NSA/FBI Tapping All Social Media Except Twitter–That Would Be Redundant

Wall St. Journal

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into server systems operated by a number of technology companies. But not Twitter.

Are tweets safe from Prism?

The National Security Agency and the FBI are tapping directly into server systems operated by Microsoft Yahoo Google Facebook , PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, and Apple, according to the Washington Post and the Guardian, citing what the newspapers said was an internal NSA document about a top-secret program dubbed Prism. The document also says that Dropbox, the cloud storage service, is “coming soon.”

Notably missing from the list of companies: Twitter. What explains its absence?

At the moment, that’s hard to say.

“That’s a good question,” Michelle Richardson, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union’s Washington Legislative Office, told Law Blog.

Acknowledging the existence of Prism on Thursday, the Obama administration said the program targets only foreigners and was authorized under U.S. surveillance law. The companies mentioned by the Post and the Guardian denied knowledge or participation in the program.

“It’s hard to tease out whether participation [in Prism] is compulsory or voluntary,” said Ms. Richardson.

Twitter allows users to send direct messages to other users and make their accounts private, shielding tweets and followers/following lists from public view.

In other news related to Twitter, privacy and the White House, reports emerged last month that the White House had hired former Twitter legal director Nicole Wong to become the administration’s first chief privacy officer.

A spokesman for Twitter did not respond to a request for comment.

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Maryland v. King: The total loss of our bodily integrity

DNA TEST

Maryland v. King: The total loss of our bodily integrity

WMICENTRAL.COM

By John W. Whitehead – The Rutherford Institute

As I document in my new book, “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,” our freedoms — especially the Fourth Amendment — are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, spy on, probe, pat down, taser and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.

Now, thanks to the U.S. Supreme Court’s devastating decision in Maryland v. King — in which a divided court determined that a person arrested for a crime who is supposed to be presumed innocent until proven guilty must submit to forcible extraction of their DNA — you can add invasive DNA sampling to the list of abuses being “legally” meted out on the long-suffering American populace.

Once again the court has sided with the guardians of the police state over the defenders of individual liberty in determining that DNA samples may be extracted from people arrested for “serious offenses.” While the court claims to have made its decision based upon concerns of properly identifying criminal suspects upon arrest, what they have actually done is opened the door for a nationwide dragnet of suspects targeted via DNA sampling.

The case revolves around Alonzo King, who was arrested on April 10, 2009, and charged with assault. Relying on a state law which authorizes DNA collection from people arrested but not yet convicted of a crime, while processing King’s arrest, police obtained his DNA via a forcible cheek swab without first procuring a warrant. This information was not used to identify him, but rather sat in a police file, and then a crime lab, before finally being tested some months later.

In the meantime, King was positively identified via fingerprinting and other methods. Once his DNA was finally tested, over three months later, the results were entered into Maryland’s DNA database, alongside other personally identifying information. This information was then forwarded to the FBI’s national DNA database, where it was found to be a match to evidence taken from the scene of an unsolved rape that occurred in 2003. King was then tried and convicted of the 2003 rape.

On appeal, the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled in April 2012 that the state law used to forcibly extract King’s DNA violated the Fourth Amendment. In an unusual move, in July 2012, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts issued a stay of the lower court’s ruling, prior to the court’s even agreeing to hear the case, using the rationale that collecting DNA from people accused of serious crimes is “an important feature of day-to-day law enforcement practice in approximately half the states and the federal government.”

When King’s lawyers mounted their appeal to the Supreme Court, insisting that the police had not obtained a warrant in order to extract King’s DNA and had no particular reason for obtaining his DNA during his arrest, Roberts sided with the police, justifying the practice as being a legitimate means of identifying individuals suspected of having committed “serious offenses.” With Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Stephen Breyer and Samuel Alito joining Roberts in affirming the practice of warrantless DNA grabs by the police, the court’s 5-4 ruling further guts an already severely disemboweled Fourth Amendment and goes so far as to equate forcefully obtaining a DNA sample to “fingerprinting and photographing, a legitimate police booking procedure that is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.”

The only glimmer of reason came from Justice Antonin Scalia, who wasted no time dispatching the court’s dubious claim that DNA is necessary for suspect identification. Scalia was joined in his biting dissent by the three female justices on the court; Ginsburg, Sotomayor and Kagan. As the minority opinion pointed out, Maryland actually took a full three months to test King’s DNA before handing the DNA over to the FBI to be matched against a database of unsolved crimes (that is, crimes in which the suspect has not been identified). Clearly, the state’s intention was not to identify King, but to potentially implicate him in a crime other than the one for which he was accused.

While the court majority attempted to delineate a difference between collecting DNA in general versus cases in which the suspect is accused of a “serious offense,” Scalia rightly pointed out how meaningless this distinction really is, given that the court’s ruling succeeds only in burdening “the sole group for whom the Fourth Amendment’s protections ought to be most jealously guarded: people who are innocent of the State’s accusations.”

For example, if such a questionable practice were to prevail simply for the sake of “solving more crimes,” as Scalia suggests, it would not take much to justify the “taking of DNA samples from anyone who flies on an airplane (surely the Transportation Security Administration needs to know the “identity” of the flying public), applies for a driver’s license, or attends a public school.”

As disheartening as this ruling is, it is simply one more volley in a long line of attacks on our right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures by government agents. In the past few years, the Supreme Court has determined that freedom from unreasonable government intrusion, a core component of the United States Constitution, is of little importance in an age of surveillance and security at any cost.

Any American who thinks they’re safe from the threat of DNA sampling, blood draws and roadside strip and/or rectal or vaginal searches simply because they’ve “done nothing wrong,” needs to wake up to the new reality in which we’re now living. As the Supreme Court’s ruling in Maryland v. King shows, the mind-set of those in the highest seats of power — serving on the courts, in the White House, in Congress — is a utilitarian one that has little regard for the Constitution, let alone the Fourth Amendment. Like Justice Scalia, all I can hope is that “today’s incursion upon the Fourth Amendment” will someday be repudiated.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute and editor of GadflyOnline.com. His latest book “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State” (SelectBooks), is available online at www.amazon.com. He can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

Sen. John McCain’s Double-Talk, Telling Strategic Lies To Save His Syrian Terrorist Buddies

[McCain knows that he is lying with every breath he takes.  Arming the Terrorists in Syria is a surefire method to instantly double the number of extremists.  The old gray-headed bastard learned the art of double-speak while he was a guest in Hanoi.  Now he uses it to advance the neoconservative agenda.  Every American knows by now, after 8 Bush-years, that the neoconservatives purposely multiply the number of terrorists in their fake wars, always taking actions that are guaranteed to produce shockwaves of extremist reactions.  Neocons claim to fight terrorists, when all they really do is to multiply their numbers.If someone was killing your relatives in their sleep, wouldn’t you take-up arms against them?  I guarantee that I would.]

Arm Syrian rebels or risk rise of extremism: McCain

the daily star
Agence France Presse
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks at the Brookings Institution June 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. McCain spoke about U.S. policy in Syria and the Middle East.   Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) speaks at the Brookings Institution June 6, 2013 in Washington, DC. McCain spoke about U.S. policy in Syria and the Middle East. Win McNamee/Getty Images/AFP

WASHINGTON: The United States must deepen its engagement in Syria by equipping the rebels or setting up a safe zone to protect the opposition, a top Republican senator demanded Thursday.

Failure to show US leadership risks seeing the Middle East descend into “extremism, and war, and despair,” Senator John McCain said, speaking after visiting Syria last week to meet with rebel leaders.

“The Syrian state is disintegrating in much of the country, leaving vast ungoverned spaces that are being filled by extremists, many aligned with Al-Qaeda,” McCain told the Brookings Institution think-tank.

“They are the best armed, best funded, and most experienced fighters. And every day this conflict grinds on, these extremists are marginalizing moderate leaders like the commanders I met last week.”

The Free Syrian Army and its commanders seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad were in desperate need of “ammunition and weapons to counter Assad’s tanks, artillery, and air power,” he said.

While Washington has been the largest single donor of humanitarian aid to Syrian refugees and has been working to support a political transition, it has so far only agreed to provide non-lethal support to the rebels.

McCain has long argued for military aid to the Syrian opposition to tip the balance in the conflict now in its third year, and he stressed “we need the good guys to win.”

“Put simply, the space for moderate politics is collapsing as the Middle East descends deeper into extremism and conflict,” he said, warning the conflict in which 94,000 have been killed was spilling across Syria’s borders.

“In short, if the Middle East descends into extremism, and war, and despair, no one should think America would be able to pivot away from those threats. Our national security interests will suffer. That is an inescapable reality.”

And McCain argued that a deeper engagement by the administration of President Barack Obama did not imply thousands of American boots on the ground.

“We could use our stand-off weapons, such as cruise missiles, to target Assad’s aircraft and ballistic missile launchers on the ground,” McCain said.

“We could enable a provisional government to establish itself in a safe zone in Syria that we could help to protect with Patriot missiles. And we could organize a full-scale operation to train and equip Syrian opposition forces.”

He was speaking as the State Department said it was evaluating evidence provided by France, which Paris says shows sarin gas was used in Syria.

Obama has said that any use of chemical weapons would be a red line in the conflict, and the US administration is under pressure to stand by its words.

McCain called for a more effective strategy to advance US interests in the Middle East, but said it was dependent on “the sustained, outspoken, and determined leadership of the President of the United States.”

“That is what we need from him now more than ever. We need him to lead.”

Read more: http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2013/Jun-07/219651-arm-syrian-rebels-or-risk-rise-of-extremism-mccain.ashx#ixzz2VXQLTWN4
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

Mysterious E-Mail, Lists of Politicians’ Home Addresses and “The Government That We Deserve”

A Few Days Ago, I received an anonymous email, which consisted of a list of Washington politicians, including their home numbers and addresses. 

I flushed it away, since it seemed very suspicious at the time.  It felt like a set-up, made to order for those police state functionaries, who like to look through our private emails and listen to our private phone calls.  Today, I received a follow-up email, which called for “lone wolves” to begin eliminating those politicians on that list, hoping to scare the rest of them into giving-up their treasonous, Fascistic ways.  Since I oppose all terrorism, especially assassination, I am outing the guy, by posting his email below.  (HE WAS PROBABLY FBI, ANYWAY.)

I hope this tells you who the real coward is, dexter_serial_killer@hushmail.com 

From: Dexter <dexter_serial_killer@hushmail.com>
To: peter.chamberlin@yahoo.com
Sent: Friday, June 7, 2013 12:22 AM
Subject: Sissies

There is speculation that we are acting on the behalf of a federal agency. The truth is that our identity and motivation don’t matter. People are not going to do something just because an e-mail tells them to, regardless of who sent it or how genuine the motivation of the sender might be. People are much more strongly motivated by seeing their dreams crushed, their lives crumble and their loved ones suffer. As more and more people suffer from the crimes of the politicians, more and more people will be motivated to fight back.

The reason for this speculation is fear. Some people are afraid that the government will punish them for just receiving a list of addresses of politicians. Some are afraid that the government will punish everyone collectively because such a list is being sent out. Many contact the FBI and other agencies, and even though they can make up lots of excuses, the real reason is that they are afraid that if someone actually starts fighting for real, the government will punish people collectively with new legislation. This fear is not something that they can articulate or face, and therefore they cannot see it in themselves, but it can be seen by others. What a bunch of sissies.

“FBI, help! Somebody sent me an e-mail that might imply that someone is threatening the government. Please, don’t put me in a FEMA camp, I didn’t ask for this email and I would never think of violence against our benevolent and most democratic government. Please, don’t take my guns away, I would never use them for fighting.”

It is ironic (moronic) that the same crowd that calls us FBI agents is also actively trying to turn us in. The response of the government to this is hilarious – they are telling people that this is caused by a virus. The fact that they tell such a technologically implausible lie suggests that whoever is handling this situation is technically incompetent and the fact that it’s a lie suggests that they have no integrity. The fact that some people seem to buy the virus story shows that there is no shortage of ignorance on either side. These people are pathetic. Were it not for the Covenant I made with God, I might have just walked away from this fight.

Since the overwhelming majority is a bunch of pathetic quivering sissies that are themselves not much better than the criminals that they harbor, the NWO is going to keep advancing and will kill a lot more people. This will be allowed to happen to teach those who are left a valuable lesson. The politicians have committed countless crimes including treason and war crimes that resulted in hundreds of thousands of deaths. If the politicians are not stopped, they will commit even more treason and war crimes, resulting in more deaths. Virtually everyone knows this, but people tell us that they don’t want violence, while threatening us with violence. The politicians need to be stopped to save countless lives, and there is only one way to stop them. But none of these people are going to do what it takes because they are cowards and we are going to stand down until they have paid the price that every coward has to pay for refusing to fight. People get the government that they deserve.

It is not necessary to fight against armored vehicles, against police, against the army, against the drones, etc. Politicians have minimum security most of the time. This is necessary, because they have to meet a lot of people. Heavy security would make this difficult and the career of a politician that does it would suffer. Heavy security also tells people that they are afraid and makes the resistance look stronger, which inspires more people to join. Ultimately, even if they lived on military bases, they would still be vulnerable to IEDs in transit and to snipers virtually all the time. They would have to live in a prison to prevent getting killed, which they are not likely to accept – they would probably just quit if they were that intimidated. Therefore, it is not necessary to eliminate all the politicians all at once – attacking a few is likely to start a chain reaction that will get some more killed while the rest of them quit.

Now let the cowards carry on with pointless discussions of who is sending these messages and why. Talking is all they are good for.

cGV0ZXIuY2hhbWJlcmxpbkB5YWhvby5jb20=

FireShot Pro Screen Capture #314 - 'peter_chamberlin - Yahoo! Mail' - us-mg6_mail_yahoo_com_neo_launch__rand=1ttkrgo34btj8#mail

Is Washington’s Lafayette Park About To Become Obama’s Tiananmen/Tahrir Square?

Lafayette Park

Analysis: Obama’s agenda scorched in firestorm

usa_today_long

Susan Page, @susanpage, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON — President Obama, meet the second-term curse.

Revelations that the U.S. government has been collecting a massive database of telephone usage by millions of Americans — citizens not suspected of any wrongdoing — created a firestorm Thursday that would be damaging for any administration. But it is is especially problematic for Obama because it stokes controversies he already was struggling to contain and reinforces criticism that has dogged him from the start.

MORE: NSA taps data from 9 major Net firms

Republicans have long depicted Obama as an advocate of a big, dangerous and overreaching government, back to the federal bailout of the auto industry he undertook during the financial crisis that greeted his first inauguration. That has been their fundamental philosophical objection to his signature Affordable Care Act, now just months away from implementation of its major provisions.

In recent weeks, it has fueled outrage over the targeting by the Internal Revenue Service of conservative Tea Party groups seeking non-profit status, and over the use of secret subpoenas and search warrants against the Associated Press and Fox News in Justice Department investigations of news leaks.

Now the headlines are focused on governmental monitoring that touches not just reporters but, apparently, just about anyone who makes a phone call. Thursday began with explosions over a story in The Guardian in London of a broad secret U.S. warrant for phone records from Verizon. By midday, Senate Intelligence Chairman Dianne Feinstein had confirmed the surveillance had been going on for years. By the end of the day, The Washington Post and The Guardian reported that a data-mining program targeting foreigners was tapping into such Internet companies as Microsoft, Google, Yahoo and Facebook.

All that overwhelmed the president’s planned message for the day, and likely well beyond. (For the record, he had stopped by Mooresville Middle School outside Charlotte to promote his plan to provide schools with high-speed Internet access. Not that anyone noticed.)

And in a bit of timing that is at least awkward, he holds high-profile meetings in California today with President Xi Jinping of China — a government the United States has long faulted for its heavy-handed treatment of its own people.

Indeed, as a U.S. senator from Illinois in 2007, Barack Obama blasted President George W. Bush for sweeping surveillance of Americans in the name of battling terrorism — just the sort of justification that Obama officials were making Thursday.

Then, Obama called it “a false choice between the liberties we cherish and the security we demand.”

“I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom,” he said in a speech then. “No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists.”

To be sure, Obama didn’t launch the data-mining initiatives, which were started during the Bush administration, though he has expanded them. He had defenders Thursday ranging from California Sen. Feinstein, a liberal Democrat, to South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, a conservative Republican. “It’s called protecting America,” Feinstein said.

But his critics also spanned the political spectrum. “Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?” former vice president Al Gore posted on Twitter. Rep. James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, an author of the Patriot Act that was used to obtain the court order, called it “excessive and un-American.”

The scarcest precious resource for second-term presidents isn’t political clout, which they demonstrate by joining the small fraternity of those who have managed to win the presidency twice. It is time — the time to pursue the agenda they choose before a scandal or foreign-policy crisis erupts, and before the next presidential campaign begins to consume all the oxygen in town. For former president Bill Clinton, the Monica Lewinsky affair ended his hopes of winning serious entitlement reform during his second term. Former president Richard Nixon found himself bedeviled with and eventually forced from office by the Watergate scandal.

Obama’s plan has been to be able to win approval for and sign a comprehensive immigration bill in Congress by fall. He hopes to be able to negotiate a big budget deal that would curb the deficit and put Medicare on a firmer long-term footing before the 2014 midterm elections and the 2016 presidential race seize the political world.

Instead, explaining and defending these surveillance programs — what they are, how they work and why he thinks they’re needed — are about to take up a lot of his time.

“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type.”

[I have always assumed that they had the capability to read as I typed the words, since my first venture into the Internet, all of you should have made the same assumption, as well.  They are literally taking every Constitutional right, which Our Forefathers described as “Inalienable rights,” on the pretense of fighting organized “terrorism,” which usually amounts to no more threat than a gangland drive-by shooting.  So-called “terrorism” (most of it of a “false flag” nature)  “Making a mountain out of a molehill” of fear that some crazed, pissed-off Muslim might want to make a makeshift “bomb” out of his underwear, or some firecrackers.

IT IS FAR PAST TIME FOR AN “AMERICAN SPRING,”

BEFORE THE NSA/CIA/FBI/OR A THOUSAND OTHER ANONYMOUS AGENCIES PUT AN END TO OUR RIGHTS TO THE INTERNET AND TO ITS VAULTED “SOCIAL MEDIA.” 

Obama is no better than Erdogan, Mubarak, or the Arab dictators, he is just a whole lot sneakier, possessing unlimited resources.]

New reports allege vast US Internet spying sweep

News Asia

US spies are secretly tapping into servers of nine Internet giants including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google in a vast anti-terror sweep targeting foreigners, explosive reports said on Thursday.

US intelligence agencies are accessing the servers of nine Internet giants as part of a secret data mining program likely to fuel fresh debate about government surveillance, according to reports. (AFP/Lionel Bonaventure)

WASHINGTON: US spies are secretly tapping into servers of nine Internet giants including Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google in a vast anti-terror sweep targeting foreigners, explosive reports said on Thursday.

Stung by a dizzying 24 hours of revelations on covert programs, the top US spy James Clapper slammed disclosure of information about the scheme, and warned that leaks about a separate program to mine domestic phone records hurt US national security.

The White House, meanwhile, facing a fast-escalating controversy over the scale and scope of secret surveillance programs, denied spying on Americans but insisted it must use every tool available to keep the US homeland safe.

The Washington Post, citing a career intelligence officer, said the National Security Agency (NSA) had direct access to Internet firm servers, to track an individual’s web presence via audio, video, photographs and emails.

Some of the biggest firms in Silicon Valley were caught up in the program, known as PRISM, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, Apple, PalTalk, AOL, Skype and YouTube, the reports said.

The paper said the leak came from a career intelligence officer “with first-hand experience of these systems and horror at their capabilities.”

“They quite literally can watch your ideas form as you type,” the officer was quoted as saying.

Internet giants however denied opening their doors for US spy agencies.

“We have never heard of PRISM,” said Apple spokesman Steve Dowling.

“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.”

Facebook’s chief security officer Joe Sullivan said the huge social network did not provide any access to government organisations.

Google and Microsoft were also adamant that they only disclose what is legally demanded.

In response to the reports, also carried by Britain’s Guardian newspaper, the White House said Americans were not being spied on, but did not deny the program existed.

“It involves extensive procedures, specifically approved by the court, to ensure that only non-US persons outside the US are targeted, and that minimise the acquisition, retention and dissemination of incidentally acquired information about US persons,” the official said.

Congress recently reauthorised the program under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “after extensive hearings and debate,” the official added.

As a damage control operation gathered pace, Clapper warned that data gathered under the program was “among the most important and valuable foreign intelligence information we collect.”

“The unauthorised disclosure of information about this important and entirely legal program is reprehensible and risks important protections for the security of Americans,” Clapper said.

Claims of the Internet spy operation broke as Washington reeled from a Guardian newspaper report on Wednesday detailing an apparent operation by the NSA to capture millions of domestic phone records.

The American Civil Liberties Union branded the program, authorised by a top secret court order, as “beyond Orwellian.”

The group urged supporters to get angry and “be part of a strong public outcry against this program” by signing a petition.

But Mike Rogers, Republican chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the program had stopped a terrorist attack on US soil.

Advocates say the data, collected on calls inside and outside the United States by the NSA, can be crunched to show patterns of communication to alert spy agencies to possible planning for terror attacks.

Senior US officials, while not confirming reports in the Guardian, defended the concept and argued the program was lawful and subject to multiple checks and balances across the government.

“The top priority of the president of the United States is the national security of the United States. We need to make sure we have the tools we need to confront the threat posed by terrorists,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

He said President Barack Obama welcomed a debate on the balance between civil liberties and security.

Officials said the program did not “listen in” on calls or pull the names of those on the line, but simply collated phone numbers, the length of individual calls and other data.

Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, said the Guardian report discussing the program, based on a secret court document ordering phone provider Verizon to turn over records, was “misleading.”

He said he had ordered the declassification of certain information about the program so Americans could understand the limits of its use.

Randy Milch, Verizon’s Executive Vice President and General Counsel, said in a message to staff that he was legally forbidden to comment, but that any such court order would compel the company to comply.

An NSA phone surveillance program was first reported during the administration of president George W. Bush — Obama’s predecessor — and formed part of sweeping anti-terror laws and a surveillance structure adopted after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in the United States.

– AFP/fa