MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘NSA’

When Spying on the World Used To Be a Problem: The Good Old Days

Posted by M. C. on July 1, 2022

By Jon Rappoport

Jon Rappoport’s blog

The NSA is saying: We do spy, but we don’t read content of emails and phone calls. We just keep ‘records’ of the communications.

The lies lying liars tell.

At one time, circa 2013, spying on everybody was considered outrageous. Now it’s “necessary.”

I’m reprinting my article from 2013 below. But first, a quick bit of history concerning two little known Israeli companies, Narus and Verint. They have helped the NSA spy on the planet.

Narus, in 2010, was folded into Boeing, one of the largest defense contractors in the world. Then, in 2014, Boeing sold Narus to Symantec. In 2016, Symantec sold half of itself to the notorious Carlyle Group. So Narus, a little engine that could, has been keeping very high-priced company.

Verint has managed to retain its independence, after buying out the majority stake of Comverse Technology, its former owner, in 2013.

Okay, here we go—from this point on, everything was written in 2013:

2013. Boom. Explosive revelations. The NSA is using telecom giants to spy on anybody and everybody, in a program called PRISM.

But the information is not new.

Three books have been written about the super-secret NSA, and James Bamford has written them all.

In 2008, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now interviewed Bamford as his latest book, The Shadow Factory, was being released.

Bamford explained that, in the 1990s, everything changed for NSA. Previously, they’d been able to intercept electronic communications by using big dishes to capture what was coming down to Earth from telecom satellites.

But with the shift to fiber-optic cables, NSA was shut out. So they devised new methods.

For example, they set up a secret spy room at an AT&T office in San Francisco. NSA installed new equipment that enabled them to tap into the fiber-optic cables and suck up all traffic.

How Bamford describes this, in 2008, tells you exactly where the PRISM program came from:

“NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.

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Watch “The Secret NSA building hidden in plain sight” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on March 11, 2022

DuckDuckGo has been deleted from my search tool bag.

https://youtu.be/OzVSxR19ceM

Once the most trusted search engine for private and neutral search results, Duck Duck Go, just announced that they will now be censoring and filtering content. It may have lost them their core userbase. We’ll dive into some alternative search engines, and share Brave CEO Brendan Eich’s responses about how Brave Search works. Also, it turns out that one of NYC’s most iconic skyscrapers, shrouded in mystery for years with no publicly available information about it, is actually a giant NSA surveillance center. Codenamed TITATITANPOINTE, the center is hidden in plain sight right in the middle of Manhattan, but is actually one of the most important NSA surveillance sites on U.S. soil. Ryan Gallagher and Henrik Moltke wrote a couple of great pieces for the Intercept a while ago diving into these, which recently resurfaced again on Hacker News, that we’ll explore on the show. Read the full investigation here: https://theintercept.com/2016/11/16/t… Laura Poitras, Henrik Moltke documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOJug…

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Still No Answers On The CIA’s Unconstitutional Mass Surveillance Of Americans | ZeroHedge

Posted by M. C. on February 15, 2022

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/still-no-answers-cias-unconstitutional-mass-surveillance-americans

Tyler Durden's Photo

by Tyler Durden

Monday, Feb 14, 2022 – 10:50 PM

By Matthew Guariglia & Andrew Crocker via Common Dreams/Electronic Freedom Foundation,

The Central Intelligence Agency has been collecting American’s private data without any oversight or even the minimal legal safeguards that apply to the NSA and FBI, an unconstitutional affront to our civil liberties. According to a declassified report released last week by the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board (PCLOB), the CIA’s surveillance program is reminiscent of the mass surveillance programs conducted by the NSA, though the details released thus far paint a disturbing picture of potential wide-scale violations of people’s privacy.To start, the CIA program has apparently been conducted outside the statutory reforms and oversight of the intelligence community instituted after revelations by Edward Snowden in 2013. The newly declassified CIA data collection program is carried out in conjunction with Executive Order 12333 and is therefore subject to even less oversight than the woefully under-supervised NSA surveillance programs subject to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

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The Cold War Racket Never Ended for the U.S. – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on January 29, 2022

Too bad President Biden is unable to do that. What Biden should do is declare an end to the Cold War and abolish NATO immediately. Unlike Kennedy, however, Biden is deferring to the power of the Pentagon and the CIA and, in the process, letting them continue their dangerous and destructive Cold War racket.

https://www.fff.org/2022/01/27/the-cold-war-racket-never-ended-for-the-u-s/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

There is something important to recognize about the Cold War: It was not ended by the U.S. government. Instead, it was ended by the Soviet Union. If it had been up to the U.S. national-security establishment, the Cold War would have gone on forever because it is the best racket in U.S. history, one that continually expanded the tax-funded largess, power, and influence of the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA.

In a sense, the U.S. national-security establishment considered the Soviet Union’s unilateral decision to end the Cold War a betrayal. The Soviets weren’t supposed to do that. The supposed international communist conspiracy to conquer the United States that was supposedly based in Moscow was serving as a fantastic boogeyman that was used to frighten the American people into supporting the continuation of the Cold War racket. 

There is something else to recognize about the Cold War: For the U.S. government, it really never ended. They weren’t about to let the Reds dictate the end of their racket. They were bound and determined to figure out some way to keep the racket going.

That’s what keeping NATO around was all about, along with the gradual absorption of former Warsaw Pact countries (without the express approval of Congress), which enabled NATO forces to get closer and closer to Russia’s borders. 

We should keep in mind that the reason that NATO, which is controlled by U.S. officials, was called into existence after World War II was to protect Western Europe from a Soviet attack. Never mind that the possibility of such an attack was virtually non-existent. Let’s not forget the massive death and destruction suffered by the Soviet Union at the hands of the Nazi army. The Soviets had lost more than 20 million people. That’s 20 million! Moreover, the German invasion of the Soviet Union had left the entire country in ruins. By the end of the war, Russia’s industrial capacity was decimated. 

Stalingrad 1942

Thus, why in the world would the Soviet Union want to start another war, especially knowing that it would be fighting the United States, its World War II partner and ally, whose officials had nuclear weapons and were more than willing to use them against populated cities? 

What about the continued Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe? It wasn’t justifiable but it certainly was understandable. The Soviets had just been invaded by the Nazi army, which had come very close to conquering the Soviet Union. Once they pushed the German army back and then defeated it, the last thing the Soviets were going to do was give up their Eastern European buffer against future German invasions. Moreover, we mustn’t forget something important: At the Yalta Conference, U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt agreed that the Soviets could have Eastern Europe. 

When the Soviets unilaterally dismantled their empire and exited Eastern Europe in 1989, the United States had an excellent opportunity to do its part to restore a peaceful and harmonious world. It should have dismantled NATO immediately. NATO’s ostensible mission of protecting Western Europe from the Soviet Union was over. If NATO had been abolished, there wouldn’t be a crisis in Ukraine today. It’s because the Pentagon and the CIA kept NATO in existence and, even worse, began absorbing former Warsaw Pact countries that there is a crisis in Ukraine today. 

Just as U.S. officials go ballistic at the thought of Russia installing missiles in Cuba, Russian officials go ballistic over the thought of NATO installing missiles in Ukraine, which is on Russia’s border. U.S. interventionists claim that Russia is being paranoid. They say that the U.S. government is a peace-loving nation that would never attack Russia. 

Really? I wonder if the Iraqi people and the Afghan people would agree about that peace-loving bit. But there is something else to consider: It’s not just the U.S. that is in NATO. So is Germany — the nation that invaded the Soviet Union in World War II and wreaked massive death and destruction there. Why would it surprise anyone that Russia might be reticent about having German troops and missiles on Russia’s borders?

Germany seems to get this, which would explain its refusal to send weaponry to Ukraine. Other NATO members are chiding Germany for being “weak” in the face of Russian “aggression.” In actuality, Germany is showing that it understands Russia’s position.

Yesterday, I wrote about how President Kennedy would do his best to step into the shoes of an adversary in order to try to understand why his opponent was taking certain actions. In that way, JFK was able to fashion a solution to a crisis that would take into consideration his opponent’s concerns. That’s how Kennedy was able to resolve the Cuban Missile Crisis without going to nuclear war with the Soviets, much to the anger and even rage of his enemies within the Pentagon and the CIA.

Too bad President Biden is unable to do that. What Biden should do is declare an end to the Cold War and abolish NATO immediately. Unlike Kennedy, however, Biden is deferring to the power of the Pentagon and the CIA and, in the process, letting them continue their dangerous and destructive Cold War racket.

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A Republic of Spies – LewRockwell LewRockwell.com

Posted by M. C. on January 13, 2022

What has it collected? Quite simply, everything it can get its hands on. These domestic spies — the CIA, the NSA, even the FBI — all have access to every keystroke and all data on every digital device everywhere in the United States, without a warrant.

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2022/01/andrew-p-napolitano/a-republic-of-spies/

By Andrew P. Napolitano

Late last Friday, the National Counterintelligence and Security Center warned the American public against the dangers of spyware manufactured by one Israeli corporation. Spyware is unwanted software that can expose the entire contents of one’s mobile or laptop device to prying eyes

This warning from the feds, issued with a straight face, is about as credible as American television executives warning about the dangers of watching too many British period dramas.

Here is the backstory.

Though America has used the services of spies since the Revolutionary War, until the modern era, spying was largely limited to wartime. That changed when America became a surveillance state in 1947 with the public establishment of the Central Intelligence Agency and the secret creation of its counterparts.

The CIA’s stated public task at its inception was to spy on the Soviet Union and its satellite countries so that American officials could prepare for any adverse actions by them. This was the time of the Red Scare, in which both Republicans and Democrats fostered the Orwellian belief that America needed a foreign adversary.

We had just defeated Germany in World War II, and an ally of ours in that war — an ally that suffered horrendous losses — suddenly became so strong it needed to be kept in check. The opening salvo in this absurd argument was fired by President Harry Truman in August 1945 when he used nuclear bombs intentionally to target civilians of an already defeated Japan. One of his targets was a Roman Catholic cathedral.

But his real target — so to speak — was his new friend, Joe Stalin.

When Truman signed the National Security Act into law in 1947, he also had Stalin in mind. That statute, which established the CIA, expressly stated that it shall have no internal intelligence or law enforcement functions and its collections of intelligence shall come from outside the United States.

These limiting clauses were integral to the statute creating the CIA, as members of Congress who crafted it feared the U.S. was creating the type of internal surveillance monster that we had just defeated in Germany.

Of course, no senior official in presidential administrations from Truman to Joseph R. Biden has taken these limitations seriously. Last week, this column reminded readers that as recently as the Obama administration, the CIA boasted that it had the capability of receiving data from all computer chips in the homes of Americans.

The same column reminded state lawmakers that, contrary to the law that created it, the CIA is physically present in all 50 state houses in America. What is it doing there?

Fast-forward to today and we know that the CIA has rivals in the government for the acquisition of intelligence data. Today, the feds admit to funding and empowering 16 domestic intelligence agencies — spies next door. The most notorious of these is the National Security Agency, which, when it last reported, employs 60,000+ persons, mostly civilians, with military leadership.

What do they do? They spy on Americans. We know this thanks to the personal courage of Edward Snowden and others who chose to honor their oaths to uphold the Constitution. NSA spying has produced so much data that the NSA recently built in Utah the second largest building in the U.S. — after the Pentagon — for use as a storage facility of the data it has collected; and it is running out of room.

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Erie Times E-Edition Article- New chief on ‘Havana Syndrome’ named 

Posted by M. C. on November 6, 2021

Another bureau created to investigate something that has been going on for decades. Why don’t I feel better?

To steal a meme from the Russiagate election fraud fiasco. Why are we paying $billions to the FIB, CIA, NSA?

https://erietimes-pa-app.newsmemory.com/?publink=459268a9c_1345fc6

Matthew Lee and Nomaan Merchant

WASHINGTON – The State Department on Friday named a new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome, responding to increased pressure from lawmakers to investigate and respond to hundreds of brain injuries reported by diplomats and intelligence officers.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken appointed a high-ranking deputy, Jonathan Moore, to coordinate the department’s task force on the cases. He replaces Pamela Spratlen, a retired diplomat temporarily called back into service by Blinken before leaving in September.

Blinken also appointed retired ambassador Margaret Uyehara to lead efforts to directly support care for State Department employees.

Investigators have been studying a growing number of reported cases by U.S. personnel around the world and whether they are caused by exposure to microwaves or other forms of directed energy. People affected have reported headaches, dizziness, nausea, and other symptoms consistent with traumatic brain injuries.

Possibilities under consideration include the usage of a surveillance tool or a device intended to harm. The cases are known as “Havana Syndrome” dating to a series of reported brain injuries in 2016 at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba.

After years of investigation, the U.S. government has still not publicly identified what or who might be behind the incidents or whether they are attacks. But leaders in the State and Defense departments and at the CIA have pushed employees to report possible brain injuries and in some cases removed leaders who were seen as unsympathetic to the cases.

“This is about the health and security of our people and there’s nothing we take more seriously,” Blinken said Friday.

Several hundred cases are under investigation. There have been multiple reports in recent weeks of potential incidents linked to visits by high-profile U.S. officials, including a case involving a member of CIA Director William Burns’ traveling party in India and incidents at the U.S. Embassy in Bogotá, Colombia, before a visit by Blinken.

The State Department said Friday that Deputy Secretary Brian McKeon had met with diplomats in Vienna to discuss possible cases reported this year in Austria.

Democrats and Republicans have pressed President Joe Biden’s administration to determine who and what might be responsible for the cases and improve treatment for victims, many of whom have long said government officials aren’t taking their cases seriously. Biden earlier this month signed a bill intended to improve medical care for victims.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., said at a recent hearing that after speaking to victims, there was still “clearly a disconnect as to what is happening at the top levels of the State Department and how victims are being treated in some cases.”

Shaheen has introduced new legislation to fix what she described as differences in how various agencies are investigating and treating cases.

“There’s still not enough information that’s being shared, not enough coordination that’s being done,” she said in an interview. “There’s not a unanimity of response on how to deal with it.”

Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks while announcing that Jonathan Moore, back, is the new coordinator for its investigation into cases of Havana Syndrome. ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/POOL VIA AP

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The political power of Facebook Thierry Meyssan

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2021

In the global imagination, Facebook would be a responsible social network that allows everyone to connect confidentially while censoring messages contrary to local laws. In practice, it is quite different. Facebook collects information about you for the NSA, censors your opinions and mints its own currency. In a few months, this company has become one of the most influential players in world politics.

Edward Snowden revealed that Facebook had joined the ultra-secret PRISM electronic surveillance network allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to access the personal data of all its customers. But nothing has leaked out about what use the NSA makes of it.

https://www.voltairenet.org/article214354.html

by Thierry Meyssan

Facebook as a social network

The most important political player on the Internet is the social network Facebook. As of January 1st, 2021, it had 2.85 billion monthly active users and 1.88 billion daily active users worldwide. The social network routinely censors posts that include nude photos, sexual activity, harassment, hate speech, forgeries, spam, terrorist propaganda or violence using particularly crude and unfair artificial intelligence. It shuts down accounts that it deems dangerous, either because they have been censored several times or because they are linked to enemies of the United States.

Facebook is a huge company that includes Instagram, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Oculus, Workplace, Portal, Novi. It employs over 60,000 people.

Facebook as a bank

Facebook now issues its own currency as a state, the Libra. It is backed by a basket of currencies composed of 50% dollars, 14% yen, 11% Serling pounds and 7% Singapore dollars [1].

By becoming a bank whose currency is progressively accepted by Internet sales sites, Facebook is building a parallel economy, both virtual and global, that is larger than the economy of many states.

Facebook and its users

Facebook calls on its users to detect accounts that violate its rules. It opens a file on each of its informants and notes them [2].

Facebook, which claims to treat every user equally, has secretly compiled a list of 5.8 million VIPs to whom its rules do not apply. Only they can say and show everything [3].

Cambridge analytica and the NSA

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The CIA Has Stultified American Consciences – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on October 11, 2021

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

https://www.fff.org/2021/10/05/the-cia-has-stultified-american-consciences/

by Jacob G. Hornberger

REMINDER: Tonight, 7 p.m. Eastern Time, via Zoom: Tufts University professor of law Michael Glennon‘s presentation as part of our ongoing conference series on restoring civil liberties in America. To receive a zoom link, register at our conference web page. Registration fee: FREE.

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One of the worst consequences of converting the federal government to a national-security state has been the stultification or warping of the consciences of the American people. With unwavering allegiance to the Pentagon, the CIA, and the NSA, all too many Americans have sacrificed their sense of right and wrong at the altar of “national security,” the two-word term that has become the most important term in the political lexicon of the American people.

The best example of this phenomenon is the CIA’s power of assassination. Most Americans have come to passively accept this power, with nary a thought as to the victims against whom it is carried out and under what what circumstances it is carried out.

Consider recent revelations that the CIA was planning to assassinate Julian Assange, the head of WikiLeaks, for disclosing dark-side secrets of the U.S. deep state to to the world. 

That’s why U.S. officials have pursued him with a vengeance — not because he lied about the Pentagon’s and the CIA’s dark-side activities but rather because he disclosed the truth about them. 

That’s why they were seeking to murder him — to silence him, to punish him, and to send a message to other potential disclosers of dark-side secrets of the national-security establishment. 

But anyone with a conscience that is operating would easily see that assassinating Assange would be just plain murder. And at the risk of belaboring the obvious, the murder of an innocent person is just plain evil. 

Yet, the reaction to all this from the mainstream press has been one great big collective yawn. No big deal. It’s just another state-sponsored assassination intended to protect “national security.” If U.S. national-security state officials have decided that Assange needs to be taken out, then that’s just the way it is. That’s why we have a CIA, after all. We have to defer to its judgment, even if it means sacrificing our consciences in the process. After all, that’s its job — to protect “national security.”

By the way, there is virtually no doubt that if they could get away with assassinating Edward Snowden for disclosing the truth about NSA dark-side activity, they would murder him too. The probable reason they haven’t assassinated Snowden is because they haven’t figured out a way to get the assassins out of Russia.

When the federal government was converted to a national-security state after World War II, the American people made an implicit bargain with the devil. The bargain empowered the national-security establishment to engage in dark-side activity, including assassination. But another part of the bargain was that officials would keep their dark-side activity secret from the American people so that people wouldn’t have to deal with their consciences over a governmental entity that was assassinating people. 

Assange’s and Snowden’s great “crime” was in violating that pact. By bringing dark-side activity to the attention of the American people, they ran the risk that people’s consciences might start operating. 

So far, there appears to be no risk of that happening. Consider, for example, the assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani. That was just plain murder. Iran and the United States are not at war with each other. Sure, we are told that Iran is a “rival,” an “enemy,” an “opponent,” or an “adversary,” but does that morally entitle U.S. officials to murder Iranian officials? It does not, just as it doesn’t entitle Iranian officials to murder U.S. officials. 

Again, however, the reaction among the mainstream press to the assassination of Suleimani was one great big collective yawn. Revealingly, there was also no moral outrage expressed among church ministers across America. If the Pentagon and the CIA deemed it necessary to assassinate Suleiman, that’s all we need to know. 

To get America back on the right track, what we need is a moral awakening, one that entails the operation of conscience. If that day were to come, there is no doubt that the American people would cast the CIA into the dustbin of history, where all evil agencies belong.

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BOVARD: Why NSA Vs Tucker Carlson Is An Alarm Bell For All Americans | The Daily Caller

Posted by M. C. on July 19, 2021

However, 90% of the people whose emails and other data were dragged into NSA surveillance dragnets were not NSA’s actual targets, according to a 2014 Washington Post analysis based on data that Snowden provided. Shortly before Snowden’s disclosures began, National Intelligence Director James Clapper lied to Congress when he denied that the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans.” He was never charged for that crime, thereby encouraging falsehoods by every subsequent top federal intelligence official.

https://dailycaller.com/2021/07/17/james-bovard-nsa-vs-tucker-carlson-alarm-bell/

James Bovard Contributor

Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s charge that the National Security Agency illegally spied on him and leaked his emails is enraging prominent liberals. Carlson sought “to sow distrust [of the NSA], which is so anti-American,” declared MSNBC analyst Andrew Weissman, formerly the chief prosecutor for Special Counsel Robert Mueller. CNN senior correspondent Oliver Darcy ridiculed Carlson for effectively claiming that “I’m not a crazy person overstating a case!”

When did the NSA become as pure as Snow White? Do pundits presume that there is a 24-hour statute of limitation for recalling any previously-disclosed NSA crimes and abuses?

The Carlson controversy cannot be understood outside the context of perennial NSA abuses. The NSA possesses a “repository capable of taking in 20 billion ‘record events’ daily and making them available to NSA analysts within 60 minutes,” the New York Times reported. The NSA is able to snare and stockpile many orders of magnitude times more information than did East Germany’s Stasi secret police, one of the most odious agencies of the post-war era. (RELATED: NSA Responds To Tucker Carlson, Claims He ‘Has Never Been An Intelligence Target’)

The FBI, for its part, is permitted to rummage through the seized data under strict restrictions. In 2018, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (FISA) court slammed the FBI for abusing that database with warrantless searches that violated Americans’ rights. After the FBI promised to repent, the FISA court to permitted FBI agents to continue rummaging in NSA troves. In April, the FISA court revealed that the FBI surveillance crime wave continues.

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Meet Jigsaw: Google’s Intelligence Agency – OffGuardian

Posted by M. C. on July 10, 2021

We cannot opt out of mass government surveillance. But we knowingly consent to most forms of “privatized” intelligence gathering.

Take the first step and revoke your consent.

https://off-guardian.org/2021/07/08/meet-jigsaw-googles-intelligence-agency/

It’s no secret that Google regularly collaborates with intelligence agencies. They are a known NSA subcontractor. They launched Google Earth using a CIA spy satellite network.

Their executive suite’s revolving door with DARPA is well known.

In the wake of the January 6th Capitol event, the FBI used Google location data to pwn attendants with nothing more than a valid Gmail address and smartphone login:

The police were then able to obtain an Instagram registration email, which turned out to be a Gmail address. With that in hand, investigators ordered Google to provide any location data they had on that Gmail user, which the tech giant duly provided after it identified a linked smartphone.

A stark reminder that carrying a tracking device with a Google login, even with the SIM card removed, can mean the difference between freedom and an orange jumpsuit in the Great Reset era.

But Google also operates its own internal intelligence agency – complete with foreign regime-change operations that are now being applied domestically.

And they’ve been doing so without repercussion for over a decade.

From Google Ideas to Google Regime Change

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