It is with some Quixotic pleasure that a Utah state legislative committee will vote on a bill that could deprive a National Security Agency facility just outside Salt Lake City of its water, all in protest of the government agency’s collection of civilian data.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday November 18, 2014 10:25 am|
The end of privacy in the United States was brought about as much by technology as intention. Those who claim there is little new here — the government read the mail of and wiretapped the calls and conversations of Americans under COINTELPRO from 1956 to at least 1971, for example – do not fully understand the impact of technology.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday October 28, 2014 10:00 am|
Two kinds of people are interested in Laura Pointras’ new documentary, CitizenFour, about Edward Snowden’s early contacts with journalists Glenn Greenwald, Ewen MacAskill and herself. Let’s have a review of the film for each group, the Haters and Everyone Else.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday September 22, 2014 10:14 am|
The most egregious example of word-twisting and sleazy legal manipulations to morph illegal government spying under the Fourth Amendment into topsy-turvy quasi-legal spying is the use of Executive Order 12333, E.O. 12333, what the spooks call “twelve triple three.” The Order dates from 1981, signed by Ronald Reagan to buff up what his predecessors limited in response to overzealous law enforcement activities. The Gipper would be mighty proud that his perhaps most lasting accomplishment was legalizing surveillance of every American citizen.
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday August 26, 2014 2:24 pm|
Citing an endless river of filth, vacuous conversations, idiotic Tweets and endless cat videos, the NSA announced it is “freaking done” with spying on Americans.
|By: Peter Van Buren Friday August 1, 2014 8:15 am|
The German government will end its contract with Verizon. Brazil dumped Boeing for Swedish company Saab to replace its fighter jets. Sources told Bloomberg News“The NSA problem ruined it” for the U.S. defense contractor.
Unfettered NSA spying has cost U.S. companies up to $180 billion in lost overseas business. The number is expected to grow.
|By: Peter Van Buren Monday July 21, 2014 11:07 am|
Speaking via video link (he uses Skype!) from Russia to the HopeX hackers’ conference in New York City July 19, Edward Snowden issued a call to arms to those present. Engineers, he said, “need to think now in adversarial terms to defeat government technical capabilities.” While the government now uses technology to shield themselves from accountability, software and hardware must “become a way to express our freedoms while protecting our freedoms.”
|By: Peter Van Buren Wednesday July 16, 2014 8:52 am|
In the world of spying in general, and especially when you’re spying on allied nations, Rule No. 1 is “Don’t Get Caught.” Rule No. 2 is “Make Sure the Juice is Worth the Squeeze.” The U.S. broke both rules, several times, in Germany. For what?
|By: Peter Van Buren Tuesday June 24, 2014 7:49 am|
Based on the NSA training he was given, Snowden was questioning which carries more weight within the NSA– an actual law passed by Congress, or an order from the president (an E.O., Executive Order.) The answer was a bit curvy, saying that absent a specific law to the contrary, an order from the president has the force of a law.
|By: Peter Van Buren Thursday June 12, 2014 11:40 am|
Glenn Greenwald almost missed the story of his career because he didn’t understand how to communicate securely.
The person Greenwald now knows as Edward Snowden began contacting him via open email, urging Greenwald to learn how to use encryption and other web tools to receive sensitive information. When Greenwald was slow to act, Snowden even made a video tutorial to baby-step him through the necessary procedures. Absent these extraordinary efforts by Snowden, who knows when or even if his game-changing NSA information would have come to light.