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August 01 2013

surveyork
20:29

"The US government has paid at least £100m to the UK spy agency GCHQ over the last three years to secure access to and influence over Britain's intelligence gathering programmes.

The top secret payments are set out in documents which make clear that the Americans expect a return on the investment, and that GCHQ has to work hard to meet their demands. "GCHQ must pull its weight and be seen to pull its weight," a GCHQ strategy briefing said.

The funding underlines the closeness of the relationship between GCHQ and its US equivalent, the National Security Agency. But it will raise fears about the hold Washington has over the UK's biggest and most important intelligence agency, and whether Britain's dependency on the NSA has become too great.

In one revealing document from 2010, GCHQ acknowledged that the US had "raised a number of issues with regards to meeting NSA's minimum expectations". It said GCHQ "still remains short of the full NSA ask".

Ministers have denied that GCHQ does the NSA's "dirty work", but in the documents GCHQ describes Britain's surveillance laws and regulatory regime as a "selling point" for the Americans."

surveyork
16:37

The National Security Agency is operating a massive database system that allows analysts to scour individuals' emails, chats and Internet browsing histories at will, according to a new report from The Guardian based on leaked documents.

----
NSA program allows analysts to track emails, chats, web searches
surveyork
09:41

WASHINGTON -- The National Security Agency called for a "top secret" meeting with members of the House on Tuesday to lobby against the first House amendment to challenge the agency's authority to cull broad swaths of communications data, according to an invitation circulated in Congress.
NSA's Keith Alexander Calls Emergency Private Briefing To Lobby Against Justin Amash Amendment Curtailing Its Power
surveyork
09:24
The obituary of Rep. Justin Amash's amendment to claw back the sweeping powers of the National Security Agency has largely been written as a victory for the White House and NSA chief Keith Alexander, who lobbied the Hill aggressively in the days and hours ahead of Wednesday's shockingly close vote. But Hill sources say most of the credit for the amendment's defeat goes to someone else: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. It's an odd turn, considering that Pelosi has been, on many occasions, a vocal surveillance critic.

July 24 2013

surveyork
22:15

The U.S. government has attempted to obtain the master encryption keys that Internet companies use to shield millions of users' private Web communications from eavesdropping.

These demands for master encryption keys, which have not been disclosed previously, represent a technological escalation in the clandestine methods that the FBI and the National Security Agency employ when conducting electronic surveillance against Internet users.

If the government obtains a company's master encryption key, agents could decrypt the contents of communications intercepted through a wiretap or by invoking the potent surveillance authorities of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Web encryption -- which often appears in a browser with a HTTPS lock icon when enabled -- uses a technique called SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer.

"The government is definitely demanding SSL keys from providers," said one person who has responded to government attempts to obtain encryption keys.

surveyork
11:18
Earlier documents put in context with recent revelations show that Sweden has been systematically wiretapping Russia on behalf of the United States. This is clear after putting a number of previous questionable agreements and developments in context today. The question that remains is what Sweden gets in return.

July 16 2013

surveyork
13:06
Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

July 02 2013

surveyork
15:10
We need a new Church Committee that is fully empowered to investigate the abuses of the NSA and make public its findings, and that is charged with recommending new laws to ensure the U.S. government does not violate our constitutional rights.

June 29 2013

surveyork
22:12
BERLIN (Reuters) - The United States has bugged European Union offices and gained access to EU internal computer networks, according to secret documents cited in a German magazine on Saturday, the latest in a series of exposures of alleged U.S. spy programs.

June 28 2013

surveyork
22:03
No statute explicitly authorizes mass surveillance. Through a series of legal contortions, the Obama administration has argued that Congress, since 9/11, intended to implicitly authorize mass surveillance. But this strategy mostly consists of wordplay, fear-mongering and a highly selective reading of the law. Americans deserve better from the White House — and from President Obama, who has seemingly forgotten the constitutional law he once taught.
The Criminal N.S.A. - NYTimes.com
surveyork
06:41

Britain's spy agency GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network of cables which carry the world's phone calls and internet traffic and has started to process vast streams of sensitive personal information which it is sharing with its American partner, the National Security Agency (NSA).

The sheer scale of the agency's ambition is reflected in the titles of its two principal components: Mastering the Internet and Global Telecoms Exploitation, aimed at scooping up as much online and telephone traffic as possible. This is all being carried out without any form of public acknowledgement or debate.

surveyork
06:34
Top secret documents submitted to the court that oversees surveillance by US intelligence agencies show the judges have signed off on broad orders which allow the NSA to make use of information "inadvertently" collected from domestic US communications without a warrant.

June 17 2013

surveyork
23:57
For the past week and a half, U.S. officials have told us that the National Security Agency’s vast collection of phone “metadata”—which numbers have called which other numbers and when—is kept in a “lockbox.” They’ve implied that the data can’t be searched without court approval. That’s false. The records can be searched without a warrant. The “lockbox” has no lock.

June 11 2013

surveyork
17:32
0522 65d0

James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, is still working on his explanation for why he told Senator Ron Wyden in March that the NSA does not wittingly "collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans." As we now know, the NSA does precisely that — metadata (but not content) from pretty much every phone call made in America is collected and stored.

On Thursday, Clapper claimed, "What I said was, the NSA does not voyeuristically pore through U.S. citizens' e-mails. I stand by that." Of course, that's not what he said, and everyone knows it, because video. So now Clapper says that he simply has a different definition of collect than most humans, and this defniition allowed him to answer in the "least untruthful manner." He admits that this explanation is probably "too cute by half."

April 24 2013

surveyork
20:15
Subject: Oppose CISPA

Last year, CISPA threatened to severely undermine existing privacy law by creating exemptions for companies who wanted to share sensitive user information with the government--including intelligence agencies like the NSA.

We must not sacrifice our fundamental civil liberties and rights to privacy in exchange for a misguided notion of 'cybersecurity.'
 
Please join me in defending online privacy by opposing CISPA.

via Tell your Senators: CISPA still doesn't protect our privacy | Demand Progress

April 01 2013

surveyork
15:40

"Imperial society galaxy-wide is characterized by religious intolerance, superstition, xenophobia, militarism, and antiscience. Critical thinking is considered a waste of time. Ignorance of anything beyond one's place in society is common, and for many, desirable. Unquestioning obedience to authority is the greatest virtue. The Age of the Imperium is not an age of reason, but an age of superstition and ignorance. Above all, "it is an epoch of war, a grinding, unceasing war where mere survival is justly hailed as victory.""

[...]

"The Imperium commands the largest military in the galaxy, honed in millennia of almost constant war: at any time, there are numerous conflicts engaging Imperial forces, across the Imperium and beyond."

——————————————

Not sure if reading a description of a fictional, future empire or a pretty accurate description of the United States of America today. /FuturamaFry

February 14 2013

surveyork
10:53

CISPA is Back.

Dangerous Cybersecurity Legislation Threatens Online Privacy

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is back. 

Last year, Representatives Rogers and Ruppersberger introduced CISPA, which would create a gaping new exemption to existing privacy law. CISPA would grant companies more power to obtain “threat” information (such as from private communications of users) and to disclose that data to the government without a warrant -- including sending data to the National Security Agency. 

This week, CISPA was reintroduced in the House of Representatives. EFF is joining groups like ACLU and Fight for the Future in combating this legislation.

January 07 2013

surveyork
16:22
McLeish’s story is the story of hundreds of thousands of people—perhaps more—whose lives are being invaded by the state. It is the story of a security and surveillance apparatus—overseen by the executive branch under Barack Obama—that has empowered the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security to silence the voices and obstruct the activity of citizens who question corporate power.

January 01 2013

surveyork
03:21
FBI documents just obtained by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) pursuant to the PCJF’s Freedom of Information Act demands reveal that from its inception, the FBI treated the Occupy movement as a potential criminal and terrorist threat even though the agency acknowledges in documents that organizers explicitly called for peaceful protest and did “not condone the use of violence” at occupy protests.
Partnership for Civil Justice Fund - FBI Documents Reveal Secret Nationwide Occupy Monitoring

December 16 2012

surveyork
15:20
The world’s governments just concluded the World Conference on International Telecommunications (WCIT) where they updated the International Telecommunication Regulations (ITRs), a binding international treaty on telecommunications provision and interoperability. In the end, the government-controlled conference produced a text that crossed red lines for several states, from both the developed and developing world, who have said they will either not sign or need to consult their capitals. Still, many of the most problematic proposals failed to make it into the final draft.
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