#AceWorldNews – UNITED STATES – July 18 – The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies.
According to documents provided by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes:
• Faisal Gill, a longtime Republican Party operative and one-time candidate for public office who held a top-secret security clearance and served in the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush;
• Asim Ghafoor, a prominent attorney who has represented clients in terrorism-related cases;
• Hooshang Amirahmadi, an Iranian-American professor of international relations at Rutgers University;
• Agha Saeed, a former political science professor at California State University who champions Muslim civil liberties and Palestinian rights;
The individuals appear on an NSA spreadsheet in the Snowden archives called “FISA recap”—short for the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Under that law, the Justice Department must convince a judge with the top-secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that there is probable cause to believe that American targets are not only agents of an international terrorist organization or other foreign power, but also “are or may be” engaged in or abetting espionage, sabotage, or terrorism. The authorizations must be renewed by the court, usually every 90 days for U.S. citizens.
The spreadsheet shows 7,485 email addresses listed as monitored between 2002 and 2008. Many of the email addresses on the list appear to belong to foreigners whom the government believes are linked to Al Qaeda, Hamas, and Hezbollah. Among the Americans on the list are individuals long accused of terrorist activity, including Anwar al-Awlaki and Samir Khan, who were killed in a 2011 drone strike in Yemen.
But a three-month investigation by The Intercept—including interviews with more than a dozen current and former federal law enforcement officials involved in the FISA process—reveals that in practice, the system for authorizing NSA surveillance affords the government wide latitude in spying on U.S. citizens.
The five Americans whose email accounts were monitored by the NSA and FBI have all led highly public, outwardly exemplary lives. All five vehemently deny any involvement in terrorism or espionage, and none advocates violent jihad or is known to have been implicated in any crime, despite years of intense scrutiny by the government and the press. Some have even climbed the ranks of the U.S. national security and foreign policy establishments.
“I just don’t know why,” says Gill, whose AOL and Yahoo! email accounts were monitored while he was a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates. “I’ve done everything in my life to be patriotic. I served in the Navy, served in the government, was active in my community—I’ve done everything that a good citizen, in my opinion, should do.”
They were directed by Nadia Hallgren and Intercept co-founder Laura Poitras.)
ok, this is me using common sense here with Snowden and flight Flight 370, the missing Malaysian flight. Now Snowden said “They can turn on an App and tap into your Smart phone even when the BATTERY IS OUT” He said it, the video below is a reminder of the interview. Now, if the NSA for example can track you or I 10,000 miles away, 20,000 miles away with a phone powered off or with no battery in it, HOW ON EARTH CAN’T THEY TRACK FLIGHT 370! What Snowden said and using common sense and logic, we see clearly, 100% that this flight, crashed or not could and would have been monitored till it crashed or till it landed. I think it’s a VERY fair assumption to say, flight 370 is a black ops operation, we are being lied to. There is a video at the very bottom explaining all this, but check what Snowden said about smart phones
Edward Snowden’s recent revelation that the NSA can bug cell phones even when they are turned off left some experts split on whether it is true or not. But a group of hackers claim that at least there is a way to protect your phone from spies’ ears. Snowden, who exposed the American government’s secret mass surveillance program, has been making headlines in the media for almost a year with shocking details about the scale of snooping by the National Security Agency (NSA). In last week’s interview with NBC, the former CIA employee yet again added to the spreading privacy panic when he said the NSA can actually eavesdrop on cellphones even when they are turned off. “Can anyone turn it on remotely if it’s off?” Williams asked Snowden referring to the smartphone he used for travel to Russia for the interview. “Can they turn on apps? Did anyone know or care that I Googled the final score of the Rangers-Canadiens game last night because I was traveling here?” “I would say yes to all of those,” Snowden replied. “They can absolutely turn them on with the power turned off to the device,” he added.
It is not news that American (and possibly not only American) special services have been able to use mobile phones as a spying tool for at least a decade. Back in 2006, media reported that the FBI applied a technique known as a “roving bug” which allowed them to remotely activate a cell phone’s microphone and listen to nearby conversations. Pinpointing a person’s location to within just a few meters has not been a problem either thanks to a tracking device built into mobile phones. This option, a party-spoiler for criminals, has also been helpful in finding people who have gone missing or got into trouble. The general belief has been that removing a battery would make tracking impossible. In July last year, Washington Post wrote that “By September 2004, a new NSA technique enabled the agency to find cellphones even when they were turned off.” The agency used it to help American forces in Iraq. Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) called the method “The Find,” and “it gave them thousands of new targets, including members of a burgeoning al-Qaeda-sponsored insurgency in Iraq,” the paper wrote.
The video below explains it with the use of a real iPhone.
There are easier ways to enter a complete shutdown, according to Wired. You can hold the home and power buttons simultaneously for 10 seconds without the DFU button sequence. This will put the phone in too low level a state for anything to able to interact with its baseband.
WOW! America, wakey, wakey
Ok, coming from the Story I have been following here, I have the proof the USA Media are censored by thee Government, the USA is turning more and more fascist by the week, this is not a free press I live in, Here is the full story with the interview NBC had aired, missing the 9/11 part, that part is in the video below this paragraph http://acenewsservices.com/2014/05/30/nsa-releases-single-snowden-e-mail-as-kerry-tells-him-man-up-before-interview-with-us-media/
Last June, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said on Fox News that he was “glad” that his data was being collected and analyzed. “I’m a Verizon customer,” he added. “I don’t mind Verizon turning over records to the government if the government is going to make sure that they try to match up a known terrorist phone with somebody in the United States,” Graham said. In an unaired clip of NBC News’ interview with Edward Snowden, he explains that mass surveillance isn’t making us safer and is just taking our rights and privacy away.
Here is this clip!
“I take the threat of terrorism seriously, and I think we all do. I think it’s really disingenuous for the government to invoke and sort of scandalize our memories to sort of exploit national trauma that we all suffered together and worked so hard to come through to justify programs that have never been shown to keep us safe, but cost us liberties and freedoms that we don’t need to give up and that our Constitution says we should not give up.”
In the allegedly censored clip, Snowden also reveals that the U.S. had all of the intelligence regarding the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 but we unable to connect the dots.
“You know this is a key question that the 9/11 commission considered, and what they found in the postmortem when they looked at all the classified intelligence from all the different intelligence agencies, they found that we had all of the information we needed as an intelligence community, as a classified sector, as the national defense of the United States, to detect this plot,” Snowden said.
“We actually had records of the phone calls from the United States and out. The CIA knew who these guys were. The problem was not that we weren’t collecting information, it wasn’t that we didn’t have enough dots, it wasn’t that we didn’t have a haystack, it was that we did not understand the haystack that we had.”
And all of this haystacking is a problem: “The problem with mass surveillance is that we’re piling more hay on a haystack we don’t understand. And this is the haystack of the human lives of every American citizen in our country.”
Snowden said that we’re taking money away from successful investigation tactics and investing in these needle-in-a-haystack-type situation.
“If these programs aren’t keeping us safe and they’re making us miss connections, vital connections on information we already have. We’re taking resources away from traditional methods of investigation from law enforcement operations that we know work.
“If we’re missing things like the Boston Marathon bombings where all of these mass-surveillance systems, every domestic dragnet in the world, didn’t reveal guys that the Russian intelligence service told us about by name, is that really the best way to protect our country or are we trying to throw money at a magic solution that’s actually not just costing us our safety, but our rights and our way of life,” Snowden said.
Makes you wonder what else are we missing and why these shocking revelations weren’t included in NBC’s prime time broadcast.
#AceNewsServices – WORLDWIDE – May 31 – The officially released agenda of the prestigious Bilderberg club meeting is not true, claims RT show host Daniel Estulin, a longtime watcher of the ‘secret world govt’ group.
He says he obtained the real agenda for this year’s gathering in Copenhagen.
An insider leaked the list of talking points for the ongoing Bilderberg conference to the investigative journalist last week, he said. The list has nine items, seven of which he shared:
1. Nuclear diplomacy and the deal with Iran currently in the making.
The club has long been cautious of a possible alliance between Russia, China and Iran. The deal that would lift Western pressure from the Islamic Republic over its nuclear program would affect this possibility.
2. Gas deal between Russia and China.
It came amid a serious political crisis in Ukraine, which threatens Russia’s supply of natural gas to European nations. Moscow has diversified its gas trade by sealing a long-term contract with Beijing. Potentially, China may replace the EU as the prime energy trade partner for Russia, a situation which strengthens Moscow’s position in Ukraine by undermining Washington’s effort to isolate Russia and Kiev’s leverage through its control of transit gas pipelines.
3. Rise of nationalist moods in Europe.
The agenda was formed before the latest European Parliament elections, which cast a spotlight on the trend. Populist eurosceptic parties are winning the hearts of Europeans from the UK to Greece to Hungary, dealing a blow to the union’s unity. A nationally driven and divided Europe would be reluctant to take globalization for granted.
4. EU internet privacy regulations.
Edward Snowden’s exposure of the scale of electronic surveillance on the part of the US National Security Agency and its allies worldwide sparked a major protest from privacy-seeking people. European politicians can’t ignore the calls to protect people’s communication from snooping, which potentially makes data collection more difficult. At least not immediately, as indicated by the apparent scaling down of Germany’s investigation into the NSA’s alleged surveillance.
5. Cyberwarfare and its potential effect on internet freedoms.
The destructive potential of cyber attacks is growing rapidly as reliance on the internet in all aspects of life rises. But the threat of state-sponsored hacker attacks is what some governments may use as a pretext for clamping down on the internet, undermining its role as a medium for the sake of security.
— Charlie Skelton (@deYook) May 31, 2014
6. From Ukraine to Syria, Barack Obama’s foreign policy.
Critics of the US president blame him for betraying America’s leadership overseas, citing failures to defend American interests in Syria and lately in Ukraine. Obama’s newly announced doctrine calls on scaling down reliance on military force and using diplomacy and collective action instead. Bilderberg members will discuss whether this policy is doomed.
7. Climate change.
This is a regular topic for many high-ranking discussions, not only the Bilderberg conference in Denmark. People suspicious of the elites call climate change a euphemism for the artificial deindustrialization of some nations, with the goal of keeping the global economy under the control of transnational corporations and the expense of potential hubs of economic growth.
The Bilderberg Group is a six-decades-old club for some of the world’s most influential individuals, politicians, officials, businessmen, academics and European royalty, regularly gathering to discuss global policy issues. Critics accuse them of acting as a shadow unelected government, would-be rulers of the world, which take decisions affecting billions of people behind closed doors, with little regard for the needs or wishes of the general population.
In an apparent bid to dissipate these accusations, this time Bilderberg made itsofficial agenda public. Among the 12 topics for this year’s conference were “the new architecture of the Middle East,” “Ukraine” and “The future of democracy and the middle class trap.”
The National Security Agency said Thursday that Edward Snowden sent supervisors only one e-mail when he worked there, and it did not protest the nature of NSA surveillance programs. In the e-mail to the Office of General Counsel, Snowden posed a legal question about a training program. “There are numerous avenues that Mr. Snowden could have used to raise other concerns or whistleblower allegations,” the NSA said in a statement. “We have searched for additional indications of outreach from him in those areas and to date have not discovered any engagements related to his claims.”
In an interview with NBC News, Snowden said he told the NSA about his concerns about its widespread methods of intelligence gathering.
“I actually did go through channels, and that is documented,” Snowden said. “The NSA has records, they have copies of emails right now to their Office of General Counsel, to their oversight and compliance folks, from me raising concerns about the NSA’s interpretations of its legal authorities. … The response more or less, in bureaucratic language, was, ‘You should stop asking questions.'”
Snowden — who remains in Russia, which has granted him temporary asylum — faces espionage charges in the United States.
This comes on the day John Kerry 68th United States Secretary of State said “‘Man Up And Come Home'”
US Secretary of State John Kerry has challenged Edward Snowden to “man up and come back to the United States”, after the whistleblower admitted he wanted to return home. Mr Kerry’s comments follow the former National Security Agency contractor’s interview with NBC, his first for US media since he fled the country after leaking a huge volume of classified documents. Now living in Russia on a temporary grant of asylum, Mr Snowden told the network he took action in the belief that he was serving his country in exposing the surveillance programs of the NSA. “I don’t think there’s ever been any question that I’d like to go home,” Snowden said in a segment of the interview. “Now, whether amnesty or clemency ever becomes a possibility is not for me to say. That’s a debate for the public and the government to decide. But, if I could go anywhere in the world, that place would be home.” And Mr Kerry, speaking before NBC aired that portion of the interview, said: “If Mr Snowden wants to come back to the United States, we’ll have him on a flight today. A patriot would not run away.
Susan Rice has denied Mr Snowden’s recent claims
“He should man up and come back to the United States. If he has a complaint about what’s the matter with American surveillance, (he should) come back here and stand in our system of justice and make his case. “If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice.” Mr Snowden had also said in an earlier part of his interview that he worked undercover and overseas for the CIA and the NSA. He claimed he had a far more important role in US intelligence than the government has acknowledged. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word, in that I lived and worked undercover overseas,” he said. National security adviser Susan Rice insisted in a CNN interview that Mr Snowden never worked undercover. Mr Snowden said he never intended to end up in Russia but was forced to go there because Washington decided to “revoke my passport.” In response, Mr Kerry said: “Well, for a supposedly smart guy, that’s a pretty dumb answer, after all. “I think he’s confused. I think it’s very sad. But this is a man who has done great damage to his country.”
All this after:
Edward Snowden: ‘I Worked As A Spy Overseas’
Snowden has received support during demonstrations in the US
Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden has said he “trained as a spy” and worked “undercover overseas” for intelligence agencies. In his first interview in American media, he rejected claims he was merely a junior contractor, saying he worked “at all levels from the bottom on the ground, all the way to the top”. The 30-year-old, who has been charged in the US with espionage, was granted asylum by Russia in August, 2013, after instigating a series of leaks on mass surveillance in America and around the world. In the NBC News interview, due to air in full on Wednesday, Snowden defended himself against claims he had minimal intelligence experience before he released classified documents revealing the National Security Agency’s programme of phone and internet surveillance. “I was trained as a spy in sort of the traditional sense of the word in that I lived and worked undercover overseas – pretending to work in a job that I’m not – and even being assigned a name that was not mine,” he said. He said he had worked covertly as “a technical expert” for the Central Intelligence Agency and the NSA, and as a trainer for the Defense Intelligence Agency.
“I don’t work with people,” he said. “I don’t recruit agents. What I do is I put systems to work for the United States. And I’ve done that at all levels from, from the bottom on the ground all the way to the top. “So when they say I’m a low-level systems administrator, that I don’t know what I’m talking about, I’d say it’s somewhat misleading.” After the leaks, Snowden travelled to Hong Kong, then headed to Moscow, where he was holed up in the Sheremetyevo Airport for days before he was eventually granted asylum. Secretary of State John Kerry, reacting to the interview, called Snowden a “man who has done great damage to his country”. “A patriot would not run away and look for refuge in Russia,” Mr Kerry told NBC’s Today. “He can come home but he’s a fugitive from justice.” Snowden is wanted in the US on charges including espionage.
#AceSecurityNews – UNITED STATES – May 21 – Despite warnings that doing so “could lead to increased violence” and potentially deaths, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks says it plans to publish the name of a country targeted by a massive United States surveillance operation.
On Monday this week, journalists at The Intercept published a report based off of leaked US National Security Agency documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden which suggested that the NSA has collected in bulk the contents of all phone conversations made or received in two countries abroad.
Only one of those nations, however — the Bahamas — was named by The Intercept. The other, journalists Ryan Devereaux, Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras wrote this week, was withheld as a result of “credible concerns that doing so could lead to increased violence.”
WikiLeaks has since accused The Intercept and its parent company First Look Media of censorship and says they will publish the identity of the country if the name remains redacted in the original article. The Intercept’s Greenwald fired back over Twitter, though, and said his outlet chose to publish more details than the Washington Post, where journalists previously reported on a related call collection program but chose to redact more thoroughly.
“We condemn Firstlook for following the Washington Post into censoring the mass interception of an entire nation,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Monday.
“It is not the place of Firstlook or the Washington Post to deny the rights of an entire people to know they are being mass recorded,” WikiLeaks added. “It is not the place of Firstlook or WaPo to decide how people will [choose] to act against mass breaches of their rights by the United States.”
When Greenwald defended his decision to publish the names of four countries where telephony metadata is collected by the NSA but withhold a fifth where content is recorded as well, WikiLeaks said it could be interpreted as meaning that the unknown country doesn’t deserve to know they’re being surveilled, but Greenwald said
The Intercept was “very convinced” it could lead to deaths.
Later, WikiLeaks equated this as an act of racism.
But as the conversation escalated, the WikiLeaks Twitter announced it would disclose the nation’s identify if The Intercept did not, despite requests from the US government to leave that information redact over fears of what the response could be.
When has true published information harmed innocents?” WikiLeaks asked.“To repeat this false Pentagon talking point is to hurt all publishers.”
“We will reveal the name of the censored country whose population is being mass recorded in 72 hours,” WikiLeaks wrote at 6:35 p.m. EST Tuesday evening.
If the organization intends to uphold that promise, that the identity of the country could be revealed before the weekend.
Read More at: RT
#AceSecurityNews – Guest Post – May 06 – The National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.
According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.
The drone operator, who agreed to discuss the top-secret programs on the condition of anonymity, was a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, which is charged with identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.
His account is bolstered by top-secret NSA documents previously provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It is also supported by a former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant, who has become an outspoken critic of the lethal operations in which he was directly involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.
In one tactic, the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device.
The former JSOC drone operator is adamant that the technology has been responsible for taking out terrorists and networks of people facilitating improvised explosive device attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But he also states that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed as a result of the NSA’s increasing reliance on the surveillance tactic.
One problem, he explains, is that targets are increasingly aware of the NSA’s reliance on geolocating, and have moved to thwart the tactic. Some have as many as 16 different SIM cards associated with their identity within the High Value Target system. Others, unaware that their mobile phone is being targeted, lend their phone, with the SIM card in it, to friends, children, spouses and family members.
Some top Taliban leaders, knowing of the NSA’s targeting method, have purposely and randomly distributed SIM cards among their units in order to elude their trackers. “They would do things like go to meetings, take all their SIM cards out, put them in a bag, mix them up, and everybody gets a different SIM card when they leave,” the former drone operator says. “That’s how they confuse us.”
Courtesy of10 Feb 2014, 12:03 AM EDT
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#AceSecurityNews – LONDON – March 27 – British secret services threatened to shut down the Guardian newspaper as it was publishing its exposé of US massive surveillance based on Edward Snowden leaks.
The story was the most difficult piece of reporting the paper has ever done.
“We were threatened that we would be closed down. We were accused of endangering national security and people’s lives. It left us in a very difficult position,” Guardian deputy editor Paul Johnson told the Radiodays http://www.radiodayseurope.com/highlight/guardian%C2%B4s-inside-story-snowden-case Europe conference in Dublin.
A senior civil servant had told the paper’s editor, Alan Rusbridger, that the “prime minister, the deputy prime minister, the foreign secretary, the home secretary and the attorney general have got a problem with you,” Johnson said, as cited by the Irish Times.
The attitude of the British authorities was a sharp contrast to that of the Americans, he said.
In the US Snowden leaks led to a nationwide debate on surveillance and privacy while in the UK the authorities just assumed that national security trumps press freedom.
Read More: Press Freedom – RT News – http://on.rt.com/tyy7u1
#AceSecurityNews – In its quest to take down suspected terrorists and criminals abroad, the United States National Security Agency has adopted the practice of hacking the system administrators that oversee private computer networks, new documents reveal.
The Intercept has published a handful of leaked screenshots taken from an internal NSA message board where one spy agency specialist spoke extensively about compromising not the computers of specific targets, but rather the machines of the system administrators who control entire networks.
Journalist Ryan Gallagher reported that Edward Snowden, a former sys admin for NSA contractor Booz Allen Hamilton, provided The Intercept with the internal documents, including one from 2012 that’s bluntly titled “I hunt sys admins.”
According to the posts — some labeled “top secret” — NSA staffers should not shy away from hacking sys admins: a successful offensive mission waged against an IT professional with extensive access to a privileged network could provide the NSA with unfettered capabilities, the analyst acknowledged.
“Who better to target than the person that already has the ‘keys to the kingdom’?” one of the posts reads.
#AceSecurityNews – Google is doing its best to put a lid on the NSA’s prying eyes by using enhanced encryption technology to make its flagship email service airtight.
“Your email is important to you, and making sure it stays safe and always available is important to us,” Gmail engineering security chief, Nicolas Lidzborski, said in a blog post.
“Starting today, Gmail will always use an encrypted HTTPS connection when you check or send email.
“Today’s change means that no one can listen in on your messages as they go back and forth between you and Gmail’s servers — no matter if you’re using public WiFi or logging in from your computer, phone or tablet.”
The internet giant’s announcement is the latest attempt to bolster the company’s widely used email service and follows a similar step in 2010, when the company made HTTPS the default connection option.
At the time, however, users had the option to turn this protection feature off.
Starting from Friday, Gmail is HTTPS-only.
The move is a response to a disclosure made by National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower, Edward Snowden, that the agency had been secretly tapping into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centres around the world.
#AceSecurityNews A secret spy program developed by the National Security Agency and reported publicly for the first time on Tuesday has given the United States the ability to digitally record the contents of each and every phone call occurring across entire nations.
Citing previously unpublished documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and statements from individuals with direct knowledge of the effort, the Washington Post’s Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani wrote that the US-administered surveillance system is capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls.
The program, “MYSTIC,” was launched back in 2009, according to the Post, but by 2011 it was ready to be rolled-out at full capacity and was subsequently deployed against at least one target nation.
The Post says they are withholding details “that could be used to identify the country where the system is being employed or other countries where its use was envisioned” upon the request of US officials.
Once it was ready to put to the test in 2011, MYSTIC and its “retrospective retrieval” tool known as RETRO were being used to indiscriminately record “every single” conversation occurring across the entire target country, the Post reported.
Those calls — “billions,” according to the Post — are stored for 30 days, and the oldest conversations are purged as new ones are logged. Once the content entered the NSA’s system, however, analysts are able to go back and listen in as much as a month later to find information on a person who might never have been suspected of a crime at the time that their initial conversation was collected unbeknownst to them by the US government.
Read More: WP – http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/nsa-surveillance-program-reaches-into-the-past-to-retrieve-replay-phone-calls/2014/03/18/226d2646-ade9-11e3-a49e-76adc9210f19_story.html
#AceSecurityNews – United Kingdom and the US have been branded ‘Enemies of the Internet’ for the first time by Reporters Without Borders on their annual list of countries which disrupt freedom of information through surveillance and censorship.
Both the US and the UK were included in the list for first time as a result of revelations from the Whistleblower Edward Snowden into the activities of the American and British spy agencies.
In fact Edward Snowden branded the UK, where the government has largely ignored calls to reign in the nation’s spooks and the public remain apathetic, as “worse than the US”.
Snowden outlines various “widespread surveillance practices” operated by GCHQ as part of its plan called “Mastering the internet”.
“The Internet was a collective resource that the NSA and GCHQ turned into a weapon in the service of special interests, in the process flouting freedom of information, freedom of expression and the right to privacy,” say the report’s authors.
The UK, says the press watchdog, paid scant heed to any legal considerations when harvesting huge amounts of data.
“Supported by the NSA and with the prospect of sharing data, the British agency brushed aside all legal obstacles and embarked on mass surveillance of nearly a quarter of the world’s communications,” the report says.
RT News – AP – AFP – News Sources
#AceSecurityNews says that in an interview National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden answered questions before the European Parliament on Friday, and said that the United States spy agency pressures its allies to take steps further enabling widespread and indiscriminate surveillance.
“One of the foremost activities of the NSA’s FAD, or Foreign Affairs Division, is to pressure or incentivize EU member states to change their laws to enable mass surveillance,” Snowden said in a testimony delivered remotely from Russia. “Lawyers from the NSA, as well as the UK’s GCHQ, work very hard to search for loopholes in laws and constitutional protections that they can use to justify indiscriminate, dragnet surveillance operations that were at best unwittingly authorized by lawmakers.”
“These efforts to interpret new powers out of vague laws is an intentional strategy to avoid public opposition and lawmakers’ insistence that legal limits be respected,” Snowden insisted.
#AceSecurityNews says it will take two years of study and billions of dollars to overcome the loss of security to military operations that were revealed in documents taken by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, a top US military officer said.
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey tells the House Armed Services Committee the Pentagon set up a task force to determine how the documents could be used, AP reported.
The task force will take two years due to the “magnitude of this challenge.”
The vast majority of the documents taken by Snowden reportedly related to US military capabilities.
AceSecurityNews says that classified documents leaked last summer by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that the intelligence agency currently compels at least three major telephone providers – Verizon, Sprint, and AT&T – to turn over call information on millions of Americans.
Among that information, known as metadata, is the duration of the call, the time the call was made, who the phone call was to, and where it originated.
Snowden disclosed a trove of secret information about US intelligence activity to the press, but the collection of phone metadata has been perhaps the most controversial, in part because of its sheer breadth.
Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) was among those hoping to find more when, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, he asked Alexander how the metadata is collected and stored.
“Chairman, I think there are three options that you put on the table,” Alexander replied.
“You mentioned the government holding it, the ISPs holding it. I think there is yet another option where we look at what data you actually need and only get that data.
“Can we come up with a capability that just gets those that are predicated on a terrorist communication? I think you have those three options that I have put on the table,” he continued. “Those are three of the ones that I think need to be clearly discussed and the merits from both sides, they have pros and cons on the agility that you would have with the program.”
Alexander was referring to possible reforms to the NSA set forth by US intelligence and law enforcement leaders earlier this week.
US President Obama, who has said he is open to reforming the surveillance programs after public scrutiny, tasked the attorney general and other administration officials to propose theories on how the phone metadata collection program could remain in use.
The most radical proposal, according to anonymous sources who spoke to the Wall Street Journal, would be to entirely abandon the collection of telephony metadata.
Officials are also considering turning that vast datalogue over to a government agency other than the NSA – either the FBI or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, perhaps.
Alexander’s testimony seemed to indicate that the scenario the administration is taking most seriously is leaving the trove metadata with the phone company, with the NSA only forcing the company to handover information about numbers thought to be involved in a web of terrorism.
#ANS2014 – RT – Reuters – Guardian – AP – AFP – WSJ
#AceSecurityNews says that British and American surveillance agencies teamed up to develop a system that collected millions of images from the webcams of unsuspecting and innocent internet users, new leaked documents reveal.
This “Optic Nerve” program — administered by the UK’s GCHQ with the assistance of the National Security Agency — routinely intercepted and stored those webcam images in secret starting in 2008, according to documents disclosed by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and published by The Guardian on Thursday.
The program indiscriminately collected millions of images from people who used Yahoo’s webcam chat function, the Guardian’s Spencer Ackerman and James Ball reported, “including substantial quantities of sexually explicit communications.”
According to the journalists, the GCHQ relied on Optic Nerve to experiment with facial recognition programming to monitor existing targets and search for new persons of interest.
But the GCHQ didn’t stop at targeting solely suspected terrorists, the report continues, and instead collected intelligence by seemingly anyone unfortunate enough to log-in to Yahoo’s webcam chat feature, at least between 2008 and 2012.
#ANS2014 #Edward-Snowden #GCHQ #NSA
#AceSecurityNews says `Apple Security flaw could be a back-door for the #NSA
Was the National Security Agency exploiting two just-discovered security flaws to hack into the iPhones and Apple computers of certain targets? Some skeptic’s are saying there is cause to be concerned about recent coincidences regarding the #NSA and Apple.
Within hours of one another over the weekend, Apple acknowledged that it had discovered critical vulnerabilities in both its iOS and OSX operating systems that, if exploited correctly, would put thought-to-be-secure communications into the hands of skilled hackers.
“An attacker with a privileged network position may capture or modify data in sessions protected by SSL/TLS,” the company announced.
Apple has since taken steps to supposedly patch up the flaw that affected mobile devices running its iOS operating system, such as iPhones, but has yet to unveil any fix for the OSX used by desktop and laptop computers.
As experts investigated the issue through the weekend, though, many couldn’t help but consider the likelihood — no matter how modicum — that the United States’ secretive spy agency exploited those security flaws to conduct surveillance on targets.
On Saturday, Apple enthusiast and blogger John Gruber noted on his personal website that information contained within internal NSA documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden last year coincide closely with the release of the affected mobile operating system, iOS 6.
According to a NSA slideshow leaked by Mr. Snowden last June, the US government has since 2007 relied on a program named PRISM that enables the agency to collect data “directly from the servers” of Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and others. The most recent addition to that list, however, was Apple, which the NSA said it was only able to exploit using PRISM since October 2012.
The affected operating system — iOS 6.0 — was released days earlier on September 24, 2012.
These facts, Gruber blogged, “prove nothing” and are “purely circumstantial.” Nevertheless, he wrote, “the shoe fits.”
With the iOS vulnerability being blamed on a single line of erroneous code, Gruber considered a number of possibilities to explain how that happened.
“Conspiratorially, one could suppose the #NSA planted the bug, through an employee mole, perhaps. Innocuously, the Occam’s Razor explanation would be that this was an inadvertent error on the part of an Apple engineer,” he wrote.
“Once the bug was in place, the #NSA wouldn’t even have needed to find it by manually reading the source code. All they would need are automated tests using spoofed certificates that they run against each new release of every OS. Apple releases iOS, the #NSA’s automated spoofed certificate testing finds the vulnerability, and boom, Apple gets ‘added’ to PRISM.”
#AceSecurityNews says that a `Secret Document’ obtained by `NYT‘ reveals that the #NSA has gathered private communications of `US‘ lawyers with their clients in the `Indonesian Government‘ involved in a `Trade Dispute with Washington”
With help from the Australians, the NSA has gathered private communications of US lawyers with their clients in the Indonesian government involved in a trade dispute with Washington, a secret document obtained by the New York Times reveals.
The document provided by the former NSA contractor Edward Snowden exposes NSA activity in monitoring an American law firm at a time when it was representing the Indonesian government during its trade talks with counterparts from the US.
Titled “SUSLOC (Special US Liaison Office Canberra) Facilitates Sensitive DSD Reporting on Trade Talks” the document did not specify which trade case was being monitored by Australian intelligence through the so-called Five Eyes network that includes, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand.
The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) offered to share with the NSA the information about monitored communications between Indonesian government officials and the unnamed US law firm, according to the February 2013 document.
“I always wonder if someone is listening, because you would have to be an idiot not to wonder in this day and age,” Duane Layton, a Mayer Brown lawyer involved in the trade talks told NYT “But I’ve never really thought I was being spied on.”
US intelligence officials have repeatedly claimed the NSA is not targeting American citizens and businesses without a warrant and not using its Five Eyes international network as a loophole.
But the new leak confirms that US firms providing services to foreign clients can never be sure they aren’t being spied on. Last year, the US States Supreme court dismissed such fears as “speculative theory” of “hypothetical future harm,” refusing to let Americans challenge a provision in a foreign intelligence law that lets the NSA conduct secret warrantless surveillance on any US citizen as long as they are suspected of conversing with any foreigner.
According to 2009 procedural guidelines for the NSA, when a US citizen becomes an intelligence target, the agency is required to adhere to rules to protect the target’s privacy, for instance removing the identity of the American or data that does not add to the intelligence probe before sharing it with other agencies.
Australians have been long cooperating with the NSA, focusing on the Asia region, mainly China and Indonesia. Last November is was revealed that they worked side by side on a large-scale joint surveillance operation on Indonesia during the 2007 UN climate change conference in Bali.
The intelligence report Australia offered to share could contain “information covered by attorney-client privilege,”the spying agency warned the NSA liaison office in Canberra. Upon receiving guidance from NSA general counsel’s office, the Australian agency has been encouraged to continue their surveillance of the talks “providing highly useful intelligence for interested US customers.”
It remains unclear who those “interested customers” might be.
The new documents reveal that Australia obtained almost 2 million encrypted master keys from the Indinesian Telkomsel mobile network, and colleagues from NSA have helped ASD decrypt them.
The Australian Defense Force public affairs office maintains that all intelligence is collected under strict legal guidance and is vital for supporting national interests, echoing the US officials’ narrative.
p style=”text-align:center;”>Meanwhile, the NSA when reached by the New York times about the new leaks “declined to answer questions.”
#AceNewsServices says according to latest news the `Senator Rand Paul has filed a class action against `President Obama‘ over NSA call surveillance
Paul, a Kentucky Republican and toast of the tea party movement, promised a “historic” fight against the NSA when he announced the suit had been filed Wednesday at a press conference. He was joined by Ken Cuccinelli, Virginia’s former attorney general, and Matt Kibbe, the president and CEO of the tea party-affiliated FreedomWorks. Bruce Fein, a Reagan administration attorney, is one of the lawyers on the case.
The suit challenges the constitutionality of the NSA program that collects metadata on US citizens’ phone calls.
“There’s a huge and growing swell of protest in this country of people who are outraged that their records are being taken without suspicion, without a judge’s warrant, and without individualization,” Paul said.
“I’m not against the NSA, I’m not against spying, I’m not against looking at phone records,” he went on.
“I just want you to go to a judge, have an individual’s name and [get] a warrant. That’s what the Fourth Amendment says.”
Paul began telling the press about the lawsuit weeks ago. This, along with a 13-hour filibuster on drone activity inside the US delivered in March 2013, has fueled expectations that Paul will be among the Republican presidential candidates in 2016.
“Today we ask the question for every phone user in America: can a single warrant allow the government to collect all your records, all the time?” Paul said in a statement Wednesday. “I don’t think so.”
The Obama administration has consistently maintained the data collection program, first unveiled last year by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, is legal. The 15 judges on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court have reauthorized the data collection program every 90 days since 2006. In 1979 the US Supreme Court ruled that metadata – including the time of a call, its duration, and numbers dialed – is not protected by the Fourth Amendment.
“We remain confident that the program is legal, as at least 15 judges have previously found,” Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said Wednesday in response to Senator Paul’s announcement.
In December federal Judge Richard Leon ruled that the surveillance program is likely unconstitutional, deeming the technology “almost Orwellian.”
“I cannot imagine a more ‘indiscriminate’ and ‘arbitrary’ invasion than this systematic and high-tech collection and retention of personal data on virtually every single citizen for purposes of querying and analyzing it without prior judicial approval,” Leon wrote. “Surely, such a program infringes on ‘that degree of privacy’ that the founders enshrined in the Fourth Amendment.”