Skip navigation

Tag Archives: NSA

Visiting Websites About Privacy Gets You Put in an NSA Database of “Extremists”

Posted By Paul Joseph Watson On July 3, 2014

Searching for online articles about privacy is enough to get someone put in an NSA database of “extremists,” according to new revelations published today.

In an article for German news outlet Tagesschau (translation here), Lena Kampf, Jacob Appelbaum and John Goetz reveal how the NSA’s “deep packet inspection” rules, which it uses to determine who to target for deep surveillance, include looking for web users who search for articles about Tor and Tails, an anonymous browser and a privacy-friendly operating system.

Those whose Internet traffic patterns suggest merely an interest in Tor or Tails are immediately put on a list of “extremists,” as is anyone who actually uses the Tor network.

 “Tor and Tails have been part of the mainstream discussion of online security, surveillance and privacy for years. It’s nothing short of bizarre to place people under suspicion for searching for these terms,” writes Boing Boing’s Cory Doctorow, adding that the NSA’s goal is, “to split the entire population of the Internet into “people who have the technical know-how to be private” and “people who don’t” and then capture all the communications from the first group.”

The revelation once again highlights the fact that the NSA’s data dragnet has little to do with catching terrorists and everything to do with targeting anyone who values their right to privacy. The mass collection of such information only serves to make it easier for actual bad guys to evade detection since the federal agency is building such vast and unwieldy databases.

Earlier this week, journalist Glenn Greenwald announced that he was set to release new information based on leaked documents obtained by whistleblower Edward Snowden which would reveal which individuals and institutions were the targets of NSA spying.

However, at the last minute Greenwald said the story would be postponed as a result of the U.S. government, “suddenly began making new last-minute claims which we intend to investigate before publishing.”

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

Advertisements

Government Spies On Innocent People Via Webcams, Laptops, Xbox

Latest Snowden Leak confirms story Infowars first broke EIGHT YEARS AGO

Steve Watson
Infowars.com
February 27, 2014

The latest revelation concerning mass government spying confirms an issue that Infowars has been covering for close to a decade. British and American governments are spying on people in their own homes via web cams, laptop microphones and devices such as the X-box.

The London Guardian has the details in a report based on information leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The British surveillance agency GCHQ, with help from the NSA, actively spied on nearly 2 million Yahoo users via webcams built into their computers. The documents show that the agency intercepted millions of images as part of a secret program codenamed OPTIC NERVE.

The report also states that Americans were almost certainly targeted as part of the bulk collection of data, and that there is no law to prevent such activity in Britain.

NSA ragout 4

The documents show that images were collected from webcams at regular intervals, one image every five minutes, and were used by the spy agency to trial automated facial recognition programs.

The Guardian describes the process as “eerily reminiscent of the telescreens evoked in George Orwell’s 1984.”

NSA ragout 3

The documents dub the practice as “bulk access to Yahoo webcam images/events”, and spies working at GCHQ compared it to a police database of mugshots. “Face detection has the potential to aid selection of useful images for ‘mugshots’ or even for face recognition by assessing the angle of the face,” the papers read. “The best images are ones where the person is facing the camera with their face upright.”

Essentially, the spy agency appear to have been building a huge digital database containing the faces of Yahoo users.

The documents advise employees at GCHQ on how to use the system, noting “[I]f you search for similar IDs to your target, you will be able to request automatic comparison of the face in the similar IDs to those in your target’s ID”.

In one presentation contained within the documents, more technologically advanced systems, such as iris recognition cameras, are discussed as potential surveillance tools. The paper even chillingly states “think Tom Cruise in Minority Report”.

The documents state that Yahoo users were specifically singled out because “Yahoo webcam is known to be used by GCHQ targets”.

The papers also note that a large quantity of the data collected contained nudity or sexually explicit imagery. The spy agency seemingly made no effort to prevent the collection of such images.

Yahoo described the practice as “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy,” and strenuously denied having any knowledge of the program.

Infowars first reported in 2006, EIGHT YEARS AGO, that innocent people were being spied on through their computers. We specifically described the practice as Minority Report style technology, as the GCHQ had done.

We have since covered the issue consistently, warning that “Hundreds of millions of Internet-active Americans will all be potential targets for secret surveillance.”

Of course, some quarters dismissed our reports as “conspiracy theories”, while worried internet users questioned whether the reports were accurate.

The GCHQ program was seemingly not limited to Yahoo user web cams either. Another presentation within the leaked internal papers discusses the capabilities of the Xbox 360′s Kinect camera, saying it generated “fairly normal webcam traffic” and that it was being evaluated as a potential surveillance tool.

We have also documented the potential use of Xbox for surveillance purposes, noting that Skype calls made on the devices can be intercepted. We have also warned that the ‘always on’ camera of the new Xbox One, which is so powerful it can see through clothing, is wide open to abuse by hackers and government agencies.

According to the leaked documents, the OPTIC NERVE program began as a prototype in 2008 and was still active in 2012. There is no indication that the program has been deactivated.

Security expert Bruce Schneier writes that this latest revelation highlights how there is no distinction between actively spying on a person and what he called “Eavesdropping by algorithm”, in other words, automated computer surveillance. The NSA and the Obama administration have attempted to argue that what they are doing cannot be called “spying” or even “collecting” data, because when the data is gathered, a person is not looking at it. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper still uses this explanation to claim he never lied to Congress when he answered ‘no’ to the question “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans?”

The fallout from the OPTIC NERVE program, the creation of facial recognition databases, and the fact that spooks provably looked at images of people, even NAKED images of people, highlights the fact, Schneier argues, that the “NSA’s definition of ‘collect’ makes no sense whatsoever”, and that our governments are indeed actively spying on us.

—————————————————————-

Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations

By 24 Feb 2014, 6:25 PM EST
Featured photo - How Covert Agents Infiltrate the Internet to Manipulate, Deceive, and Destroy Reputations A page from a GCHQ top secret document prepared by its secretive JTRIG unit

One of the many pressing stories that remains to be told from the Snowden archive is how western intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction. It’s time to tell a chunk of that story, complete with the relevant documents.

Over the last several weeks, I worked with NBC News to publish a series of articles about “dirty trick” tactics used by GCHQ’s previously secret unit, JTRIG (Joint Threat Research Intelligence Group). These were based on four classified GCHQ documents presented to the NSA and the other three partners in the English-speaking “Five Eyes” alliance. Today, we at the Intercept are publishing another new JTRIG document, in full, entitled “The Art of Deception: Training for Online Covert Operations”.

By publishing these stories one by one, our NBC reporting highlighted some of the key, discrete revelations: the monitoring of YouTube and Blogger, the targeting of Anonymous with the very same DDoS attacks they accuse “hacktivists” of using, the use of “honey traps” (luring people into compromising situations using sex) and destructive viruses. But, here, I want to focus and elaborate on the overarching point revealed by all of these documents: namely, that these agencies are attempting to control, infiltrate, manipulate, and warp online discourse, and in doing so, are compromising the integrity of the internet itself.

Among the core self-identified purposes of JTRIG are two tactics: (1) to inject all sorts of false material onto the internet in order to destroy the reputation of its targets; and (2) to use social sciences and other techniques to manipulate online discourse and activism to generate outcomes it considers desirable. To see how extremist these programs are, just consider the tactics they boast of using to achieve those ends: “false flag operations” (posting material to the internet and falsely attributing it to someone else), fake victim blog posts (pretending to be a victim of the individual whose reputation they want to destroy), and posting “negative information on various forums. Here is one illustrative list of tactics from the latest GCHQ document we’re publishing today:

Other tactics aimed at individuals are listed here, under the revealing title “discredit a target”:

Then there are the tactics used to destroy companies the agency targets:

GCHQ describes the purpose of JTRIG in starkly clear terms: “using online techniques to make something happen in the real or cyber world”, including “information ops (influence or disruption)”.

Critically, the “targets” for this deceit and reputation-destruction extend far beyond the customary roster of normal spycraft: hostile nations and their leaders, military agencies, and intelligence services. In fact, the discussion of many of these techniques occurs in the context of using them in lieu of “traditional law enforcement” against people suspected (but not charged or convicted) of ordinary crimes or, more broadly still, “hacktivism”, meaning those who use online protest activity for political ends.

The title page of one of these documents reflects the agency’s own awareness that it is “pushing the boundaries” by using “cyber offensive” techniques against people who have nothing to do with terrorism or national security threats, and indeed, centrally involves law enforcement agents who investigate ordinary crimes:

No matter your views on Anonymous, “hacktivists” or garden-variety criminals, it is not difficult to see how dangerous it is to have secret government agencies being able to target any individuals they want – who have never been charged with, let alone convicted of, any crimes – with these sorts of online, deception-based tactics of reputation destruction and disruption. There is a strong argument to make, as Jay Leiderman demonstrated in the Guardian in the context of the Paypal 14 hacktivist persecution, that the “denial of service” tactics used by hacktivists result in (at most) trivial damage (far less than the cyber-warfare tactics favored by the US and UK) and are far more akin to the type of political protest protected by the First Amendment.

The broader point is that, far beyond hacktivists, these surveillance agencies have vested themselves with the power to deliberately ruin people’s reputations and disrupt their online political activity even though they’ve been charged with no crimes, and even though their actions have no conceivable connection to terrorism or even national security threats. As Anonymous expert Gabriella Coleman of McGill University told me, “targeting Anonymous and hacktivists amounts to targeting citizens for expressing their political beliefs, resulting in the stifling of legitimate dissent.” Pointing to this study she published, Professor Coleman vehemently contested the assertion that “there is anything terrorist/violent in their actions.”

Government plans to monitor and influence internet communications, and covertly infiltrate online communities in order to sow dissension and disseminate false information, have long been the source of speculation. Harvard Law Professor Cass Sunstein, a close Obama adviser and the White House’s former head of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, wrote a controversial paper in 2008 proposing that the US government employ teams of covert agents and pseudo-”independent” advocates to “cognitively infiltrate” online groups and websites, as well as other activist groups.

Sunstein also proposed sending covert agents into “chat rooms, online social networks, or even real-space groups” which spread what he views as false and damaging “conspiracy theories” about the government. Ironically, the very same Sunstein was recently named by Obama to serve as a member of the newly created NSA review panel announced by the White House, one that – while disputing key NSA claims – proceeded to propose many cosmetic reforms to the agency’s powers (most of which were ignored by the President who appointed them).

But these GCHQ documents are the first to prove that a major western government is using some of the most controversial techniques to disseminate deception online and harm the reputations of targets. Under the tactics they use, the state is deliberately spreading lies on the internet about whichever individuals it targets, including the use of what GCHQ itself calls “false flag operations” and emails to people’s families and friends. Who would possibly trust a government to exercise these powers at all, let alone do so in secret, with virtually no oversight, and outside of any cognizable legal framework?

Then there is the use of psychology and other social sciences to not only understand, but shape and control, how online activism and discourse unfolds. Today’s newly published document touts the work of GCHQ’s “Human Science Operations Cell”, devoted to “online human intelligence” and “strategic influence and disruption”:

Under the title “Online Covert Action”, the document details a variety of means to engage in “influence and info ops” as well as “disruption and computer net attack”, while dissecting how human being can be manipulated using “leaders”, “trust, “obedience” and “compliance”:

The documents lay out theories of how humans interact with one another, particularly online, and then attempt to identify ways to influence the outcomes – or “game” it:

We submitted numerous questions to GCHQ, including: (1) Does GCHQ in fact engage in “false flag operations” where material is posted to the Internet and falsely attributed to someone else?; (2) Does GCHQ engage in efforts to influence or manipulate political discourse online?; and (3) Does GCHQ’s mandate include targeting common criminals (such as boiler room operators), or only foreign threats?

As usual, they ignored those questions and opted instead to send their vague and nonresponsive boilerplate: “It is a longstanding policy that we do not comment on intelligence matters. Furthermore, all of GCHQ’s work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorised, necessary and proportionate, and that there is rigorous oversight, including from the Secretary of State, the Interception and Intelligence Services Commissioners and the Parliamentary Intelligence and Security Committee. All our operational processes rigorously support this position.”

These agencies’ refusal to “comment on intelligence matters” – meaning: talk at all about anything and everything they do – is precisely why whistleblowing is so urgent, the journalism that supports it so clearly in the public interest, and the increasingly unhinged attacks by these agencies so easy to understand. Claims that government agencies are infiltrating online communities and engaging in “false flag operations” to discredit targets are often dismissed as conspiracy theories, but these documents leave no doubt they are doing precisely that.

Whatever else is true, no government should be able to engage in these tactics: what justification is there for having government agencies target people – who have been charged with no crime – for reputation-destruction, infiltrate online political communities, and develop techniques for manipulating online discourse? But to allow those actions with no public knowledge or accountability is particularly unjustifiable.

Congress Backs Terrorists In Syria, Says We Need NSA Spying Because There are Terrorists In Syria

Washington’s Blog
December 4, 2013

The civil war in Syria started in March 2011. And see this.

However, the U.S. has been funding the Syrian opposition since 2006 … and arming the opposition since2007. (In reality, the U.S. and Britain considered attacking Syrians and then blaming it on the Syrian government as an excuse for regime change … 50 years ago (the U.S. just admitted that they did this to Iran) . And the U.S. has been planning regime change in Syria for 20 years straight. And see this.)

The New York Times, (and here and here) , Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, McClatchy (andhere), AP, Time, Reuters, BBC, the Independent, the Telegraph, Agence France-Presse, Asia Times, and the Star (and here) confirm that supporting the rebels means supporting Al Qaeda and two other terrorist groups.

Indeed, the the New York Times has reported that virtually all of the rebel fighters are Al Qaeda terrorists.

The Syrian rebels are now calling for terrorist attacks on America. And we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.

And yet the U.S. is stepping up its support for the Islamic extremists.

The chair of the House Intelligence Committee – Mike Rogers – voted for arming the Syrian rebels. And the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee – Diane Feinstein – has apparently quietly let arms flow to the rebels.

So are they admitting their mistake?

Heck, no! They’re using the specter of Syrian terrorists to justify mass surveillance by the NSA on innocent Americans …

And now he’s trying to use rebel Al Qaeda as an excuse for mass surveillance by the NSA.

As Juan Cole notes:

Senator Diane Feinstein and Rep. Mike Rogers took to the airwaves on Sunday to warn that Americans are less safe than two years ago and that al-Qaeda is growing and spreading and that the US is menaced by bombs that can’t be detected by metal detectors.

Call me cynical, but those two have been among the biggest detractors of the American citizen’s fourth amendment rights against unreasonable search and seizure of personal effects and papers. I think their attempt to resurrect Usama Bin Laden is out of the National Security Agency internal playbook, which specifically instructs spokesmen to play up the terrorist threat when explaining why they need to know who all 310 million Americans are calling on our phones every day. [Here’s what he’s talking about. Andhere.]

CNN’s Candy Crowley interviews them

Now, obviously there are violent extremists in the world and the US like all other societies is likely to fall victim to further attacks by terrorists. But if they could not inflict significant damage on us with 9/11 (and economically and in every other way except the horrible death toll, they could not), then it is a little unlikely that this kind of threat is existential.

In fact the number of terrorist attacks in the US has vastly declined since the 1970s (as has violent crime over-all), as WaPo’s chart shows:

(The chart shows each attack as a number and does not show fatalities; obviously the Oklahoma City bombing and 9/11 would be prominent in that case. But the fact is that foreign terrorist attacks kill almost no one in America these days. You’re far more likely to fall in your bathtub and die than to face terrorism).

Rogers makes a big deal out of the fighting in northern Syria as a threat to the United States and says “thousands” of “Westerners” have gone to fight there. But Rogers is just obfuscating by mentioning vastly exaggerated statistics.

The number of Americans estimated by the FBI to be fighting in Syria? 24. Two dozen. That’s it.

The Syrian civil war has nothing to do with the US, and is a local struggle rather unlikely to involve hitting America (more especially since, as Rogers carefully avoids mentioning, the US is committed to arming these rebels to fight against al-Assad.)

That’s right. Mike Rogers voted to give arms to the Syrian rebels. And while he may hope they don’t go to the al-Qaeda affiliates (as happened when Ronald Reagan gave $5 billion to the Afghan Mujahidin in the 1980s) [oops], he has no guarantee that won’t happen and is willing to take the risk. If Rogers were really, really concerned about the Jabhat al-Nusra, he wouldn’t be risking upping its firepower with Americans’ tax dollars as a justification for monitoring who your 15 year old daughter calls on her cell phone.

Let us say that again. Feinstein and Rogers just came on television to scaremonger the American people with the Syrian jihadis, and both of them voted to give the Syrian rebels millions of dollars in arms.

That’s a pretty good racket. You support the jihadis abroad and then point to jihadis abroad as the reason for which you have to get into the underwear of the American people.

Then they brought up Iraq, which is another local struggle. Dick Cheney repeatedly warned that if the US left Iraq, the terrorists created by the US Occupation (he didn’t put it that way) would follow us home. But it was never very likely an allegation. You could easily get an attack in the US by a disgruntled Sunni Iraqi. But that the Sunni Arabs of Iraq are gunning for the US? No sign of it.

Indeed, Al Qaeda wasn’t even in Iraq until the U.S. invaded that country.

And U.S. policy has lead to a world-wide increase in terrorism.

Of course, mass surveillance doesn’t really have much to do with terrorism in the first place.

No wonder Americans have such a low opinion of Congress. But people like Feinstein and Rogers couldn’t care less.

This article was posted: Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 6:32 am

Snowden Level Documents Reveal Stealth DHS Spy Grid

Government documents obtained exclusively by Infowars expose massive DHS domestic spy grid designed to track citizens in real time through mega government databases.

Anthony Gucciardi & Mikael Thalen
Infowars.com
November 12, 2013

Exclusive documents obtained by Infowars from an insider government source have revealed the true origin and nature of the highly secretive ‘mesh network’ spy grid that has garnered massive media attention due to the fact that the network’s strange downtown Seattle spy boxes can track the last 1,000 GPS locations of cellphone users. But as new documents reveal, the grid is far deeper than the media is telling you. The Seattle DHS spy system ultimately ties in with an enormous stealth database that acts as an intelligence hub for all of your personal data.

On page 55 of the “Port Security Video Surveillance System with Wireless Mesh Network” project document that we have obtained, a diagram reveals the system’s basic communication abilities in regards to the Port of Seattle that the DHS has refused to comment on despite funding with millions in taxpayer dollars:

DHS spy system’s basic communication abilities in regards to the Port of Seattle ‘mesh network’ tracking system.

The Infowars team is closely reviewing the document and will publish it in whole soon. More images seen in the extensive documentation:

dhs-spy-pdf-2

A documented image of the actual spy system put in place, highlighted in the original document itself.

seattle-dhs-spy-1

A further breakdown of the spy operation.

The wireless mesh network, which allows for private communication between wireless devices including cell phones and laptops, was built by California-based Aruba Networks, a major provider of next-generation mobile network access solutions.

Labeled by their intersection location such as “1st&University” and “2nd& Seneca,” the multiple network devices are easily detected in Seattle’s downtown area through a simple Wi-Fi enabled device, leading many residents to wonder if they are being detected in return.

“How accurately can it geo-locate and track the movements of your phone, laptop, or any other wireless device by its MAC address? Can the network send that information to a database, allowing the SPD to reconstruct who was where at any given time, on any given day, without a warrant? Can the network see you now?” asked Seattle newspaper The Stranger.

According to reports from Kiro 7 News, the mesh network devices can capture a mobile user’s IP address, mobile device type, apps used, current location and even historical location down to the last 1,000 places visited.

So far Seattle police have been tight-lipped about the network’s roll-out, even denying that the system is operational. Several groups including the ACLU have submitted requests to learn the programs intended use, but days have turned to months as the mesh network continues its advancement.

According to The Stranger’s investigation, Seattle Police detective Monty Moss claims the department has no plans to use the mesh network for surveillance… unless given approval by city council. Despite a recently passed ordinance requiring all potential surveillance equipment to be given city council approval and public review within 30 days of its implementation, the network has remained shrouded in secrecy.

Unknown to the public until now, information regarding the system has been hiding in plain view since last February at minimum. Diagrams attached to a March 2012 proposal request (# DIT-2996), which have since been approved, updated and finalized, are publicly viewable at the Seattle.gov website.

Several connections can be made by studying the diagram, including its now apparent link to Seattle’s public waterfront. The recent instillation of 30 Department of Homeland Security-funded surveillance cameras on Seattle’s popular waterfront, complete with mesh network devices attached, were purported to increase the Port of Seattle’s protection against such acts as terrorism. Residents soon discovered multiple cameras facing inward toward Seattle homes, not towards the coast line as allegedly intended. The “accident” was later remedied by city officials.

While unknown members of multiple law enforcement agencies will have access to the mesh network, so will the Seattle Fusion Center, where FBI and Homeland Security gather data on Americans deemed “extremist” for such crimes as “loving liberty.” Incredibly, even the U.S. Senate called the Fusion Centers a “useless and costly effort that tramples on civil liberties” in a 2012 bi-partisan report.

Page 65 of the public document details the information-collecting capabilities of the Mesh Network Mesh System (NMS), revealing its ability to collect identifying data of anyone “accessing the network.” Although the document details an alert system for reporting unauthorized access, a public user guide from a similar Aruba software program lists the ability to collect “a wealth of information about unassociated devices,” validating fears of local residents who walk through the mesh network’s perimeter.

“The NMS also collects information about every Wi‐Fi client accessing the network, including its MAC address, IP address, signal intensity, data rate and traffic status,” the document reads. “Additional NMS features include a fault management system for issuing alarms and logging events according to a set of customizable filtering rules, along with centralized and version‐controlled remote updating of the Aruba Mesh Operating System software.”

The bottom left of the diagram shows what may be the Seattle Department of Transportation Intelligent Transportation Systems Network, linked directly into the mesh network. According to the Department of Transportation website, the system controls several surveillance related items such as license plate readers and closed circuit TV (CCTV) systems.

An early draft of the diagram appears to show Seattle police vehicle’s ability to receive and “control” certain aspects of the mesh network. Whether police were originally intended to control surveillance cameras from their vehicles, including their panning, tilting and zooming abilities, remains unclear. According to statements made by Seattle’s Assistant Chief Paul McDonagh last February regarding the waterfront cameras specifically, “only a few people would have that capability, so the officer on the street would just have the ability to view it.”

In reality, Seattle is only one of countless cities across the country being flooded with a sea of surveillance equipment. While the public has focused mainly on surveillance issues relating to the NSA, the federal government has continued its 20-plus year dragnet surveillance grid roll out of covert conversation-recording microphones.

As recently reported by Storyleak, multiple cities including Las Vegas have begun using “Intellistreets” light fixtures capable of recording conversations. The device has received increased scrutiny since 2011 when their “Homeland Security” application, which shouts government messages from a loudspeaker system, was widely revealed to the public.

Other audio recording devices like the ShotSpotter microphones, allegedly used to analyze the location of gun shots, have been found to record conversations of unsuspecting city residents.

Despite the federal government’s constant justification of throwing away civil liberties in the name of fighting terrorism, which kills less Americans than bee stings, continued NSA revelations show that the federal government’s continued surveillance system build-up is aimed at everyday Americans, not foreign Al Qaeda admittedly supported by the U.S. government in Syria.

<p  style=” margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block;”>   <a title=”View “Port Security Video Surveillance System with Wireless Mesh Network” –
Seattle on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/183600279″  style=”text-decoration: underline;” >“Port Security Video Surveillance System with Wireless Mesh Network” –
Seattle</a></p>

——-

Anthony Gucciardi is the acting Editor and Founder of alternative news website Storyleak.com. He is also a news media personality and analyst who has been featured on top news, radio, and television organizations including Drudge Report, Michael Savage’s Savage Nation, Coast to Coast AM, and RT.

Mikael is an accomplished writer and lead features writer at Storyleak whose articles have been featured on sites such as the Drudge Report and others. During his time at Examiner.com, he was frequently ranked the number one political writer.

This article was posted: Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 12:54 pm

Spy Grid Can Now Record Your Conversations in Real Time

Hidden in plain site: The next level of NSA snooping will detect dissent via ubiquitous audio sensors

Paul Joseph Watson & Alex Jones
Infowars.com
November 11, 2013

The revelations of Edward Snowden shone fresh light on NSA spying targeting the American people, but what has gone largely unnoticed is the fact that a network of different spy systems which can record real time conversations are already in place throughout many urban areas of the United States, as well as in the technology products we buy and use on a regular basis.

These systems are no secret – they are hiding in plain view – and yet concerns about the monolithic potential for their abuse have been muted.

That lack of discussion represents a massive lost opportunity for the privacy community because whereas polls have shown apathy, indifference, or even support for NSA spying, anecdotal evidence suggests that people would be up in arms if they knew the content of their daily conversations were under surveillance.

The dystopian movie V for Vendetta features a scene in which goons working for the totalitarian government drive down residential streets with spy technology listening to people’s conversations to detect the vehemence of criticism against the state.

Such technology already exists or is rapidly being introduced through a number of different guises in America and numerous other developed countries.

The Washington Post recently published a feature length article on gunshot detectors, known as ShotSpotter, which detailed how in Washington DC there are now, “at least 300 acoustic sensors across 20 square miles of the city,” microphones wrapped in a weather-proof shell that can detect the location of a sound down to a few yards and analyze the audio using a computer program.

While the systems are touted as “gunshot detectors,” as the New York Times reported in May 2012, similar technology is already installed in over 70 cities around the country, and in some cases it is being used to listen to conversations.

“In at least one city, New Bedford, Mass., where sensors recorded a loud street argument that accompanied a fatal shooting in December, the system has raised questions about privacy and the reach of police surveillance, even in the service of reducing gun violence,” states the report.

Frank Camera, the lawyer for Jonathan Flores, a man charged with murder, complained that the technology is “opening up a whole can of worms.”

“If the police are utilizing these conversations, then the issue is, where does it stop?” he said.

This led the ACLU to warn that the technology could represent a clear violation of the Fourth Amendment if misused.

The ACLU’s Jay Stanley asked, “whether microphones can be remotely activated by police who want to listen to nearby conversations,” noting that it was illegal for police “to make audio recordings of conversations in which they are not a participant without a warrant.”

“If the courts start allowing recordings of conversations picked up by these devices to be admitted as evidence, then it will provide an additional incentive to the police to install microphones in our public spaces, over and above what is justified by the level of effectiveness the technology proves to have in pinpointing gun shots,” wrote Stanley.

Eventually, if indeed it is not already happening in some major metropolitan areas, voices will be linked to biometric facial profiles via the Trapwire system, which allows the government to monitor citizens via public and private CCTV networks.

As we have also previously highlighted, numerous major cities in the Unites States are currently being fitted with Intellistreets ‘smart’ street lighting systems that also have the capability of recording conversations and sending them directly to authorities via wi-fi.

As we reported on Sunday, the Las Vegas Public Works Department has begun testing the devices, which act as surveillance cameras, Minority Report-style advertising hubs, and Homeland Security alert systems. As ABC 7 reported in 2011, they are “also capable of recording conversations.”

Televisions, computers and cellphones are already utilizing technology that records conversations in order to bombard users with invasive targeted advertising. Last year, Verizon followed Google’s lead and officially filed a patent for a set-top box that will actively spy on Americans in their own homes by turning TVs into wiretaps.

The patent application says that the technology will be capable of detecting “ambient action” including “cuddling, fighting and talking” in people’s living rooms.

The box will even listen to your conversations, according to the communication giant’s patent.

“If detection facility detects one or more words spoken by a user (e.g., while talking to another user within the same room or on the telephone), advertising facility may utilize the one or more words spoken by the user to search for and/or select an advertisement associated with the one or more words,” the document states.

In an article we published back in 2006, we highlighted the fact that, “Digital cable TV boxes, such as Scientific Atlanta, have had secret in-built microphones inside them since their inception in the late 1990′s.”

This technology is now commonplace, with products like the Xbox utilizing in-built microphones to allow voice control. Microsoft promises that it won’t use the microphones to record your conversations, which is a fairly hollow guarantee given that Microsoft collaborated with the NSA to allow the federal agency to bypass its encryption services in order to spy on people.

App providers on the Android network also now require users to agree to a condition that, “Allows the app to record audio with the microphone,” on cellphones and other ‘smart’ devices. “This permission allows the app to record audio at any time without your confirmation,” states the text of the agreement.

Virtually every new technological device now being manufactured that is linked to the Internet has the capability to record conversations and send them back to a central hub. Is it really any wonder therefore that former CIA director David Petraeus heralded the arrival of the “smart home” as a boon for “clandestine statecraft”?

Whistleblowers such as William Binney have warned that the NSA has virtually every US citizen under surveillance, with the ability to record all of their communications. The agency recently completed construction of a monolithic heavily fortified $2 billion facility deep in the Utah desert to process and analyze all of the information collected.

If the revelations of Edward Snowden taught us one thing then it’s that if the NSA has the capability to use a technology to spy on its primary target – the American people – then it is already doing so.

This network of computer programs, urban wi-fi infrastructure and technological products inside our homes that all have the capability of recording our conversations represents an even more invasive and Orwellian prospect than anything Edward Snowden brought to light, and yet discussion of its threat to fundamental privacy has been virtually non-existent.

Facebook @ https://www.facebook.com/paul.j.watson.71
FOLLOW Paul Joseph Watson @ https://twitter.com/PrisonPlanet

*********************

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.

This article was posted: Monday, November 11, 2013 at 11:41 am

Snowden: A Manifesto for the Truth

From:  http://meriksson.net/snowden-a-manifesto-for-the-truth

This article by Edward Snowden was published today in Der Spiegel. Since I could not find a translation online, I decided to publish one (suggestions for improvements are welcome). I previously published the full text in German.

In a very short time, the world has learned much about unaccountable secret agencies and about sometimes illegal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies even deliberately try to hide their surveillance of high officials or the public. While the NSA and GCHQ seem to be the worst offenders – this is what the currently available documents suggest – we must not forget that mass surveillance is a global problem in need of global solutions.

Such programs are not only a threat to privacy, they also threaten freedom of speech and open societies. The existence of spy technology should not determine policy. We have a moral duty to ensure that our laws and values limit monitoring programs and protect human rights.

Society can only understand and control these problems through an open, respectful and informed debate. At first, some governments feeling embarrassed by the revelations of mass surveillance initiated an unprecedented campaign of persecution to supress this debate. They intimidated journalists and criminalized publishing the truth. At this point, the public was not yet able to evaluate the benefits of the revelations. They relied on their governments to decide correctly.

Today we know that this was a mistake and that such action does not serve the public interest. The debate which they wanted to prevent will now take place in countries around the world. And instead of doing harm, the societal benefits of this new public knowledge is now clear, since reforms are now proposed in the form of increased oversight and new legislation.

Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.

This text was written by Edward Snowden on November 1, 2013 in Moscow. It was sent to SPIEGEL staff over an encrypted channel.

Edward Snowden Releases “A Manifesto For The Truth”

zerohedge.com
November 3, 2013

While Edward Snowden may be reviled at the top echelons of Western developed nations and is wanted in his native US on espionage charges for peeling back the curtain on how the gargantuan government machine truly works when it is not only engaged in chronic spying on anyone abroad, but worse, on its own people, the reality is that his whistleblowing revelations have done more to shift the narrative to the topic of dwindling individual liberties abused pervasively in the US and elsewhere, than anything else in recent years. And alongside that, have led to the first reform momentum of a system that is deeply broken. Which also happens to be the topic of a five-paragraph opinion piece he released today in German weekly Der Spiegel titled “A Manifesto For The Truth” in which he writes that his revelations have been useful and society will benefit from them and that he was therefore justified in revealing the methods and targets of the US secret service.

In the Op-Ed we read that “Instead of causing damage, the usefulness of the new public knowledge for society is now clear because reforms to politics, supervision and laws are being suggested.”

RT adds: “Spying as a global problem requires global solutions, he said, stressing that “criminal surveillance programs” by secret services threaten open societies, individual privacy and freedom of opinion.

“Citizens have to fight against the suppression of information about affairs of essential importance for the public,” Snowden said in his five-paragraph manifesto. Hence, “those who speak the truth are not committing a crime.”
Even with the existence of mass surveillance, spying should not define politics, Snowden said.

We have a moral duty to ensure that our laws and values limit surveillance programs and protect human rights,” he wrote.

The type of persecution campaigns that governments started after being exposed, and threats of prosecution against journalists, who blew the whistle, were “a mistake” and did not “serve the public interest,” Snowden concluded.

But “at that time the public was not in a position to judge the usefulness of these revelations. People trusted that their governments would make the right decisions,” he said.

Needless to say, all of the above points are spot on, which is why one hopes that Snowden does not intend on returning to the US to defend himself with only truth and justice to lean on, because the US Judicial system is just as broken, if not more, as every other aspect of a tentacular government, intent on growing to even more epic proportions and silencing anyone and everyone who stands in its way.

This article by Edward Snowden was published Sunday in Der Spiegel.

In a very short time, the world has learned much about unaccountable secret agencies and about sometimes illegal surveillance programs. Sometimes the agencies even deliberately try to hide their surveillance of high officials or the public. While the NSA and GCHQ seem to be the worst offenders – this is what the currently available documents suggest – we must not forget that mass surveillance is a global problem in need of global solutions.

Such programs are not only a threat to privacy, they also threaten freedom of speech and open societies. The existence of spy technology should not determine policy. We have a moral duty to ensure that our laws and values limit monitoring programs and protect human rights.

Society can only understand and control these problems through an open, respectful and informed debate. At first, some governments feeling embarrassed by the revelations of mass surveillance initiated an unprecedented campaign of persecution to supress this debate. They intimidated journalists and criminalized publishing the truth. At this point, the public was not yet able to evaluate the benefits of the revelations. They relied on their governments to decide correctly.

Today we know that this was a mistake and that such action does not serve the public interest. The debate which they wanted to prevent will now take place in countries around the world. And instead of doing harm, the societal benefits of this new public knowledge is now clear, since reforms are now proposed in the form of increased oversight and new legislation.

Citizens have to fight suppression of information on matters of vital public importance. To tell the truth is not a crime.

Translated by Martin Eriksson. This text was written by Edward Snowden on November 1, 2013 in Moscow. It was sent to SPIEGEL staff over an encrypted channel.

This article was posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm

“Highly Redacted” Documents Confirm Michael Hastings Under FBI Investigation

FBI maintains files to “memorialize controversial reporting”

Julie Wilson
Infowars.com
September 10, 2013

Despite the FBI’s denial they were investigating Michael Hastings, newly released “heavily redacted” documents on the journalist prove otherwise. Al-Jazeera and FOIA research specialist, Ryan Shapiro, acquired the documents after he and journalist Jason Leopold filed a lawsuit against the FBI for neglecting to respond to their FOIA requests within the required 20 work day period.
MH4
Hastings suspiciously died when his Mercedes C250 Coupe reportedly crashed into a palm tree traveling 75 mph in Los Angeles last June. Just fifteen hours before his death, the 33-year old sent an email to a handful of close friends revealing he believed the FBI was after him for a story he was working on.

A few days after his death, WikiLeaks tweeted that Hastings contacted WikiLeaks’ lawyer Jennifer Robinson claiming the FBI was investigating him.

Prior to his death, Hastings was investigating CIA Director John Brennan and was set to release his report in Rolling Stone magazine in the following weeks. Infowars picked up a report from San Diego 6 News that cited a Stratfor email hacked by Wikileaks which described Brennan as being “behind the witch hunts of investigative journalists learning information from inside the beltway sources.”

The FBI’s investigation is so secret, even the title of the case file was withheld from the FOIA request. FBI documents reveal the agency considers Hastings’ work to be “highly sensitive.”

The FBI operated under exemptions when it redacted entire parts of the file, claiming it necessary to “protect national security.” The agency reportedly marked parts with “S” for secret and “Per Army” to conceal components of the file.

The documents also reveal the FBI opened a file that contained “unclassified media articles” in June 2012 in order to “memorialize controversial reporting by Rolling Stone magazine on June 7, 2012.”

Articles in the file included Hastings’ report entitled “America’s Last Prisoner of War,” a story about a 27-year old US soldier who was captured by the Taliban in 2009 while on deployment in Afghanistan. The soldier, Bowe Bergdahl, is still believed to be in captivity, according to Al-Jazeera.

The documents prompted a response from Rolling Stone’s managing editor, Will Dana, who admits he’s “concerned” and doesn’t understand the FBI’s interest in Hastings’ report.

FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller said on June 21, “At no time was Michael Hastings under investigation by the FBI.” She stands by her statement claiming just because Hastings was referenced in an FBI file, does not mean he was the “subject” of an investigation.

A letter sent with the redacted documents said:

“A search of the FBI Headquarters electronic surveillance indices has been conducted, and no responsive record which indicates that Michael Hastings has ever been the target of electronic surveillance was located.”

Click here for the FBI’s redacted documents.

%d bloggers like this: