Author Topic: they know what you are doing  (Read 126250 times)

sky otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #480 on: June 02, 2014, 11:40:28 AM »

be sure to smile real big   :(

NSA scoops up images for facial recognition programs

The US National Security Agency is scooping up large quantities of images of people for use in facial recognition programs, the New York Times reported Sunday, citing top secret documents.

The Times said documents, which were obtained from fugitive former US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden, show a significant increase in reliance on facial recognition technology at the agency over the past four years.

The report said the NSA was using new software to exploit a flood of images included in intercepted emails, text messages, social media posts, video conferences and other communications.

It cited leaked 2011 documents as saying the NSA intercepts "millions of images per day," including 55,000 "facial recognition quality images."

The images represented "tremendous untapped potential," according to the report, which said NSA officials believe advances in technology could revolutionize the way the agency finds intelligence targets.

“It’s not just the traditional communications we’re after: It’s taking a full-arsenal approach that digitally exploits the clues a target leaves behind in their regular activities on the net to compile biographic and biometric information” that can help “implement precision targeting,” a 2010 document quoted by the newspaper said.

The Times said it wasn't clear how many people, including how many Americans, had been caught up in the effort, but noted that neither US privacy laws nor US surveillance laws provide specific protections for facial images.

A NSA spokeswoman said, however, that the agency would be required to get court approval for imagery of Americans it collects through its surveillance programs.

The agency has been at the center of controversy over the scope of its global electronic surveillance program since they were first revealed by Snowden in June 2013.

The former intelligence contractor is in Russia, where he was granted temporary political asylum last year.


Report: NSA Collects Millions Of Photos For Facial Recognition Project
   by Eyder Peralta
June 01, 2014 2:53 PM ET Because of the big news about the release of Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, we missed another big story on Saturday that was published by The New York Times: Based on documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, the paper reports the U.S. spy agency is collecting millions of pictures a day from emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other sources for a facial-recognition project.
It's important to note that it's not clear whether the bulk collection includes the pictures of Americans and it is also not clear whether a facial-recognition program of this sort is bound by current U.S. law.
The Times reports that the NSA is crosschecking those public images with official databases. One document showed an image with other information like whether the person shown was on the no-fly list. The Times adds:

"The spy agency's reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency's ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed.

"The agency intercepts 'millions of images per day' — including about 55,000 'facial recognition quality images' — which translate into 'tremendous untapped potential,' according to 2011 documents obtained from the former agency contractor Edward J. Snowden. While once focused on written and oral communications, the N.S.A. now considers facial images, fingerprints and other identifiers just as important to its mission of tracking suspected terrorists and other intelligence targets, the documents show.

'It's not just the traditional communications we're after: It's taking a full-arsenal approach that digitally exploits the clues a target leaves behind in their regular activities on the net to compile biographic and biometric information' that can help 'implement precision targeting,' noted a 2010 document.

It's a complex program and a New York Times exclusive, so we encourage to click over if you want to know more


2 June 2014 Last updated at 07:31 ET 

.NSA 'collects facial-recognition photos from the the net'


bwhahahahahahahahahahahahah....ok i'm

Offline Somamech

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #481 on: June 02, 2014, 11:50:10 AM »
This quote below is from the NYT article

A NSA spokeswoman said, however, that the agency would be required to get court approval for imagery of Americans it collects through its surveillance programs.

Somehow I don't compute the fact I can search whoever I want to search and what the NYT reported the NSA saying as being quite truthful.  Just maybe...MAYBE Porky Pie's are being told ;)


Offline Ellirium113

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #482 on: June 02, 2014, 02:38:25 PM »
It is not enough to merely tap into all communications. What if someone might be thinking about terrorism but not actually communicating to anyone about it? No worries...the NSA has an APP for that too...

Just as Echelon vacuumed up millions of communication signals of phones and faxes, now supercomputers and
satellites sift through the spectrum (10-20 Hz) of 6.5 billion brain waves. The Malech patent device coupled with
PROMIS AI software running on super computers allows the NSA to interpret and interact with the stream of consciousness
of targeted individuals. Computing power is the only hurdle for these high-tech satellites to clear that would allow them to interact with all sentient life forms simultaneously. PROMIS software and artificial intelligence
and “nonlethal” weapon technology are being combined to influence the course of human events in unforeseeable
Once identified as hostile or a potential threat, a human can be influenced passively, without his or her knowledge.
If that person becomes resistant to that influence or is otherwise deemed a suitable candidate for overt targeting, he
or she is enrolled into the Monarch Hits the Streets (MHS) program, and the beginning of more aggressive and
invasive assaults.
Most targeted individuals enter the program due to one or more of the following factors: family connections to
SRA cults or the intelligence community, political activism, expatriate Americans who “go native,” whistleblowers
within government and industry, prisoners, mental patients, orphans, and scientists with important technology which
can support or threaten the program. Some people are targeted merely out of convenience, simply because private
armies need motivation and training; these victims are chosen merely as target practice. MHS began its inception
during the Reagan administration and has devolved into a sport involving what is believed to be millions of individuals
who are told their particular target is a bad element in our society. The groups are told a lie to which they will
respond in the desired way. For example, a church group may be told that the target is a pedophile, an abortion
doctor, a political radical, a terrorist and a national security threat, or a racist. Whatever story motivates the group
network is the lie that is told.

When the Utah data-collection center is complete I believe they will then have enough computing capability that this interface will then be implemented if it is not already.,d.aWw

Roll that all into a black suit and call it DARTH VADER!!  :P

Offline Amaterasu

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #483 on: June 04, 2014, 10:22:44 AM »
The question becomes...  A threat to WHOM?  Who decides what is "threat?"
"If the universe is made of mostly Dark Energy...can We use it to run Our cars?"

"If You want peace, take the profit out of war."

Offline Ellirium113

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #484 on: June 04, 2014, 10:30:28 AM »
The question becomes...  A threat to WHOM?  Who decides what is "threat?"

Not to "WHOM" "WHAT". This system is not to protect any individual but to protect a sytem of control and compliance. There is no way the "NWO" agenda can proceed by any amount of force. People basically have to be assimilated into the program or be expunged from it. Whether this happens on your own free will or not is irrelevent.

Offline Amaterasu

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #485 on: June 04, 2014, 10:41:59 AM »
While You are partially correct, it is not "the system" itself that is identifying threats, it is Beings.  Even if "the system" is identifying Individuals as "threat," other Individuals gave "the system" its definition of "threat."  And it is THEY who are threatened, not "the system."
"If the universe is made of mostly Dark Energy...can We use it to run Our cars?"

"If You want peace, take the profit out of war."

sky otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #486 on: June 20, 2014, 07:17:27 AM »

ok this goes into the believe it or don't category...sigh

   House Passes Landmark Amendment To Stop Warrantless NSA Searches

Posted: 06/19/2014 11:53 pm EDT Updated: 1 hour ago Matt Sledge Become a fan

The House overwhelmingly approved an amendment Thursday meant to block the National Security Agency from performing warrantless searches on Americans' communications, rejecting one of the most controversial forms of NSA surveillance revealed by the leaks of Edward Snowden.

The 293-123 vote on an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill was a victory for civil libertarians on the heels of a gutted NSA reform measure the House approved in May. The amendment still faces an uncertain journey through Congress before it can become law.

"I think people are waking up to what's been going on," said the amendment's sponsor, Rep. Thomas Massie (R-Ky.). "Whether you're Republican or Democrat -- because, if you noticed, a majority of Republicans voted for this, as well as a majority of Democrats."

The NSA performs so-called back door searches on the content of Americans' communications without a warrant when they have been in contact with targeted foreigners. Given the vastness of the NSA's target database, and the irrelevance of international boundaries in the Internet age, privacy advocates say they worry an expanding number of Americans' emails and phone calls are being swept up. The House amendment specifically prohibits the NSA from using information identifying U.S. citizens to search communications data it collects under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

NSA critics had warned about such searches for years. But the leaks of former NSA contractor Snowden, as reported in The Guardian, definitively revealed the spy agency's tactics. The NSA claims legal authority to perform the searches.

The amendment was sponsored by Massie, along with Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) and a host of co-sponsors of the earlier attempt at NSA reform, called the USA Freedom Act. The original co-sponsors of that bill included Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.).

Supporters of that measure had surrendered to the Obama administration in dropping the prohibition on back door searches. But the defense appropriations bill gave them another chance.

"After the passage of the USA Freedom Act, this amendment is the logical next step to prevent improper surveillance," Nadler said in a statement before Thursday's vote. "I will continue to work to improve our nation’s privacy laws and to ensure that this Administration, and all those that follow it, respect the constitutional rights of all Americans."

The amendment also aims to block the NSA and CIA from forcing software and hardware providers to insert back doors into their products to allow the government agencies easy access to customer communications. The measure's backers include the American Civil Liberties Union and Google.

Massie pronounced himself "pleasantly surprised" with his amendment's passage. But he acknowledged it still faces a long road to passage.

"That's going to be the trick," Massie said. "It would take somebody to support it on the Senate side as well, and in conference," where the House and Senate reconcile companion bills.

Massie said he faced hurdles from House leaders -- particularly those in charge of the House Intelligence and Judiciary committees -- in winning approval for the amendment. "The leadership was not in favor of it," he said. "The whip's description of the bill, which you could pick up in the cloakroom, was very unflattering and misleading in my opinion.

"It was an amazing struggle to get it ruled in order," he said, referring to parliamentary rules around appropriations bills. He noted that a similar provision was stripped out of the "watered down" USA Freedom Act that passed last month.

But in the end, Massie said, co-sponsors from both parties were critical in getting the amendment approved.

The House passage of the amendment may create momentum for similar reform efforts in the Senate, where Oregon Democrat Ron Wyden has been fighting for years to expose and end the practice of back door searches.

Wyden warned in a recent Los Angeles Times opinion piece with Sens. Mark Udall (D-Colo.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) that "intelligence agencies are using a loophole in the law to read some Americans' emails without ever getting a warrant."

The senators wrote that the debate over NSA reforms "is likely to continue for at least the next few years as Americans continue to learn about the scale of ongoing government surveillance activities."

This article has been updated to include Massie's comments. This article has also been updated to reflect Lofgren is a Democrat, not a Republican.

Offline Ellirium113

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #487 on: June 23, 2014, 06:22:12 PM »
The NSA's mass surveillance program for phone call metadata is still going

Despite last night's vote by the House of Representatives and various plans for reform, the NSA is still peeking into places many think it shouldn't. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence just revealed that yesterday, the program that scoops up bulk metadata on phone calls has been renewed again. In February, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved some new limits on the program forcing the NSA to request court approval to pull records, and limiting it to info for people within two degrees of a target. Those restrictions are still in place, and this latest 90-day renewal extends the program until September 12th. For now, the changes proposed by President Obama are currently tied to the "gutted" USA Freedom Act that's being considered by the Senate.

sky otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #488 on: June 26, 2014, 10:15:05 AM »

yeah Ellirium113,
that's why i said believe it or don''s another believe it or don't..
guess you can tell how skeptical i am  :(

U.S. Supreme Court's milestone ruling protects cellphone privacy

by Lawrence Hurley

WASHINGTON Wed Jun 25, 2014 3:22pm EDT

(Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that police officers usually need a warrant before they can search the cellphone of an arrested suspect, a major decision in favor of privacy rights at a time of increasing concern over government encroachment in digital communications.

In an opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court said there are some emergency situations in which a warrantless search would be permitted. But the unanimous 9-0 ruling goes against law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Department of Justice, which wanted more latitude to search without having to obtain a warrant.

"We cannot deny that our decision today will have an impact on the ability of law enforcement to combat crime," Roberts wrote, adding that the right to privacy "comes at a cost."

Roberts acknowledged the unique nature of cellphones in contemporary life, noting that "the proverbial visitor from Mars might conclude they were an important feature of human anatomy."

"The fact that technology now allows an individual to carry such information in his hand does not make the information any less worthy of the protection for which the (country's) Founders fought. Our answer to the question of what police must do before searching a cellphone seized incident to an arrest is accordingly simple - get a warrant," Roberts wrote.

The ruling could have a major impact in some jurisdictions because law enforcement agencies have increasingly made cellphones searches a top priority when a suspect is arrested, said Bronson James, a criminal defense attorney in Portland, Oregon.

"Police wanted the data on the cellphones because it was so expansive," he said. "This stops that practice."

The implications may be limited by the fact that police can benefit from new technology: it is now possible to obtain a warrant more quickly using mobile devices to send the request.

The ruling could hamper law enforcement when there is a need to gather information from a cellphone immediately because of an ongoing criminal enterprise, said Robert Mintz, a former federal prosecutor. "There could be circumstances when news of an arrest can travel quickly and time could be of the essence," he said.

Justice Department spokeswoman Ellen Canale said the government would ensure federal law enforcement agents complied with the ruling.

The court was considering two separate cases pitting evolving expectations of privacy against the interests of the law enforcement community as the justices for the first time weighed the ubiquitous role of cellphones in modern life.

A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll found 60.7 percent of people surveyed said police should not be allowed to search cellphones without a warrant.

Cellphones, initially used purely to make calls, now contain a wealth of personal information about the owner including photographs, video and social media content. A 2013 Pew Research Center report said 91 percent of adult Americans have a cellphone, more than a half of them smartphones that can connect to the Internet.

Concern about increasing government encroachment on personal privacy, especially relating to electronic communications, has surged in the past year after disclosures by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden about government surveillance.

Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation digital rights group, said the court's recognition of the impact of new technology on privacy "will have important implications for future legal challenges concerning the government’s use of
technology," including NSA surveillance.

The defendants challenging their convictions, David Riley and Brima Wurie, said evidence found on their phones should not have been used at trial because the searches were conducted without court-issued warrants.

The circumstances in the two cases, one from Massachusetts and one from California, were different in terms of the scope of the search and the type of cellphone used. Wurie had a basic flip phone while Riley had a more sophisticated smartphone.

The court decided the two cases together, finding that both searches were unconstitutional.

The legal question was whether the U.S. Constitution's Fourth Amendment, barring unreasonable searches, requires police following an arrest to get court approval before a cellphone can be searched.

Riley was convicted of three charges relating to a 2009 San Diego incident in which shots were fired at an occupied vehicle. Prosecutors linked him to the crime in part based on a photograph police found on his smartphone.

Police searched Wurie's cellphone without a warrant after his 2007 arrest for suspected drug dealing. Officers used the device, which was not a smartphone, to find a phone number that took them to Wurie's house in Boston, where drugs, a gun and cash were found.

The cases are Riley v. California, 13-132 and U.S. v. Wurie, 13-212.

(Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller and Grant McCool)

sky otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #489 on: June 30, 2014, 02:18:52 PM »

ah they were only doing research....right?... gotta know how to sell their worth to others who would like to sway you.....i can't imagine who that would be...

Users angered at Facebook emotion-manipulation study
Matt Murray TODAY 9 hours ago

News that Facebook manipulated users' news feeds to see if it made them feel blue now has some users seeing red.

Facebook is seeing backlash after participating in a study that involved the social media giant manipulating content seen by more than 600,000 users for a psychology experiment.

WATCH: Facebook admits to manipulating news feeds

In January 2012, Facebook tweaked news feeds to show statuses that were particularly positive or negative and found that the emotions of others can affect your mood. The findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article called "Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks."

 Video: The social network apologized for an experiment it conducted two years ago, involving correlation between the stories users read and their moods.

.Researchers did not inform users that the manipulation of the news feeds would be taking place, however, Facebook's action is legal due to terms laid out in the user agreement when a person signs up for the site.

Adam Kramer, one of the authors of the study, has since taken to his personal Facebook page to apologize for the way the research was described in the paper:

"I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused. In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety."

What do you think of Facebook controlling users' timelines for a study like this? Weigh in in our poll below and tweet us using #OrangeRoom

Should Facebook be able to control your news feed?
111947 votes


Thank you for voting

View results
10,884 votes

101,221 votes


Offline Amaterasu

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #490 on: July 01, 2014, 08:34:44 PM »
I have to wonder if 10% of the responders to the survey were bots...
"If the universe is made of mostly Dark Energy...can We use it to run Our cars?"

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Offline ArMaP

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #491 on: July 02, 2014, 01:21:53 AM »
I have to wonder if 10% of the responders to the survey were bots...
Probably just lazy people that like to be spoon fed. :)

sky otter

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Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #492 on: July 02, 2014, 06:00:45 PM »

figures.. :(

Review Board: NSA Surveillance Program Barely Toes Constitutional Line

By Mike Brunker
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- An NSA program that collects electronic information on Americans and U.S. residents is a valuable and effective anti-terrorism tool -- but also goes “right up to the line” as far as its constitutionality,” an independent review panel said Wednesday.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board issued a 190-page report focused specifically on information gathered under what is known as Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), and made recommendations primarily aimed at increasing transparency. But it did not urge any significant changes aimed at reining in the program.

Section 702 enables U.S. intelligence officials to collect the telephone calls, emails and other electronic communications of “U.S. persons” -- both citizens and lawful permanent residents -– if those persons are communicating with a foreign target. The content of those communications is shared, under certain limited circumstances, with the FBI and CIA.

video here entitled:  Myths of NSA Surveillance Program Debunked

Details of how the NSA operates the Section 702 program, along with other U.S. intelligence operations, were revealed in June 2013 through the leaking of classified documents by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

The board, which conducted the review at the request of members of Congress and President Barack Obama following the disclosures, said the Section 702 program operates within constitutional and legal boundaries.

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“Operation of the Section 702 program has been subject to judicial oversight and extensive internal supervision, and the board has found no evidence of intentional abuse,” it said.

But board Chairman David Medine said after a meeting Wednesday to formally adopt the report that the program walks a fine legal line.

“Did Congress authorize this program? We think yes,” he said. “… This is legislation that was publicly debated. Some people would have liked it to be more restrictive; they didn't necessarily succeed.

“The separate question is: Is this constitutional? And that's where the board unanimously said, 'There's some questions. We're right up to the line.'”

The report itself found that the program “raises important but difficult legal and policy questions.” Among them, it said, “the scope of the incidental collection of U.S. persons’ communications and the use of queries to search the information collected under the program for the communications of specific U.S. persons.”

another video entitled:     A Day in the Life of Data

The five-member board made 10 recommendations for revising the program, including requiring the NSA to annually report the number of electronic communications it acquires involving U.S. persons to Congress and to the public, “to the extent consistent with national security.”

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a statement that his office would carefully consider the proposals.

"We take very seriously the board’s concerns regarding privacy and civil liberties, and we will review the board’s recommendations with care," he said.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is the principal federal law regulating the collection of signals intelligence – or electronic surveillance -- by the U.S. intelligence community on U.S. persons. Section 702 specifically authorizes the targeting of foreigners living abroad, but also addresses the collection of communications of U.S. persons – either those who are in contact with a foreign target or those whose information is inadvertently swept up during data collection. The latter communications are generally required to be destroyed.

The most basic requirement of FISA is that the intelligence community must have an order from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) to target any U.S. person anywhere in the world for electronic surveillance.

The law was initially passed in 1978 as part of the response to abuses by the FBI and other agencies, and has been repeatedly updated to address changes in communications technology, including development of the Internet. Section 702 was added in 2008.


Court Approves NSA Gathering of Phone Metadata for Three More Months

Edward Snowden's Motive Revealed: He Can 'Sleep at Night'

Edward Snowden: a Timeline

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence last week for the first time provided a breakdown of its use of Section 702 to collect the communications of U.S. persons, indicating that the NSA and CIA “queried” the data gathered through the program approximately 11,600 times last year.

That number doesn’t include the FBI, which doesn’t track “queries” it makes to the data, according to the ODNI’s response to a request from Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore.

In January, the board published a much more critical evaluation of the NSA’s collection of telephone records or metadata on most Americans under Section 215 of the Patriot Act – the extent of which also was revealed by Snowden’s leaks -- determining that the law “does not provide an adequate legal basis to support the program.”

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U.S. Appeals Court Judge Patricia M. Wald, a member of the privacy and civil liberties board, said Snowden’s leaks provided impetus for independent review of U.S. intelligence programs in light of recent technological advances.

“We were there without a chief and with no staff for seven or eight months,” she said, referring to the board’s status before the Snowden leaks. “I certainly think the Snowden revelations expedited the review of these two (programs). There's no question about that.”

Abigail Williams of NBC News contributed to this report.

First published July 2 2014, 2:17 PM


NSA reformers dismayed after privacy board vindicates surveillance dragnet

Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board endorses agency's so-called '702' powers, plus backdoor searches of Americans' information
Spencer Ackerman in Washington, Wednesday 2 July 2014 14.47 EDT

Civil libertarians saw their hopes for curtailing the National Security Agency's massive digital surveillance program dimmed in the wake of a report from a US government privacy board vindicating much of the international communications dragnet.

The Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB) voted Wednesday to adopt a 200-page report on the NSA's so-called "702" powers, which include the widespread collection of foreign email, voice and text messages and Americans' international calls.

While PCLOB chairman David Medine said those efforts walked "right up to the line of constitutionality," the report largely vindicated the controversial surveillance, the scope of which was disclosed through reporting on documents provided by Edward Snowden, as both effective and legal.

Elisebeth Collins Cook, one of five board members and a Justice Department official in the Bush administration, hailed the digital surveillance as "legal, valuable and subject to intense oversight," and characterized the PCLOB's recommendations as "relatively slight changes at the margins of the program."

In ways both bold and subtle, the long-awaited report blessed the NSA's large-scale collection of digital data, even as it found elements of it problematic.

The PCLOB denied that the 702 siphoning is bulk collection, even though it annually provides the NSA with "hundreds of millions" of different sorts of communications -- blessing an NSA definition that considers only indiscriminate collection, untethered to surveillance targets, to be bulk.

"It's a big program, but it is a targeted program," Medine said after the sparsely-attended Wednesday hearing, which was held in the basement of a Marriott between Congress and the White House.

Civil libertarians castigated the PCLOB over what they consider a counterintuitive definition.

"They say if we're collecting everything from Egypt that's not bulk, everything from [area code] 202 that's not bulk, everything from that's not bulk, and that's just bullpoop," said Jennifer Granick of the Stanford Law School's Center for Internet and Society.

Dealing another blow to privacy advocates, the board endorsed the NSA, CIA and FBI's warrantless, so-called "backdoor" searches for information from Americans, just weeks after the House of Representatives voted to ban them. While Medine and another board member, former federal judge Patricia Wald, wanted to add greater legal protections, the board advocated restricting the FBI's warrantless searches and urged NSA and CIA analysts to certify that their queries are "reasonably likely to return foreign intelligence information."

"We have seen no evidence of a backdoor, so our recommendations are designed to make sure one is not built," Cook said.

Perhaps most controversially, the PCLOB gave a qualified endorsement to the NSA's practice of siphoning directly from the Internet information that merely references a surveillance target even if the correspondence is neither from nor sent to that target, a practice known as "about" collection.

The PCLOB acknowledged that "about" collection would mean the inevitable collection of purely domestic communications that the NSA is expressly not permitted to acquire, a circumstance intelligence officials called technologically unavoidable after they were compelled to disclose significant overcollection last summer. It urged the NSA to "continually" revisit technological feasibility and the scope of its targeting in order to minimize the intrusion into US privacy. It was far less concerned about non-US privacy considerations.

"About" collection played at most a background role in what now appears to be an epochal 2007-8 debate in Congress to bless what had previously been a surveillance program almost entirely operated by executive prerogative. The PCLOB nevertheless found that the resulting law, the 2008 Fisa Amendments Act, and its critical Section 702 provision, authorized such collection, something Medine said was a "permissible" interpretation by NSA.

All that amounted to a bitter pill for privacy advocates to swallow, particularly coming from a government body that in January had condemned the NSA's bulk surveillance of US phone data.

The PCLOB may have interrupted recent momentum in Congress towards preventing the US government from conducting backdoor searches.

Stanford's Granick held out hope that the PCLOB's assessment would inadvertently bolster the chances for a backdoor-search ban in Congress. The report's perceived moderation could aid legislators in curbing the searches on the argument that they would restore public confidence in US surveillance.

"But for the longer term goal of reining in warrantless, massive collection of communications and for getting countries to protect their communications of all people and not just their own citizens, this doesn't help us at all," Granick said.

The American Library Association similarly declared the PCLOB report a "serious disappointment" and said it should be "an absolute floor for 702 reform and a spur to immediate and broad legislative expansion."

Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU, who testified to the PCLOB in March, called the report "weak."

"It fails to fully grasp the significance of allowing the government to conduct surveillance on this massive scale, of allowing it to store millions of Americans' communications in government databases, and of allowing it to search those databases without any of the safeguards the Constitution has historically been held to require," Jaffer said in a Wednesday statement.

The Center for Constitutional Rights called the PCLOB's treatment of the constitutional implications at stake "disappointingly superficial."

"The board includes no mention whatsoever of free speech, due process, and right to counsel when analyzing the legality of the NSA’s collection of the content of communications between U.S. residents and persons of interest abroad," it said in a statement.

Meanwhile, the leader of the US intelligence community acknowledged his victory.

"In this important report, the PCLOB confirms that Section 702 has shown its value in preventing acts of terrorism at home and abroad, and pursuing other foreign intelligence goals," Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a Wednesday statement, adding that he would take the board's privacy concerns "very seriously."

The PCLOB is not done reviewing the NSA's surveillance authorities and their implementation.

When the board next meets, on July 23, it will consider launching a new inquiry into one of the seminal texts behind US intelligence authorities, an executive order known as 12333. The NSA relies upon that obscure document for, among other things, its surreptitious collection of unencrypted information transiting from Google and Yahoo data centers. After the hearing adjourned Wednesday, Medine, Cook and Wald all indicated their appetite for reviewing 12333.


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    Government Privacy Board Says Controversial NSA Surveillance Program Is Constitutional
Posted: 07/02/2014 12:00 am EDT Updated: 07/02/2014 10:59 am EDT

A government privacy oversight board's draft report, released Tuesday night, finds the National Security Agency's use of a controversial surveillance authority is constitutional, but says some aspects of it edge up to violating the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable searches or seizures.

The report from the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board, an independent agency within the federal government's executive branch, centers on programs revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden that the NSA uses to pick up communications of foreigners that may also involve a U.S. citizen. The programs rely for legal authority on a law passed in 2008 to bring former President George W. Bush's warrantless wiretapping program under judicial oversight.

Critics charge that the NSA, in collecting the foreign targets' communications under its PRISM and upstream collection programs, incidentally picks up far too many Americans' emails and phone calls. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) has raised alarm about what happens with Americans' communications once they're collected, because the NSA believes it can search through them without a warrant.

The privacy board's harsh January report on the NSA's separate domestic telephone metadata collection program provided ammunition for critics looking to end it. But in its new report, the privacy board largely accepts the government's assurances that NSA surveillance under the 2008 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is well-grounded. The board is set to vote on whether to finalize the draft report on Wednesday.

"Overall, the Board has found that the information the program collects has been valuable and effective in protecting the nation’s security and producing useful foreign intelligence," the report reads. The program, it says, "has been subject to judicial oversight and extensive internal supervision, and the Board has found no evidence of intentional abuse."

The board acknowledges that the two NSA surveillance programs revealed by Snowden that make use of the 2008 law -- PRISM, which sends specific search terms to electronic communications service providers, and "upstream collection," in which the NSA searches the Internet backbone -- may incidentally sweep up an untold number of Americans' communications.

"The collection and examination of U.S. persons’ communications represents a privacy intrusion even in the absence of misuse for improper ends," the report finds.

Its authors express frustration that the NSA and other government agencies have been unable to furnish estimates of the incidental collection of Americans' communications, which "hampers attempts to gauge whether the program appropriately balances national security interests with the privacy of U.S. persons."

But without signs of abuse, the board concludes privacy intrusions are justified in protecting against threats to the U.S.

Nevertheless, the board suggests that the government take on the "backdoor searches" that have alarmed Wyden. In those searches, the government searches through the content of communications collected while targeting foreigners for search terms associated with U.S. citizens and residents. The House voted in June to end such searches.

The searches "push the program close to the line of constitutional reasonableness," the privacy board report says, but it doesn't recommend ending them.

As the Office of the Director of National Intelligence revealed in a Friday letter, the NSA searches communications acquired under the 2008 surveillance law for personal identifiers of Americans thousands of times per year. The CIA is also in on the act, as is the FBI, which has its own national security mission that focuses on the domestic sphere, and conducts a "substantial" but uncounted number of searches on the surveillance data.

"The manner in which the FBI is employing U.S. person queries, while subject to genuine efforts at executive branch oversight, is difficult to evaluate, as is the CIA’s use of metadata queries," the board says.

A split on the board prevented the report from recommending aggressive action on FBI searches.

Chairman David Medine and board member Patricia Wald call on a foreign intelligence surveillance court to oversee FBI searches of search terms related to Americans to determine whether they are "reasonably likely to return information relevant to an assessment or investigation of a crime."

Two more conservative members of the board support requiring FBI agents to ask a supervisor for permission. A third, James Dempsey, the Center for Democracy and Technology vice president for public policy, says, "Any number of possible structures would provide heightened protection of U.S. persons."

« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 06:31:29 PM by sky otter »

sky otter

  • Guest
Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #493 on: July 05, 2014, 09:34:10 AM »

wow..and this is where snoden is.. wonder if he's helping them.. ::)

.Russian MPs back law on internet data storage

 July 2014 Last updated at 23:22 ET

Russia's lower house of parliament has passed a law requiring internet companies to store Russian citizens' personal data inside the country.

The Kremlin says the move is for data protection but critics fear it is aimed at muzzling social networks like Twitter and Facebook.

The Russian government is thought to be seeking greater access to user data.

Social networks were widely used by protesters opposing President Vladimir Putin's return to the Kremlin in 2012.

Analysts say there are fears that Russia may be seeking to create a closed and censored version of the internet within its borders.

The new bill must still be approved by the upper chamber and President Putin before it becomes law.

If passed, the new rules will not take effect until September 2016 but will give the government grounds to block sites that do not comply.

"The aim of this law is to create... (another) quasi-legal pretext to close Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and all other services," internet expert and blogger Anton Nossik told Reuters news agency.

"The ultimate goal is to shut mouths, enforce censorship in the country and shape a situation where internet business would not be able to exist and function properly."

But introducing the bill to parliament, MP Vadim Dengin said "most Russians don't want their data to leave Russia for the United States, where it can be hacked and given to criminals".

"Our entire lives are stored over there," he said, adding that companies should build data centres within Russia.

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5 hrs agoSouth China Morning Post*

Russia passes law to force websites to store data on servers inside the country
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sky otter

  • Guest
Re: they know what you are doing
« Reply #494 on: July 29, 2014, 09:42:55 AM »

U.S. Senate bill proposes sweeping curbs on NSA surveillance

1 hr ago By Doina Chiacu of Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator Patrick Leahy will introduce legislation on Tuesday to ban the U.S. government's bulk collection of Americans' telephone records and Internet data and narrow how much information it can seek in any particular search.

The bill, which has White House backing, goes further than a version passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in reducing bulk collection and may be more acceptable to critics who have dismissed other versions as too weak.

Revelations last year by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden prompted President Barack Obama to ask Congress in January to rein in the bulk collection and storage of records of millions of U.S. domestic telephone calls.

Many American technology companies also have been clamoring for changes after seeing their international business suffer as foreign governments worry they might collect data and hand it over to U.S. spy agencies.

The legislation is not expected to come up for a vote in the Senate before Congress leaves for a five-week break on Friday.

Leahy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, proposed greater limits on the terms analysts use to search databases held by phone companies such as Verizon Communications Inc or AT&T Inc.

The bill, called the USA Freedom Act, would prohibit the government from collecting all information from a particular service provider or a broad geographic area, such as a city or area code, according to a release from Leahy's office.

The USA Freedom Act would expand government and company reporting to the public and reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which reviews NSA intelligence activities.

The House passed its version in May.

Both measures would keep information out of NSA computers, but the Senate bill would impose stricter limits on how much data the spy agency could seek.

The Senate bill would end the bulk collection authorized by Section 215 of the USA Patriot Act, which was enacted in the George W. Bush administration after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It instead would authorize searches for telephone call records "two hops" from a search term, with a hop indicating connections between people suspected of links to foreign terrorism.

The NSA has had legal authority to collect and hold for five years metadata for all telephone calls inside the United States. Telephone metadata documents the numbers involved, when the calls were made and how long they lasted, but not their content.

Leahy's bill would require the government to report the number of individuals - including Americans - whose information has been collected. It gives private companies four options to report on the number of government requests they get.

The bill would require the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to appoint a panel of legal advocates to address privacy and civil liberties issues.

National Security Council spokesman Ned Price praised Leahy on Monday for having done "remarkable work" balancing security and privacy concerns in the bill.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu, Roberta Rampton, Joseph Menn in San Francisco; Writing by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn) USA, LLC
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