CIA Reportedly Restricts Spying on ‘Friendly Governments’ in Western Europe

By: Friday September 19, 2014 4:59 pm

The Associated Press reports the CIA has decided to restrict “spying on friendly governments in Western Europe in response to the furor over a German caught selling secrets to the United States.” The revelations on top secret NSA surveillance from NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden have also played a role in the CIA’s decision.

 

NSA Reform – Real or Imaginary?

By: Tuesday September 16, 2014 4:25 pm

The ACLU noted in November that approximately 30 bills had been proposed in Congress to reform National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance and Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) processes that authorize such programs. Few provide for the complete restoration of freedoms guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution. The amended Leahy/Sensenbrenner USA Freedom Act actually perpetuates the retroactive “legalization” of unconstitutional activities Congress has permitted since 2006. Speaker Boehner’s favored House Intelligence bill sponsored by Reps. Rogers and Ruppersburger and labeled the Stop Bulk Collection Act also perpetuates the nebulously low standard of “reasonable articulable suspicion” for analyzing metadata of private U.S. citizens.

Both bills were drafted by the Intelligence Committees charged with overseeing the operations of the NSA and upholding the U.S. Constitution.

Court Challenges US Navy’s Dragnet Surveillance of Civilian Computers & Suppresses Evidence in Criminal Case

By: Monday September 15, 2014 11:07 am

A federal appeals court issued a decision suppressing evidence found by a Naval Criminal Investigative Service special agent and used to prosecute a civilian for child pornography. The NCIS special agent had conducted dragnet surveillance of all civilians in an entire state. The “extraordinary nature of the surveillance” demonstrated “a need to deter future violations” of the Posse Comitatus Act and send a message to the government that military personnel are not permitted to enforce civilian laws.

Civil Liberties Advocates, Organizations and Whistleblowers Tell Congress to Oppose the USA FREEDOM Act

By: Monday September 15, 2014 10:00 am

Firedoglake is proud to join civil liberties advocates, organizations and whistleblowers in urging members of Congress to oppose the NSA reform bill known as the USA FREEDOM Act (S. 2685). Today, our coalition sent the following letter to members in the House and Senate.

The letter was signed by whistleblowers William Binney, Thomas Drake, Daniel Ellsberg, Mark Klein, Edward Loomis and J. Kirk Wiebe, as well as Campaign for Liberty, CREDO Action, Emptywheel, Fight for the Future, Firedoglake, OffNow, Participatory Politics Foundation, Progressive Change Campaign Committee, Progressive Change Institute, Restore The Fourth, RootsAction.org, Sascha Meinrath, Tenth Amendment Center, The Rhode Island Coalition to Defend Human and Civil Rights, The Sunlight Foundation and ThoughtWorks.

NSA Extorted Yahoo’s Compliance With PRISM With $250,000 Per Day Fine Threat

By: Friday September 12, 2014 1:17 pm

While many in the tech industry appear to have no trouble collaborating with those illegally spying on American citizens, it is instructive to see what happened to the companies that even put up mild resistance to the NSA’s mission of “collect it all.”

Late Night: The New Pearl Harbor

By: Thursday September 11, 2014 8:00 pm

“Time flies, whether you’re having fun or not.” -Lynda Barry

This thought has been haunting me lately as we approached the 13th anniversary of The Day That Changed Everything (for the worse).

The stark images from the day itself, so overplayed yet ambiguous, seem insignificant now compared to what followed, which is so much more dreadful than anything I could have imagined at the time.

Government Tries to Alter Court Transcript in EFF NSA Spying Case

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 3:13 pm

This is one of the crazier things I’ve seen in a while, and as someone who works with a lot of whistleblowers, that’s saying something.

The EFF is suing the NSA and other government agencies in the case Jewel v. NSA, attempting to stop illegal dragnet surveillance. According to EFF there was a hearing on June 6 in a crowded courtroom, but after it was over the government asked to have “classified information” that they had presented in open court removed from the court transcript. And they wanted to do so in secret so it would never be a matter of public record.

Moreover, EFF was under a gag order not to speak about it until today

Google’s Monopoly Under Threat In Europe

By: Tuesday September 9, 2014 11:12 am

Though Google may have US officials on the end of a string it is facing serious pushback in Europe. Calls for the search monopoly to be broken up and more heavily regulated have been voiced from high government officials as the company that once claimed the motto of “don’t be evil” is seen as a creeping threat to civil liberties and an open market for competition.

Obama Administration Still Keeping Much Secret About Bush’s Warrantless Wiretapping Program

By: Saturday September 6, 2014 2:10 pm

The Justice Department released two memos on the authorization of warrantless wiretapping, as part of the top secret program, Stellar Wind. The memos were created during President George W. Bush’s administration and contain the “legal justification” for electronic surveillance without a warrant. However, one of the me was previously provided with significant redactions to the ACLU in March 2011. It remains heavily censored.

The memo was written by former Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) head and lawyer, Jack Goldsmith, and is dated May 6, 2004.

As ACLU staff attorney Patrick Toomey told The Washington Post, “What these memos show is that nearly three years after President Bush authorized the warrantless wiretapping of Americans’ emails and phone calls, government lawyers were still struggling to put the program on sound legal footing.”

NSA Docs Show Blueprint for US Economic Espionage

By: Friday September 5, 2014 1:49 pm

Former NSA director Keith Alexander was asked in an Australia Financial Review interview in May whether it was a “credible argument” that the US is different from China because it “does not engage in spying to make its private citizens rich.”

Alexander answered, “It is to me. Specifically, we use intelligence to help protect our nation and to ensure we make the best possible policy decisions. We do not steal data to help our commercial industries.”

Yet, in this 2009 report, a set of ideas were developed to “mitigate strategic and institutional risk” against “competitor states” and to help the US maintain its “world standing.” The ideas were intended to influence “agenda items for the intelligence community and its partners” from 2009 to as late as 2025.

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