NSA- FBI tapping directly into the central servers extracting audio, video chats, photographs, e-mai

J. Abizeid

J. Abizeid

Well-Known Member
http://www.washingtonpost.com/inves...0c0da8-cebf-11e2-8845-d970ccb04497_story.html


NSA- FBI tapping directly into the central servers extracting audio, video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs.



The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into the central servers of nine leading U.S. Internet companies, extracting audio and video chats, photographs, e-mails, documents, and connection logs that enable analysts to track foreign targets, according to a top-secret document obtained by The Washington Post.

The program, code-named PRISM, has not been made public until now. It may be the first of its kind. The NSA prides itself on stealing secrets and breaking codes, and it is accustomed to corporate partnerships that help it divert data traffic or sidestep barriers. But there has never been a Google or Facebook before, and it is unlikely that there are richer troves of valuable intelligence than the ones in Silicon Valley.

Equally unusual is the way the NSA extracts what it wants, according to the document: “Collection directly from the servers of these U.S. Service Providers: Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Pal Talk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.”

PRISM was launched from the ashes of President George W. Bush’s secret program of warrantless domestic surveillance in 2007, after news media disclosures, lawsuits and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court forced the president to look for new authority.

Congress obliged with the Protect America Act in 2007 and the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, which immunized private companies that cooperated voluntarily with U.S. intelligence collection. PRISM recruited its first partner, Microsoft, and began six years of rapidly growing data collection beneath the surface of a roiling national debate on surveillance and privacy. Late last year, when critics in Congress sought changes in the FISA Amendments Act, the only lawmakers who knew about PRISM were bound by oaths of office to hold their tongues.

The court-approved program is focused on foreign communications traffic, which often flows through U.S. servers even when sent from one overseas location to another. Between 2004 and 2007, Bush administration lawyers persuaded federal FISA judges to issue surveillance orders in a fundamentally new form. Until then the government had to show probable cause that a particular “target” and “facility” were both connected to terrorism or espionage.

In four new orders, which remain classified, the court defined massive data sets as “facilities” and agreed to certify periodically that the government had reasonable procedures in place to minimize collection of “U.S. persons” data without a warrant.

In a statement issue late Thursday, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper said “information collected under this program is among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect, and is used to protect our nation from a wide variety of threats. The unauthorized disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans.”

Clapper added that there were numerous inaccuracies in reports about PRISM by The Post and the Guardian newspaper, but he did not specify any.

Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: “I would just push back on the idea that the court has signed off on it, so why worry? This is a court that meets in secret, allows only the government to appear before it, and publishes almost none of its opinions. It has never been an effective check on government.”

Several companies contacted by The Post said they had no knowledge of the program, did not allow direct government access to their servers and asserted that they responded only to targeted requests for information.

“We do not provide any government organization with direct access to Facebook servers,” said Joe Sullivan, chief security officer for Facebook. “When Facebook is asked for data or information about specific individuals, we carefully scrutinize any such request for compliance with all applicable laws, and provide information only to the extent required by law.”

“We have never heard of PRISM,” said Steve Dowling, a spokesman for Apple. “We do not provide any government agency with direct access to our servers, and any government agency requesting customer data must get a court order.”

It is possible that the conflict between the PRISM slides and the company spokesmen is the result of imprecision on the part of the NSA author. In another classified report obtained by The Post, the arrangement is described as allowing “collection managers [to send]content tasking instructions directly to equipment installed at company-controlled locations,” rather than directly to company servers.

Government officials and the document itself made clear that the NSA regarded the identities of its private partners as PRISM’s most sensitive secret, fearing that the companies would withdraw from the program if exposed. “98 percent of PRISM production is based on Yahoo, Google and Microsoft; we need to make sure we don’t harm these sources,” the briefing’s author wrote in his speaker’s notes.

An internal presentation of 41 briefing slides on PRISM, dated April 2013 and intended for senior analysts in the NSA’s Signals Intelligence Directorate, described the new tool as the most prolific contributor to the President’s Daily Brief, which cited PRISM data in1,477 items last year. According to the slides and other supporting materials obtained by The Post, “NSA reporting increasingly relies on PRISM” as its leading source of raw material, accounting for nearly 1 in 7 intelligence reports.

That is a remarkable figure in an agency that measures annual intake in the trillions of communications. It is all the more striking because the NSA, whose lawful mission is foreign intelligence, is reaching deep inside the machinery of American companies that host hundreds of millions of American-held accounts on American soil.

The technology companies, whose cooperation is essential to PRISM operations, include most of the dominant global players of Silicon Valley, according to the document. They are listed on a roster that bears their logos in order of entry into the program: “Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Pal Talk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple.” Pal Talk, although much smaller, has hosted traffic of substantial intelligence interest during the Arab Spring and in the ongoing Syrian civil war.

“Dropbox, the cloud storage and synchronization service, is described as “coming soon.”

Sens. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), who had classified knowledge of the program as members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, were unable to speak of it when they warned in a Dec. 27, 2012, floor debate that the FISA Amendments Act had what both of them called a “back-door search loophole” for the content of innocent Americans who were swept up in a search for someone else.

As it is written, there is nothing to prohibit the intelligence community from searching through a pile of communications, which may have been incidentally or accidentally been collected without a warrant, to deliberately search for the phone calls or e-mails of specific Americans,” Udall said.

Wyden repeatedly asked the NSA to estimate the number of Americans whose communications had been incidentally collected, and the agency’s director, Lt. Gen. Keith B. Alexander, insisted there was no way to find out. Eventually Inspector General I. Charles McCullough III wrote Wyden a letter stating that it would violate the privacy of Americans in NSA data banks to try to estimate their number.

Roots in the ’70s

PRISM is an heir, in one sense, to a history of intelligence alliances with as many as 100 trusted U.S. companies since the 1970s. The NSA calls these Special Source Operations, and PRISM falls under that rubric.

The Silicon Valley operation works alongside a parallel program, code-named BLARNEY, that gathers up “metadata” — technical information about communications traffic and network devices — as it streams past choke points along the backbone of the Internet. Blarney’s top-secret program summary, set down in the slides alongside a cartoon insignia of a shamrock and a leprechaun hat, describes it as “an ongoing collection program that leverages IC [intelligence community] and commercial partnerships to gain access and exploit foreign intelligence obtained from global networks.”

But the PRISM program appears to more nearly resemble the most controversial of the warrantless surveillance orders issued by President George W. Bush after the al-Qaeda attacks of Sept.11, 2001. Its history, in which President Obama presided over exponential growth in a program that candidate Obama criticized, shows how fundamentally surveillance law and practice have shifted away from individual suspicion in favor of systematic, mass collection techniques.

The Obama administration points to ongoing safeguards in the form of “extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-U.S. persons outside the U.S. are targeted, and that minimize the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about U.S. persons.”

And it is true that the PRISM program is not a dragnet, exactly. From inside a company’s data stream the NSA is capable of pulling out anything it likes, but under current rules the agency does not try to collect it all.

Analysts who use the system from a Web portal at Fort Meade, Md., key in “selectors,” or search terms, that are designed to produce at least 51 percent confidence in a target’s “foreignness.” That is not a very stringent test. Training materials obtained by The Post instruct new analysts to make quarterly reports of any accidental collection of U.S. content, but add that “it’s nothing to worry about.”

Even when the system works just as advertised, with no American singled out for targeting, the NSA routinely collects a great deal of American content. That is described as “incidental,” and it is inherent in contact chaining, one of the basic tools of the trade. To collect on a suspected spy or foreign terrorist means, at minimum, that everyone in the suspect’s inbox or outbox is swept in. Intelligence analysts are typically taught to chain through contacts two “hops” out from their target, which increases “incidental collection” exponentially. The same math explains the aphorism; from the John Guare play, that no one is more than “six degrees of separation” from any other person.

A ‘directive’

In exchange for immunity from lawsuits, companies such as Yahoo and AOL are obliged to accept a “directive” from the attorney general and the director of national intelligence to open their servers to the FBI’s Data Intercept Technology Unit, which handles liaison to U.S. companies from the NSA. In 2008, Congress gave the Justice Department authority for a secret order from the Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Court to compel reluctant company “to comply.”

In practice, there is room for a company to maneuver, delay or resist. When a clandestine intelligence program meets a highly regulated industry, said a lawyer with experience in bridging the gaps, neither side wants to risk a public fight. The engineering problems are so immense, in systems of such complexity and frequent change, that the FBI and NSA would be hard pressed to build in back doors without active help from each company.

Apple demonstrated that resistance is possible when it held out for more than five years, for reasons unknown, after Microsoft became PRISM’s first corporate partner in May 2007. Twitter, which has cultivated a reputation for aggressive defense of its users’ privacy, is still conspicuous by its absence from the list of “private sect or partners.”

Google, like the other companies, denied that it permitted direct government access to its servers.

“Google cares deeply about the security of our users’ data,” a company spokesman said. “We disclose user data to government in accordance with the law, and we review all such requests carefully. From time to time, people allege that we have created a government ‘back door’ into our systems, but Google does not have a ‘back door’ for the government to access private user data.”

Microsoft also provided a statement: “We provide customer data only when we receive a legally binding order or subpoena to do so, and never on a voluntary basis. In addition we only ever comply with orders for requests about specific accounts or identifiers. If the government has a broader voluntary national security program to gather customer data we don’t participate in it.”

Yahoo also issued a denial.

“Yahoo! takes users’ privacy very seriously,” the company said in a statement. “We do not provide the government with direct access to our servers, systems, or network.”

Like market researchers, but with far more privileged access, collection managers in the NSA’s Special Source Operations group, which oversees the PRISM program, are drawn to the wealth of information about their subjects in online accounts. For much the same reason, civil libertarians and some ordinary users may be troubled by the menu available to analysts who hold the required clearances to “task” the PRISM system.

There has been “continued exponential growth in tasking to Facebook and Skype,” according to the PRISM slides. With a few clicks and an affirmation that the subject is believed to be engaged in terrorism, espionage or nuclear proliferation, an analyst obtains full access to Facebook’s “extensive search and surveillance capabilities against the variety of online social networking services.”

According to a separate “User’s Guide for PRISM Skype Collection,” that service can be monitored for audio when one end of the call is a conventional telephone and for any combination of “audio, video, chat, and file transfers” when Skype users connect by computer alone. Google’s offerings include Gmail, voice and video chat, Google Drive files, photo libraries, and live surveillance of search terms.

First hand experience with these systems, and horror at their capabilities, is what drove a career intelligence officer to provide Power Point slides about PRISM and supporting materials to The Washington Post in order to expose what he believes to be a gross intrusion on privacy. “They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer said.

Poitras is a documentary filmmaker and Macarthur Fellow. Julie Tate, Robert O’Harrow Jr., Cecilia Kangand Ellen Nakashima contributed to this report.
 
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  • J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member

    The NSA Spying Scandal Goes to Europe



    Photograph by Cityscape Digital/Gallery Stock



    By David Meyer on June 07, 2013

    http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-06-07/the-nsa-spying-scandal-goes-to-europe

    UPDATE: I’ll admit I am shocked to have received this response from the European Commission’s Home Affairs department to my request for comment, with particular regard to the impact on EU citizens’ privacy: “We do not have any comments. This is an internal U.S. matter.” For the reason behind my surprise, read on …
    This is a great day to be a conspiracy theorist. Vindication! The National Security Agency—part of the U.S. military—reportedly has a
    direct line into the systems of some of the world’s biggest Web and tech companies, all of which are of course sited in the U.S.
    The companies themselves—Google (
    GOOG), Facebook (FB), Apple (AAPL), Yahoo! (YHOO), and so on—have denied the existence of these back doors, but the U.S. authorities have not. They have claimed there are unspecified inaccuracies in the reports carried by the Guardian and the Washington Post, but there has been no substantive denial, other than to say it’s all OK because only non-U.S. citizens outside the U.S. are being targeted.
    That last part appears to be nonsense, hence the uproar within the U.S., but let’s for a moment take the Obama administration at its word and pretend it’s not spying on its own citizens. Even in this scenario, the fallout will be tremendous outside American borders.
    And nowhere more so than in Europe, which is already in the throes of a wide-ranging debate over
    data privacy. The EU’s new data protection laws are being formulated, with treats in store including enhanced responsibilities for non-EU cloud firms when it comes to protecting the privacy of European citizens. This has prompted a pretty shameless lobbying campaign by U.S. tech firms to see the new rules watered down. Activist members of the European Parliament (MEPs) such as Jan Philipp Albrecht have been fighting back.
    Guess which side of this battle just got a boost?
    But what about the current EU data protection rules? Time for a quick primer: It is illegal for EU citizens’ personal data to be processed—that includes being hosted on servers—outside the EU, unless the company doing the processing/hosting is in a country that has data protection laws of as high a standard as you find in the EU. The U.S. does not conform to these standards, but of course most of the big Web firms are American, so to get around this there is something called a Safe Harbor agreement between the U.S. and Europe.
    The Safe Harbor scheme (not recognized by the Germans, incidentally) allows U.S. tech firms such as Google to self-certify, to say that they conform to EU-style data protection standards even if their country’s laws do not. It’s not quite that simple—these companies really do need to jump through some hoops before they claim compliance; just ask
    Heroku—but it does largely come down to trust.
    EU data protection regulators have already
    called for the system to be toughened up through the introduction of third-party audits, but frankly it now looks like the whole system is in tatters. U.S. companies claiming Safe Harbor compliance include Google, Yahoo, Microsoft (MSFT), Facebook, and AOL (AOL), all of which now appear to be part (willingly or otherwise) of the NSA’s PRISM scheme.
    As EU data protection rules don’t say it’s OK for foreign military units to record or monitor the communications of European citizens—heck, even local governments aren’t supposed to be doing that—the Safe Harbor program now looks questionable to say the least. A lot of people have already
    pointed to the U.S. Patriot Act as a threat, and now the effects of that legislation are plain to see.
    All of this is likely to prove very problematic indeed for U.S. cloud firms trying to push further into the European market.
    Imagine you’re a European government wanting to move your IT systems into the cloud. For some, nationalism and protectionism already come into play at this point—witness the French (of course) and the two
    national clouds that they have under development.
    Now imagine you’re a U.S. firm trying to drum up business in that context. You can say you have an EU data center and you’re even
    willing to set up a mini-cloud in the country, just to put everyone’s mind at rest. You can say it and you can mean it, but can you really be surprised when you get laughed at because everyone now sees U.S. Internet companies as being in league with the NSA? Even if you’re Amazon (AMZN), which isn’t part of PRISM, you have a problem.
    But that’s just business. The NSA revelations will have a far worse impact than that.
    This is where it gets really depressing. It’s not like previous U.S. statements on Internet freedom in places such as China and the Middle East have emerged without some pointing out the perceived hypocrisy of it all. But now those people, who may have seemed a tad on the paranoid side at the time, can slip into told-you-so mode.
    Let’s be clear about this: The NSA’s PRISM program is not quite the same thing as what the Chinese have in place. We’re not talking about overt clamping-down on freedom of speech, or the blocking of certain terms on microblogs when anti-government stories are doing the rounds.
    But whatever is happening with the data being collected, the very fact that it is being collected means governments doing much worse things can now turn around and call the U.S. a hypocrite every time it tries to criticize them. At the very least, the perception of U.S. online freedom will no longer be what it was earlier this week—but it is possible that these latest revelations will lead some authoritarian regimes to be a little less cautious with their own online crackdowns.
    The PRISM leak is going to be damaging for U.S. firms and the country’s image abroad, but its long-term effects may be worse than that.
    But hey, lemons to lemonade, right? If you’re a Web firm—particularly one dealing in communications of any kind—based in a country with meaningful data protection rules and checks on governmental intrusion, you now have a pretty strong selling point that wasn’t so clear a few days ago. We’re still waiting for the official reaction to emanate from data protection authorities here in Europe, but there’s every chance that they will be giving their citizens a strong steer in that direction.
     
    Ashrafieh_LF

    Ashrafieh_LF

    Well-Known Member
    All FPM'ers living in the States and showing their sympathy/adoration to HA will soon be black-listed! LOL!
     
    cedarheart

    cedarheart

    Well-Known Member
    All FPM'ers living in the States and showing their sympathy/adoration to HA will soon be black-listed! LOL!
    So far in the US, there are several LFers who are on the TSA no-fly lists (potential risk to national security / terrorists potential), and zero FPMers on those lists
    So shut the f*ck up
     
    Ashrafieh_LF

    Ashrafieh_LF

    Well-Known Member
    So far in the US, there are several LFers who are on the TSA no-fly lists (potential risk to national security / terrorists potential), and zero FPMers on those lists
    So shut the f*ck up
    Please provide names and reasons why LF'ers are on no-fly list otherwise stfu! FPM is openly associated with a terror organization so there is a reason to blacklist its members. That's all I'm saying
     
    neutral

    neutral

    Legendary Member
    So far in the US, there are several LFers who are on the TSA no-fly lists (potential risk to national security / terrorists potential), and zero FPMers on those lists
    So shut the f*ck up
    not for the lack of trying by LFers :wink:
     
    neutral

    neutral

    Legendary Member
    The uproar in the US regarding the NSA snooping around should be an example for when next time some shmuck in Lebanon starts asking for unconditional access to all the telecom data!!!
     
    kappa273

    kappa273

    Well-Known Member
    I am more or less disappointed by the less than tepid reaction from the US population at the recurrent infringement of the government on their rights..

    Every week, we hear new stories which contradict the basic foundations of the United States..
    from eavesdropping on reporters, to pressuring groups with opposite political opinion and now massive spying on all the telecommunication infrastructure, this is becoming absurd..

    this US generation has not experienced dictatorship neither internally nor as a direct threat to their way of living... they cannot fathom the idea of lack liberty; therefore, their perception is closer to science-fiction than basic reality...

    I don't think the US is becoming a dictatorship by all means, but big brother needs to be tamed like the founding fathers intended it to be..

    kappa
     
    cedarheart

    cedarheart

    Well-Known Member
    Please provide names and reasons why LF'ers are on no-fly list otherwise stfu! FPM is openly associated with a terror organization so there is a reason to blacklist its members. That's all I'm saying
    Easy:
    Name: Ghassan Touma
    Reason: potential terrorist, convicted criminal, crimes against humanity
    Proof:
    13. (C/NF) At the close of the meeting, Ja'Ja and Khoury
    asked the Ambassador to look into the case of Ghassan Touma,
    the chief of Lebanese Forces intelligence during the civil
    war. Ja'Ja said that Touma is living in the U.S. but has no
    legal status. He cannot take airline flights because he is
    on a TSA no-fly list, according to Ja'Ja.
    FELTMAN

    FYI, your doctor death is considered a criminal against humanity in Canada and is forbidden from visiting Canada

    FPM might be openely associated with a terror organization as you claim, but those you cheer and follow ARE a terrorist organization so look at yourself before you talk about others
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Easy:
    Name: Ghassan Touma
    Reason: potential terrorist, convicted criminal, crimes against humanity
    Proof:
    13. (C/NF) At the close of the meeting, Ja'Ja and Khoury
    asked the Ambassador to look into the case of Ghassan Touma,
    the chief of Lebanese Forces intelligence during the civil
    war. Ja'Ja said that Touma is living in the U.S. but has no
    legal status. He cannot take airline flights because he is
    on a TSA no-fly list, according to Ja'Ja.
    FELTMAN

    FYI, your doctor death is considered a criminal against humanity in Canada and is forbidden from visiting Canada

    FPM might be openely associated with a terror organization as you claim, but those you cheer and follow ARE a terrorist organization so look at yourself before you talk about others
    Keep in mind terrorists are considered like cholesterol – there are bad terrorists and good terrorists depending on whose dirty job they’re doing. In some cases those who don’t support criminal actions become listed on the No Fly list… Oops! :lie:By mistake…
    Check out the honorable late Senator Ted Kennedy…RIP.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A17073-2004Aug19.html
     
    julesvernes99

    julesvernes99

    Legendary Member
    Edward Snowden was NSA Prism leak source - Guardian

    A former CIA technical worker has been identified by the UK's Guardian newspaper as the source of leaks about US surveillance programmes.

    Edward Snowden, 29, is described by the paper as an ex-CIA technical assistant, currently employed by defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

    The Guardian said his identity was being revealed at his own request.

    The recent revelations are that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data.

    The Guardian quotes Mr Snowden as saying he flew to Hong Kong on 20 May, where he holed himself up in a hotel.

    He told the paper: "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded."

    Asked what he thought would happen to him, he replied: "Nothing good."

    He said he had gone to Hong Kong because of its "strong tradition of free speech".
    Tracking

    On Wednesday night, the Guardian reported a US secret court had ordered phone company Verizon to hand over to the National Security Agency (NSA) millions of records on telephone call "metadata".

    That report was followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a programme known as Prism.

    All the internet companies deny giving the US government access to their servers.

    Prism is said to give the NSA and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) access to emails, web chats and other communications directly from the servers of major US internet companies.

    The data are used to track foreign nationals suspected of terrorism or spying. The NSA is also collecting the telephone records of American customers, but not recording the content of their calls.

    On Saturday, US director of national intelligence James Clapper called the leaks "literally gut-wrenching".

    "I hope we're able to track down whoever's doing this, because it is extremely damaging to, and it affects the safety and security of this country," he told NBC News on Saturday.

    Prism was reportedly established in 2007 in order to provide in-depth surveillance on live communications and stored information on foreigners overseas.

    The NSA has filed a criminal report with the US Justice Department over the leaks.

    The content of phone conversations - what people say to each other when they are on the phone - is protected by the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, which forbids unreasonable searches.

    However, information shared with a third party, such as phone companies, is not out of bounds.

    That means that data about phone calls - such as their timing and duration - can be scooped up by government officials.

    Mr Clapper's office issued a statement on Saturday, saying all the information gathered under Prism was obtained with the approval of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act Court (Fisa).

    Prism was authorised under changes to US surveillance laws passed under President George Bush and renewed last year under Barack Obama.
     
    julesvernes99

    julesvernes99

    Legendary Member
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jun/09/nsa-whistleblower-edward-snowden-why


    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'

    Source for the Guardian's NSA files on why he carried out the biggest intelligence leak in a generation – and what comes next

    Edward Snowden was interviewed over several days in Hong Kong by Glenn Greenwald and Ewen MacAskill.

    Q: Why did you decide to become a whistleblower?

    A: "The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your emails or your wife's phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

    "I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things … I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under."

    Q: But isn't there a need for surveillance to try to reduce the chances of terrorist attacks such as Boston?

    A: "We have to decide why terrorism is a new threat. There has always been terrorism. Boston was a criminal act. It was not about surveillance but good, old-fashioned police work. The police are very good at what they do."

    Q: Do you see yourself as another Bradley Manning?

    A: "Manning was a classic whistleblower. He was inspired by the public good."

    Q: Do you think what you have done is a crime?

    A: "We have seen enough criminality on the part of government. It is hypocritical to make this allegation against me. They have narrowed the public sphere of influence."

    Q: What do you think is going to happen to you?

    A: "Nothing good."

    Q: Why Hong Kong?

    A: "I think it is really tragic that an American has to move to a place that has a reputation for less freedom. Still, Hong Kong has a reputation for freedom in spite of the People's Republic of China. It has a strong tradition of free speech."

    Q: What do the leaked documents reveal?

    A: "That the NSA routinely lies in response to congressional inquiries about the scope of surveillance in America. I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinised most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians."

    Q: What about the Obama administration's protests about hacking by China?

    A: "We hack everyone everywhere. We like to make a distinction between us and the others. But we are in almost every country in the world. We are not at war with these countries."

    Q: Is it possible to put security in place to protect against state surveillance?

    A: "You are not even aware of what is possible. The extent of their capabilities is horrifying. We can plant bugs in machines. Once you go on the network, I can identify your machine. You will never be safe whatever protections you put in place."

    Q: Does your family know you are planning this?

    A: "No. My family does not know what is happening … My primary fear is that they will come after my family, my friends, my partner. Anyone I have a relationship with …

    I will have to live with that for the rest of my life. I am not going to be able to communicate with them. They [the authorities] will act aggressively against anyone who has known me. That keeps me up at night."

    Q: When did you decide to leak the documents?

    A: "You see things that may be disturbing. When you see everything you realise that some of these things are abusive. The awareness of wrong-doing builds up. There was not one morning when I woke up [and decided this is it]. It was a natural process.

    "A lot of people in 2008 voted for Obama. I did not vote for him. I voted for a third party. But I believed in Obama's promises. I was going to disclose it [but waited because of his election]. He continued with the policies of his predecessor."

    Q: What is your reaction to Obama denouncing the leaks on Friday while welcoming a debate on the balance between security and openness?

    A: "My immediate reaction was he was having difficulty in defending it himself. He was trying to defend the unjustifiable and he knew it."

    Q: What about the response in general to the disclosures?

    A: "I have been surprised and pleased to see the public has reacted so strongly in defence of these rights that are being suppressed in the name of security. It is not like Occupy Wall Street but there is a grassroots movement to take to the streets on July 4 in defence of the Fourth Amendment called Restore The Fourth Amendment and it grew out of Reddit. The response over the internet has been huge and supportive."

    Q: Washington-based foreign affairs analyst Steve Clemons said he overheard at the capital's Dulles airport four men discussing an intelligence conference they had just attended. Speaking about the leaks, one of them said, according to Clemons, that both the reporter and leaker should be "disappeared". How do you feel about that?

    A: "Someone responding to the story said 'real spies do not speak like that'. Well, I am a spy and that is how they talk. Whenever we had a debate in the office on how to handle crimes, they do not defend due process – they defend decisive action. They say it is better to kick someone out of a plane than let these people have a day in court. It is an authoritarian mindset in general."

    Q: Do you have a plan in place?

    A: "The only thing I can do is sit here and hope the Hong Kong government does not deport me … My predisposition is to seek asylum in a country with shared values. The nation that most encompasses this is Iceland. They stood up for people over internet freedom. I have no idea what my future is going to be.

    "They could put out an Interpol note. But I don't think I have committed a crime outside the domain of the US. I think it will be clearly shown to be political in nature."

    Q: Do you think you are probably going to end up in prison?

    A: "I could not do this without accepting the risk of prison. You can't come up against the world's most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk. If they want to get you, over time they will."

    Q: How to you feel now, almost a week after the first leak?

    A: "I think the sense of outrage that has been expressed is justified. It has given me hope that, no matter what happens to me, the outcome will be positive for America. I do not expect to see home again, though that is what I want."
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    Decency still lives among us!!!


    Decency still lives among us!!!


    http://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nat...roy-privacy/rJQ8vJr5aPCBsIn4OOaXEN/story.html



    Ewen MacAskill/The Guardian/REUTERS
    Whistleblower Edward Snowden asked the Guardian to reveal his identity, the newspaper reported.

    A British newspaper Sunday revealed the source of the leak revealing the NSA’s extensive surveillance of US communications.
    Edward Snowden, a former CIA technical assistant who now works for a defense contractor with ties to the National Security Agency,
    asked the Guardian newspaper to reveal his identity.
    “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he told the newspaper in a remarkable, rambling interview that touched on his reasons for the leak, how he took precautions in not revealing documents that could harm particular people, how he became disillusioned, and how he expects his life as he knows it to end. “I don’t want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing.”
    “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, Internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
    The Guardian first disclosed that the NSA has been collecting cellphone metadata — time of calls, their length, their destination, but not the contents of the conversation — for many business calls within the United States and from the United States to foreign countries. Since the disclosure, President Obama and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper have acknowledged the program, saying it is an essential tool for revealing possible patterns that could lead to discovering terrorism plots. They said the program was overseen by a secret spy court.
    “My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.” said Snowden, who added that he has been holed up in a hotel room in Hong Kong and hopes to receive asylum, possibly from Iceland.

    The Guardian said that Snowden was working at the NSA office in Hawaii three weeks ago when he made final preparations for his disclosures. It said he copied the documents, then advised a supervisor that he needed to be away for “a couple of weeks,” saying he required medical treatment.
    He then told his girlfriend that he would be away for a few weeks.
    On May 20, the newspaper reported, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he remains ensconced in a luxury hotel room. He said he chose that city because of its “spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent.”
    The paper said Snowden, fearing that he himself would be the object of spying, lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping.
    In its account of Snowden’s motivations, The Guardian described him as a man whose patriotism and deep-seated idealism about his country suffered a stinging series of disappointments, leaving him conflicted and finally pushing him to take a step some have described as treason.
    After growing up in North Carolina, he moved with his family to Maryland, near NSA headquarters in Fort Meade, Md.
    Though he never obtained a high school diploma, he studied computing at a community college in Maryland. He enlisted in the US Army in 2003 and began training to join the Special Forces, he told the newspaper, helping to fight in the Iraq war “to help free people from oppression.”
    But his experience was dispiriting, The Guardian reported. “Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone,” he said. Snowden broke both legs in a training accident and received a discharge.
    He then got a job as a security guard at a covert NSA facility at the University of Maryland, soon moving to a computer job with the CIA, rising with unusual speed for someone lacking a high school diploma.
    The CIA sent him to Geneva in 2007; he had diplomatic cover and clearance giving him access to classified documents.
    But he grew disillusioned there by the tactics he saw agency operatives use in trying to recruit a man to spy on Swiss banks, and he began thinking for the first time about exposing government secrets.
    He temporized, however, fearing that his disclosures might endanger someone, and hoping that the election of Barack Obama might bring greater transparency to government.
    But after taking a job for a private contractor, and being assigned to an NSA facility on a military base in Japan, he said he watched “as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in,” adding, “I got hardened.”
    He has gradually embraced, with ever-greater fervor, the causes of transparency and Internet freedom.
    The Guardian said he had been fully transparent himself when challenged by its reporters to confirm the authenticity of the materials he provided. It said he offered his Social Security number, even his CIA identity number.
    Snowden said that he admired both Daniel Ellsberg, the source of the Pentagon Papers, and Bradley Manning, the Army private who has acknowledged providing huge troves of government documents in the WikiLeaks scandal.
    But he drew a contrast, saying that “I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest.” He said that “harming people isn’t my goal. Transparency is.”
    Snowden said that he now hopes he might be granted asylum someplace — possibly Iceland — but that he is prepared for whatever happens.
    “I feel satisfied that this was all worth it,” he said. “I have no regrets.”


    Ewen MacAskill/The Guardian/REUTERS
    “I’m willing to sacrifice all of that because I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy,” Snowden told the Guardian.
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I don't want to live in a society that does these sort of things'

     
    Last edited by a moderator:
    Ashrafieh_LF

    Ashrafieh_LF

    Well-Known Member
    Easy:
    Name: Ghassan Touma
    Reason: potential terrorist, convicted criminal, crimes against humanity
    Proof:
    13. (C/NF) At the close of the meeting, Ja'Ja and Khoury
    asked the Ambassador to look into the case of Ghassan Touma,
    the chief of Lebanese Forces intelligence during the civil
    war. Ja'Ja said that Touma is living in the U.S. but has no
    legal status. He cannot take airline flights because he is
    on a TSA no-fly list, according to Ja'Ja.
    FELTMAN

    FYI, your doctor death is considered a criminal against humanity in Canada and is forbidden from visiting Canada

    FPM might be openely associated with a terror organization as you claim, but those you cheer and follow ARE a terrorist organization so look at yourself before you talk about others
    Potential terrorist! LOL! You my friend are a potential dum*a$s! Your allies are real terrorists and not potential! Hahaa! That was funny!
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member


    Julian Assange praises Edward Snowden as a hero


    Whistleblower will go down in history for exposing 'formulation of a mass surveillance state', says WikiLeaks founder

    Monday 10 June 2013



    Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, currently confined to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, warns that Edward Snowden is 'in a very, very serious position'. Photograph: Kerim Okten/EPA

    Edward Snowden is a "hero" who has exposed "one of the most serious events of the decade – the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state", Julian Assange said on Monday.
    The WikiLeaks founder said the question of surveillance abuses by states and tech companies was "something that I and many other journalists and civil libertarians have been campaigning about for a long time. It is very pleasing to see such clear and concrete proof presented to the public."
    Assange told Sky News that Snowden was "in a very, very serious position, because we can see the kind of rhetoric that occurred against me and Bradley Manning back in 2010, 2011, applied to Snowden".
    Following the Cablegate exposures in 2010 there were calls from some US politicians for Assange to be tried for treason and even assassinated. Manning, who has admitted leaking classified US military secrets to WikiLeaks, is on trial facing 21 charges, including "aiding the enemy".
    Assange has been confined for almost a year to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, having been granted asylum by the Latin American country in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex assault and rape accusations, which he denies. The Australian fears answering the allegations in Sweden would make him vulnerable to onward extradition to the US to face potential charges relating to the WikiLeaks releases.
    Assange had earlier told an Australian interviewer for ABC News that he had been in "indirect communication with [Snowden's] people", but declined to elaborate further.
    He described Manning and Snowden as "very serious, earnest young men who really believe in something, and have shown great courage, and there is no doubt actually that history will look on them extremely favourably and perhaps, in a few years, will liberate them from their predicament."
    Assange called on supportive countries to "line up" and offer support to Snowden. "It will be really telling to see which countries really protect human rights, the privacy of the public, asylum rights, or which countries are scared of the United States or are in bed with this surveillance complex."
     
    J. Abizeid

    J. Abizeid

    Well-Known Member
    http://www.businessweek.com/news/20...ls-after-employee-intel-leak-washington-mover

    Booz Allen Falls After Employee Intel Leak: Washington Mover

    Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp. (BAH)fell the most in four months after Edward Snowden, an employee, revealed a top-secret U.S. electronic surveillance program.
    Booz Allen, a government consultant majority owned by the Washington-based private-equity firm Carlyle Group LP (CG), slid as much as 5 percent in New York trading, the biggest intraday (BAH) drop since Jan. 30. Its shares declined 3.2 percent, to $17.42, at 2:42 p.m.
    Snowden’s leak puts Booz Allen’s reputation at risk, and it may affect contracts in the short term if the company is found to have not protected classified information. Booz Allen, based in McLean, Virginia, relied on the federal government for 99 percent of its $5.76 billion in revenue in the year ended March 31, according to a regulatory filing. Almost a quarter of those sales came from supporting U.S. intelligence agencies.
    “It strikes right at the heart of credibility and security for a company like Booz Allen,” said Scott Sobel, president of Media & Communications Strategies Inc., a public relations firm in Washington.
    “If they can’t represent to government and other clients that their employees are properly vetted and secure, their business and credibility certainly will take a huge hit. They have to be scrambling right now.”
    Booz Allen will bear the consequences even if it wasn’t at fault in the unauthorized disclosure, Sobel said.

    ‘On Watch’
    “I’m sure there’s a certain amount of risk that’s unavoidable,” he said. “But at the end of the day Booz Allen was the company that was on watch when this happened.”
    The company, the 13th-largest federal contractor, competes with Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), CACI International Inc. (CACI) and other firms for U.S. intelligence contracts.
    Carlyle Group took Booz Allen private in 2008 and stillholds (BAH) 67 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
    Snowden, 29, voluntarily disclosed that he had provided journalists with secret documents describing the programs, in a video interview posted Saturday on the website of the U.K.’s Guardian newspaper.
    A former technical assistant for the Central Intelligence Agency, he has worked the National Security Agency for the past four years for various contractors, according to reports by the Guardian and the Washington Post, which said Snowden provided them with documents. He copied the last set of documents he wanted to disclose three weeks ago at the NSA office in Hawaii where he worked as a Booz Allen contractor, the Guardian reported.

    ‘Grave Violation’
    James Fisher, a spokesman for Booz, declined to comment beyond a written statement the company posted Sunday on its website. The company said Snowden was an employee for less than three months assigned to a team in Hawaii.
    “News reports that this individual has claimed to have leaked classified information are shocking, and if accurate, this action represents a grave violation of the code of conduct and core values of our firm,” according to the statement.
    Any investigation that shows the company was “running a slack operation” might make it difficult for Booz Allen to win contracts involving classified information in the short term, said Charles Tiefer, a University of Baltimore law professor.
    “Booz Allen may well get taken to the woodshed by the government for sloppiness in how it protected classified information,” said Tiefer, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Wartime Contracting.

    Intelligence Community
    William Loomis, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. in Baltimore, said he didn’t believe Snowden’s leak would have a long-term impact on Booz Allen shares.
    “Frankly, if someone is willing to throw their life away and do something like this, it’s hard to stop,” said Loomis, who has a hold rating on Booz Allen.
    There will probably be a review of Booz Allen’s process for securing information, and “assuming Booz didn’t have any flaw in their system, then I don’t see any impact on Booz’s business going forward,” he said. “It’s a high-quality company, very well respected in the intel community. My guess is they’ll fare OK in the evaluation.”
    Mark Amtower, owner of Amtower & Company, a Highland, Maryland-based consulting firm that advises contractors, said Booz Allen may not be at fault.
    Snowden had federal security clearances for the work he did and was a “natural fit” for a contractor seeking security work because of his previous work for the CIA, he said.
    “What are you going to do?” Amtower said. “Tighten security requirements? They’re pretty stringent right now.”
     
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