(2013-06-07) Nsa Wiretapping Everything Already

Jun06: Glenn Greenwald discovered The National Security Agency (NSA) is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America's largest telecoms (TelCo) providers, under a top secret court order issued in April... The secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) granted the order to the FBI on April 25, giving the government unlimited authority to obtain the data for a specified three-month period ending on July 19. Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls (Meta Data). The contents of the conversation itself are not covered.

  • Jun07: People familiar with the NSA's operations said the initiative also encompasses phone-call data from ATT Inc. and Sprint/Nextel Corp. records from Internet-service providers (ISP-s) and purchase information from Credit Card providers.

Jun07: The National Security Agency has obtained direct access to the systems of Google, FaceBook, Apple Computer and other US internet giants, according to a top secret document obtained by the Guardian. The NSA access is part of a previously undisclosed program called PRISM, which allows officials to collect material including search history, the content of emails, file transfers and live chats, the document says... The NSA access was enabled by changes to US surveillance law introduced under President George W Bush and renewed under Barack Obama in December 2012.. Some of the world's largest internet brands are claimed to be part of the information-sharing program since its introduction in 2007. Microsoft – which is currently running an advertising campaign with the slogan "Your Privacy is our priority" – was the first, with collection beginning in December 2007. It was followed by Yahoo in 2008; Google, FaceBook and Pal Talk in 2009; YouTube in 2010; Skype and AOL in 2011; and finally Apple Computer, which joined the program in 2012. The program is continuing to expand, with other providers due to come online... The NSA document indicates that it is planning to add Drop Box as a PRISM provider.

  • Twitter declined to make it easier for the government. But other companies were more compliant, according to people briefed on the negotiations. They opened discussions with national security officials about developing technical methods to more efficiently and securely share the personal data of foreign users in response to lawful government requests. And in some cases, they changed their computer systems to do so... Each of the nine companies said it had no knowledge of a government program providing officials with access to its servers, and drew a bright line between giving the government wholesale access to its servers to collect user data and giving them specific data in response to individual court orders... Statements from Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, Apple, AOL and Paltalk made the same distinction. But instead of adding a back door to their servers, the companies were essentially asked to erect a locked mailbox and give the government the key, people briefed on the negotiations said.
  • Jul11: Amazing details on Microsoft's compliance, including Skype audio and video (not just text-chat).

Jun09: The Whistle Blower was Edward Snowden, a Booz Allen employee and ex-CIA employee. He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Barack Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."

Jun14: If we’ve learned anything in the past few days it’s that the NSA does precious little of its own spying, relying instead on companies like PalantirTechnologies and Booz Allen Hamilton. Indeed, Palantir is just one of dozens — hundreds? — of Silicon Valley companies developing and operating the tools used by intelligence agencies like the NSA... A look at InQTel’s board of trustees shows how close the relationship between the geeks and the sneaks has become. The board is almost indistinguishable from that of a major Valley VC firm: Jim Barksdale former CEO and President of Netscape sits next to Howard Cox of Greylock, sits next to Ted Schley of KPMG… sits across from David E. Jeremiah, the Chairman of Wackenhut Services Inc and AB “Buzzy” Krongard, Former Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)... According to Crunch Base: Cloudera, iMove, 3vr, and Mocana (4 companies doing tech work for BigGov), all share one additional investor in common: SV Angel, one of the Valley’s most prolific “micro VC” firms. And whose name do we find on the firm’s list of limited partners? One Michael Arrington.

Jun15: Phil Jones notes an array of tech/product choices for you to opt-out of NSA tracking.

Jun16: Thomas Drake, William Binney and J Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way. For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media. To the intelligence community, the trio are villains who compromised what the government classifies as some of its most secret, crucial and successful initiatives. They have been investigated as criminals and forced to give up careers, reputations and friendships built over a lifetime... The Inspector General was the one who gave their names to the Justice Department for criminal prosecution under the Espionage Act... Ever since ... 1997-1998 ... those terrorists have known that we've been monitoring all of these communications all along. So they have already adjusted to the fact that we are doing that. So the fact that it is published in the U.S. news that we're doing that, has no effect on them whatsoever... So the idea that we have robust checks and balances on this is a myth... Well, I don't want anyone to think that he had an alternative. No one should (think that). There is no path for intelligence-community whistle-blowers who know wrong is being done.

Jun19: Top secret documents obtained by the Guardian illustrate what the FISA court actually does – and does not do – when purporting to engage in "oversight" over the NSA's domestic spying. That process lacks many of the safeguards that Barack Obama, the House GOP, and various media defenders of the NSA are trying to lead the public to believe exist... That's why Democratic senators such as Ron Wyden and Mark Udall spent years asking the NSA: how many Americans are having their telephone calls listened to and emails read by you without individualized warrants? Unlike the current attempts to convince Americans that the answer is "none", the NSA repeatedly refused to provide any answers, claiming that providing an accurate number was beyond their current technological capabilities. Obviously, the answer is far from "none".

  • More importantly, they expose the "truth" behind NSA director James Clapper's assertion that "The statement that a single analyst can eavesdrop on domestic communications without proper legal authorization is incorrect and was not briefed to Congress." This turns out to be technically, narrowly true, but false in its implication. Because the Justice Department granted intelligence analysts "proper legal authorization" in advance through the Holder regulations.
  • Using online anonymity services such as TOR or sending encrypted e-mail and Instant Messaging are grounds for US-based communications to be retained by the National Security Agency even when they're collected inadvertently, according to a secret government document published Thursday.

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