.

During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year.

Secret US court, unrestrained by privacy concerns, confirms NSA surveillance powers

A US federal court tasked with monitoring spy agencies confirmed the NSA’s authority for bulk collection of phone metadata. The extension of the agency’s digital spying revealed by Edward Snowden has triggered a major debate on privacy.

  The National Security Agency is believed to have requested  authorization from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court  (FISC) for a dragnet data collection roughly every six months  since 2006. The practice was first made public after a June  publication in the Guardian, based on classified documents leaked  by Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

  Public outrage over what many consider a gross violation of  privacy does not seem to have changed the mind of the judges  sitting on the secret court. The latest NSA request to confirm  its authority was granted, the office of James Clapper, Director  of National Intelligence, revealed Friday.

“DNI Clapper has decided to declassify and disclose publicly  that the government filed an application with the Foreign  Intelligence Surveillance Court seeking renewal of the authority  to collect telephony metadata in bulk, and that the court renewed  that authority,” Clapper spokesman Shawn Turner said. This  disclosure is “consistent with his prior declassification  decision and in light of the significant and continuing public  interest in the telephony metadata collection program.”


Internet giants plan to track users even more

While public unease with the National Security Agency’s surveillance efforts continues to grow, there are new signs indicating that technology companies are also upgrading their efforts to track what you’re doing on the Internet.

  According to a new report by Wired, companies like Microsoft and  Google are developing increasingly sophisticated means of  collecting consumer data online. The goal is to harvest the new  data for advertising purposes, but, as noted in the article,  there’s always concern that the NSA could gain access to and use  the information for other purposes. NSA documents published by  the Guardian already suggest that the agency could use ad data  and cookies to help it find people who use the anonymous Tor  browser.

“Users did not have much control in the cookie era,”Marc  Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy  Information Center, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington,  said to Wired.“But the problem is about to get much worse —   tracking techniques will become more deeply embedded and a much  smaller number of companies will control advertising data.”

Microsoft, in particular, is reportedly developing new tracking  techniques that would be capable of recording when users  transition from the web to apps, and even between separate  devices, like PCs, tablets, phones, and video game consoles.  According to AdAge,Microsoft’s cookie replacement  would essentially be a device identifier, meaning consumers could  give permission for its advertising use when opting in to a  device’s regular user agreement or terms of service.”


Oakland dedicating anti-terrorism funding to surveillance supercenter

Lawmakers in Oakland intend to spend millions of dollars awarded to the California city in a federal grant to a police dragnet that promises to examine surveillance footage, riling critics who assert the intention of the grant was to stop terrorism.

  When the new program debuts in approximately one year police will  be able to track drivers as they travel through tolls, scan  license plates with the roughly 3,000 surveillance cameras placed  throughout the city, and monitor social media platforms to learn  about crimes before they occur. 

  The Oakland program, officially referred to as the Domain  Awareness Center, according to the New York Times, comes at a  time when police departments across the US are using federal  money to launch similar surveillance efforts modeled after the  New York Police Department. The NYPD, which operates within New  York City as well as far outside, has used federal grants to  build a massive surveillance network capable of linking cameras  and license plate readers to criminal and suspected terrorist  databases. 

  The Domain Awareness Center also plans to plant gunshot detection  sensors through Oakland, which is consistently ranked among the  most dangerous cities in the US. Forbes magazine reported that  violent crime affects 1,683 of every 100,000 residents in the  city, making it the third most dangerous city in America with a  population between 100,000 and 499,000 in 2013.  

The Oakland City Council voted unanimously on July 31 to adopt  the plan to build the surveillance center, which officials have  said will be staffed 24 hours a day. Lawmakers voted at the same  meeting to ban hammers and spray paint cans at protests in fear  that the items will be used as weapons. Waiting outside,  protesters admonished council members with chants of “Shame!   Shame! Shame!” 

The Domain Awareness Center is the guard tower which will  watch over every person in the city of Oakland,” shouted  demonstrator Mark Raymond, as quoted by the San Francisco  Chronicle. “This program is an attempt to criminalize and  imprison all people who live and pass through Oakland.”


Malay fund managers move servers to Russia amid ‘dodge NSA’ tech-trend

Private telecom providers, businesses and governments are increasingly compelled to move or reinforce web operations following disclosures of the NSA’s mass internet surveillance programs made by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

  Brazil is set to vote on the creation of a cyber-security system to thwart  National Security Agency espionage of Brazilian government  systems. US surveillance led by the NSA had infiltrated the  highest levels of Brazil’s administration.

  The largest telecom provider in Germany, the formerly-state-run  Deutsche Telekom, is seeking to keep their service in-country, out of the  reach of foreign spying.

  But much smaller internet companies are also feeling the need,  based on customer demand and common sense, to move their servers  out of the reach of the NSA and the United States’ partners in  global surveillance, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK –   the “Five Eyes.”  

Some have interests in Russia, like the Malaysia-based finance  advisory firm, Najadi & Partners, which registered its  servers using the .ru domain.

Written by voiceoftruthusa

October 15, 2013 at 5:00 pm

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