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“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.
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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.

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NSA broke privacy rules thousands of times per year, audit finds – The Washington Post.

“In one instance, the NSA decided that it need not report the unintended surveillance of Americans. A notable example in 2008 was the interception of a “large number” of calls placed from Washington when a programming error confused the U.S. area code 202 for 20, the international dialing code for Egypt, according to a “quality assurance” review that was not distributed to the NSA’s oversight staff.

In another case, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, which has authority over some NSA operations, did not learn about a new collection method until it had been in operation for many months. The court ruled it unconstitutional.”

 

XKeyscore: Instrument of Mass Surveillance

Stephen Lendman
August 3, 2013

stasi20

Evidence mounts. America crossed the line. It operates lawlessly. It reflects police state ruthlessness. Big Brother’s real. It’s not fiction. It watches everyone.

It’s about control, espionage and intimidation. It targets fundamental freedoms. It has nothing to do with national security. America’s only threats are ones it invents. It does so for political advantage.

On July 31, London’s Guardian headlined “XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the Internet.’ ”

It “gives ‘widest reading’ collection of online data. NSA analysts require no prior authorizations for searches.” They sweep up “emails, social media and browsing history.”

Every keystroke enters a database. NSA training materials call XKeyscore its “widest-reaching” online intelligence gathering tool. Agency officials call it their Digital Network Intelligence (DNI).

It collects “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet.” Virtually nothing escapes scrutiny.

London’s Guardian used classified information. It’s sourced from a February 2008 presentation. It’s about meta-data mining. It’s chilling. It’s worst than previously thought.

It explains what Edward Snowden meant, saying:

“I, sitting at my desk, (can) wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email” address.

At the time, US officials scoffed. House Republican Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence chairman Mike Rogers said:

“He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

According to Guardian contributor Glenn Greenwald:

XKeyscore lets analysts “mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search.”

“The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.”

Agency personnel use XKeyscore and other systems for “real-time” interception of personal online activity.

US statutes require FISA warrants when targeting a “US person.” It doesn’t matter. NSA operates extrajudicially. XKeyscore permits doing so with technological ease.

It lets analysts search meta-data, emails, and other online activity. They can do it with “no known email account (a ‘selector’) in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.”

“Analysts can also search by name, telephone number, IP address, keywords, the language in which the internet activity was conducted or the type of browser used.”

A December 2012 slide titled “plug-ins” explains easily accessed information fields.

They include “every email address seen in a session by both username and domain, every phone number seen in a session (eg address book entries or signature block), and user activity.”

It includes webmail, usernames, buddylists, and machine specific cookies, etc.

According to Snowden, XKeyscore lets analysts conduct “searches within bodies of emails, webpages and documents.”

They can access “To, From, CC, BCC, (and) ‘Contact Us’ pages on websites.” Analysts can monitor anyone. They can read and save their personal communications.

Doing so simply requires “clicking a few simple pull-down menus designed to provide both legal and targeting justifications.”

Virtually nothing online escapes scrutiny. Fourth Amendment rights don’t matter. Privacy no longer exists.

Amounts of information collected are “staggeringly large.” One – two billion records are added daily. Information gathered is so voluminous, it can only be stored for three to five days. Meta-data is kept 30 days.

NSA solves the problem by “creat(ing) a multi-tiered system that allows analysts to store ‘interesting’ content in other databases.” One’s called Pinwale. It stores information up to five years.

In 2012, over 40 billion records were collected and stored monthly. Americans are lawlessly monitored. Warrant authorization isn’t gotten.

NSA lied telling the Guardian:

Its “activities are focused and specifically deployed against – and only against – legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interests.”

“XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.”

“Allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are simply not true.”

“Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA’s analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks.”

“In addition, there are multiple technical, manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent deliberate misuse from occurring.”

“Every search by an NSA analyst is fully auditable, to ensure that they are proper and within the law.”

“These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully – to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad.”

It bears repeating. NSA operates extrajudicially. It’s an out-of-control agency. Rule of law principles don’t matter.

At issue is control, espionage and intimidation. Fundamental freedoms are targeted. Claiming national security priorities doesn’t wash. It’s one of many big lies. They mask police state lawlessness.

Greenwald’s article was published the same day the White House released heavily redacted NSA “bulk collection program” reports and a FISA court order. It included domestic telephone call monitoring procedures.

Obama officials lied. They claim surveillance isn’t authorized without demonstrable suspicions. Monitoring, they say, is subject to FISA court oversight.

It’s virtually rubber stamp. It’s a kangaroo court. It’s illegitimate. It authorizes virtually all requests. It operates extrajudicially. It’s been around for 35 years. No case ever went to the Supreme Court.

It’s findings are secret. A single judge signs surveillance orders. Challenges are virtually impossible. Police state justice is assured.

Things are getting worse, not better. Freedom’s disappearing in plain sight. Congress and federal courts are co-conspirators. They’re in lockstep with lawless surveillance.

Congressional committee hearings reflect show, not tell. Senators and House member criticisms ring hollow. Legislation prohibiting lawless spying could stop it. Nothing with teeth is planned.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper committed perjury. He lied to Congress. He was caught red-handed. He said NSA doesn’t spy on Americans.

Clear evidence proves otherwise. Holding him accountable won’t follow. It never does. It won’t this time. Congress approves lawlessness. So do federal courts.

Big Brother is official policy. Political Washington supports it. Claims otherwise don’t wash.

A Final Comment

August 4 is 1984 Day. Nationwide rallies are planned. Thousands are expected to participate. “Big Brothers has seen enough,” they say.

Sustained public pressure’s essential. Congressional inaction demands it. On July 31, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) headlined “Huge Global Coalition Stands Against Unchecked Surveillance.”

Over 100 organizations endorsed 13 protect human rights principles. Doing so challenges lawless spying. They advise “on how surveillance laws should respect the law, due process, and include public oversight and transparency.”

Privacy matters. It’s time legislation with teeth assures it. According to EFF’s Danny O’Brien:

“It’s time to restore human rights to their place at the very heart of the surveillance debate.”

“Widespread government spying on communications interferes with citizens’ ability to enjoy a private life, and to freely express themselves – basic rights we all have.”

“But the mass metadata collected in the US surveillance program, for example, makes it extraordinarily easy for the government to track what groups we associate with and why we might contact them.”

“These principles announced today represent a global consensus that modern surveillance has gone too far and must be restrained.”

Organizations involved represent over 40 nations. “International human rights law binds every country across the globe to a basic respect for freedom of expression and personal privacy,” said EFF’s Katitza Rodriguez.”

“The pervasiveness of surveillance makes standing up for our digital rights more important than ever.”

“And we need those rights to survive in a digital world, where any state can spy on us all, in more detail than ever before.”

“We know that surveillance laws need to be transparent and proportionate, with judicial oversight, and that surveillance should only be used when absolutely necessary.”

“Everything we’ve heard about the NSA programs indicate that they fall far outside these international human rights principles.”

Operating this way assures tyranny. It’s practically full-blown. Police states operate this way. America’s by far the worst.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen@sbcglobal.net.

This article was posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 10:06 am

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

• XKeyscore gives ‘widest-reaching’ collection of online data
• NSA analysts require no prior authorization for searches
• Sweeps up emails, social media activity and browsing history
NSA’s XKeyscore program – read one of the presentations

theguardian.com, Wednesday 31 July 2013 08.56 EDT

XKeyscore map

One presentation claims the XKeyscore program covers ‘nearly everything a typical user does on the internet’

A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The NSA boasts in training materials that the program, called XKeyscore, is its “widest-reaching” system for developing intelligence from the internet.

The latest revelations will add to the intense public and congressional debate around the extent of NSA surveillance programs. They come as senior intelligence officials testify to the Senate judiciary committee on Wednesday, releasing classified documents in response to the Guardian’s earlier stories on bulk collection of phone records and Fisa surveillance court oversight.

The files shed light on one of Snowden’s most controversial statements, made in his first video interview published by the Guardian on June 10.

“I, sitting at my desk,” said Snowden, could “wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge or even the president, if I had a personal email”.

US officials vehemently denied this specific claim. Mike Rogers, the Republican chairman of the House intelligence committee, said of Snowden’s assertion: “He’s lying. It’s impossible for him to do what he was saying he could do.”

But training materials for XKeyscore detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases by filling in a simple on-screen form giving only a broad justification for the search. The request is not reviewed by a court or any NSA personnel before it is processed.

XKeyscore, the documents boast, is the NSA’s “widest reaching” system developing intelligence from computer networks – what the agency calls Digital Network Intelligence (DNI). One presentation claims the program covers “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”, including the content of emails, websites visited and searches, as well as their metadata.

Analysts can also use XKeyscore and other NSA systems to obtain ongoing “real-time” interception of an individual’s internet activity.

Under US law, the NSA is required to obtain an individualized Fisa warrant only if the target of their surveillance is a ‘US person’, though no such warrant is required for intercepting the communications of Americans with foreign targets. But XKeyscore provides the technological capability, if not the legal authority, to target even US persons for extensive electronic surveillance without a warrant provided that some identifying information, such as their email or IP address, is known to the analyst.

One training slide illustrates the digital activity constantly being collected by XKeyscore and the analyst’s ability to query the databases at any time.

KS1 

The purpose of XKeyscore is to allow analysts to search the metadata as well as the content of emails and other internet activity, such as browser history, even when there is no known email account (a “selector” in NSA parlance) associated with the individual being targeted.

Analysts can also search by name, telephone number, IP address, keywords, the language in which the internet activity was conducted or the type of browser used.

One document notes that this is because “strong selection [search by email address] itself gives us only a very limited capability” because “a large amount of time spent on the web is performing actions that are anonymous.”

The NSA documents assert that by 2008, 300 terrorists had been captured using intelligence from XKeyscore.

Analysts are warned that searching the full database for content will yield too many results to sift through. Instead they are advised to use the metadata also stored in the databases to narrow down what to review.

A slide entitled “plug-ins” in a December 2012 document describes the various fields of information that can be searched. It includes “every email address seen in a session by both username and domain”, “every phone number seen in a session (eg address book entries or signature block)” and user activity – “the webmail and chat activity to include username, buddylist, machine specific cookies etc”.

Email monitoring

In a second Guardian interview in June, Snowden elaborated on his statement about being able to read any individual’s email if he had their email address. He said the claim was based in part on the email search capabilities of XKeyscore, which Snowden says he was authorized to use while working as a Booz Allen contractor for the NSA.

One top-secret document describes how the program “searches within bodies of emails, webpages and documents”, including the “To, From, CC, BCC lines” and the ‘Contact Us’ pages on websites”.

To search for emails, an analyst using XKS enters the individual’s email address into a simple online search form, along with the “justification” for the search and the time period for which the emails are sought.

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The analyst then selects which of those returned emails they want to read by opening them in NSA reading software.

The system is similar to the way in which NSA analysts generally can intercept the communications of anyone they select, including, as one NSA document put it, “communications that transit the United States and communications that terminate in the United States”.

One document, a top secret 2010 guide describing the training received by NSA analysts for general surveillance under the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008, explains that analysts can begin surveillance on anyone by clicking a few simple pull-down menus designed to provide both legal and targeting justifications. Once options on the pull-down menus are selected, their target is marked for electronic surveillance and the analyst is able to review the content of their communications:

KS4 

Chats, browsing history and other internet activity

Beyond emails, the XKeyscore system allows analysts to monitor a virtually unlimited array of other internet activities, including those within social media.

An NSA tool called DNI Presenter, used to read the content of stored emails, also enables an analyst using XKeyscore to read the content of Facebook chats or private messages.

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An analyst can monitor such Facebook chats by entering the Facebook user name and a date range into a simple search screen.

KS6 

Analysts can search for internet browsing activities using a wide range of information, including search terms entered by the user or the websites viewed.

KS7 

As one slide indicates, the ability to search HTTP activity by keyword permits the analyst access to what the NSA calls “nearly everything a typical user does on the internet”.

KS8 

The XKeyscore program also allows an analyst to learn the IP addresses of every person who visits any website the analyst specifies.

KS9 

The quantity of communications accessible through programs such as XKeyscore is staggeringly large. One NSA report from 2007 estimated that there were 850bn “call events” collected and stored in the NSA databases, and close to 150bn internet records. Each day, the document says, 1-2bn records were added.

William Binney, a former NSA mathematician, said last year that the agency had “assembled on the order of 20tn transactions about US citizens with other US citizens”, an estimate, he said, that “only was involving phone calls and emails”. A 2010 Washington Post article reported that “every day, collection systems at the [NSA] intercept and store 1.7bn emails, phone calls and other type of communications.”

The XKeyscore system is continuously collecting so much internet data that it can be stored only for short periods of time. Content remains on the system for only three to five days, while metadata is stored for 30 days. One document explains: “At some sites, the amount of data we receive per day (20+ terabytes) can only be stored for as little as 24 hours.”

To solve this problem, the NSA has created a multi-tiered system that allows analysts to store “interesting” content in other databases, such as one named Pinwale which can store material for up to five years.

It is the databases of XKeyscore, one document shows, that now contain the greatest amount of communications data collected by the NSA.

KS10 

In 2012, there were at least 41 billion total records collected and stored in XKeyscore for a single 30-day period.

KS11 

Legal v technical restrictions

While the Fisa Amendments Act of 2008 requires an individualized warrant for the targeting of US persons, NSA analysts are permitted to intercept the communications of such individuals without a warrant if they are in contact with one of the NSA’s foreign targets.

The ACLU’s deputy legal director, Jameel Jaffer, told the Guardian last month that national security officials expressly said that a primary purpose of the new law was to enable them to collect large amounts of Americans’ communications without individualized warrants.

“The government doesn’t need to ‘target’ Americans in order to collect huge volumes of their communications,” said Jaffer. “The government inevitably sweeps up the communications of many Americans” when targeting foreign nationals for surveillance.

An example is provided by one XKeyscore document showing an NSA target in Tehran communicating with people in Frankfurt, Amsterdam and New York.

KS12 

In recent years, the NSA has attempted to segregate exclusively domestic US communications in separate databases. But even NSA documents acknowledge that such efforts are imperfect, as even purely domestic communications can travel on foreign systems, and NSA tools are sometimes unable to identify the national origins of communications.

Moreover, all communications between Americans and someone on foreign soil are included in the same databases as foreign-to-foreign communications, making them readily searchable without warrants.

Some searches conducted by NSA analysts are periodically reviewed by their supervisors within the NSA. “It’s very rare to be questioned on our searches,” Snowden told the Guardian in June, “and even when we are, it’s usually along the lines of: ‘let’s bulk up the justification’.”

In a letter this week to senator Ron Wyden, director of national intelligence James Clapper acknowledged that NSA analysts have exceeded even legal limits as interpreted by the NSA in domestic surveillance.

Acknowledging what he called “a number of compliance problems”, Clapper attributed them to “human error” or “highly sophisticated technology issues” rather than “bad faith”.

However, Wyden said on the Senate floor on Tuesday: “These violations are more serious than those stated by the intelligence community, and are troubling.”

In a statement to the Guardian, the NSA said: “NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against – and only against – legitimate foreign intelligence targets in response to requirements that our leaders need for information necessary to protect our nation and its interests.

“XKeyscore is used as a part of NSA’s lawful foreign signals intelligence collection system.

“Allegations of widespread, unchecked analyst access to NSA collection data are simply not true. Access to XKeyscore, as well as all of NSA’s analytic tools, is limited to only those personnel who require access for their assigned tasks … In addition, there are multiple technical, manual and supervisory checks and balances within the system to prevent deliberate misuse from occurring.”

“Every search by an NSA analyst is fully auditable, to ensure that they are proper and within the law.

“These types of programs allow us to collect the information that enables us to perform our missions successfully – to defend the nation and to protect US and allied troops abroad.”

Role Reversal: How the US Became the USSR

Paul Craig Roberts
Infowars.com
July 24, 2013

I spent the summer of 1961 behind the Iron Curtain. I was part of the US-USSR student exchange program. It was the second year of the program that operated under auspices of the US Department of State. Our return to the West via train through East Germany was interrupted by the construction of the Berlin Wall. We were sent back to Poland. The East German rail tracks were occupied with Soviet troop and tank trains as the Red Army concentrated in East Germany to face down any Western interference.

Fortunately, in those days there were no neoconservatives. Washington had not grown the hubris it so well displays in the 21st century. The wall was built and war was avoided. The wall backfired on the Soviets. Both JFK and Ronald Reagan used it to good propaganda effect.

In those days America stood for freedom, and the Soviet Union for oppression. Much of this impression was created by Western propaganda, but there was some semblance to the truth in the image. The communists had a Julian Assange and an Edward Snowden of their own. His name was Cardinal Jozef Mindszenty, the leader of the Hungarian Catholic Church.

Mindszenty opposed tyranny. For his efforts he was imprisoned by the Nazis. Communists also regarded his as an undesirable, and he was tortured and given a life sentence in 1949.

Freed by the short-lived Hungarian Revolution in 1956, Mindszenty reached the American Embassy in Budapest and was granted political asylum by Washington. However, the communists would not give him the free passage that asylum presumes, and Mindszenty lived in the US Embassy for 15 years, 79% of his remaining life.

In the 21st century roles have reversed. Today it is Washington that is enamored of tyranny. On Washington’s orders, the UK will not permit Julian Assange free passage to Ecuador, where he has been granted asylum. Like Cardinal Mindszenty, Assange is stuck in the Ecuadoran Embassy in London.

Washington will not permit its European vassal states to allow overflights of airliners carrying Edward Snowden to any of the countries that have offered Snowden asylum. Snowden is stuck in the Moscow airport.

In Washington politicians of both parties demand that Snowden be captured and executed. Politicians demand that Russia be punished for not violating international law, seizing Snowden, and turning him over to Washington to be tortured and executed, despite the fact that Washington has no extradition treaty with Russia.

Snowden did United States citizens a great service. He told us that despite constitutional prohibition, Washington had implemented a universal spy system intercepting every communication of every American and much of the rest of the world. Special facilities are built in which to store these communications.

In other words, Snowden did what Americans are supposed to do–disclose government crimes against the Constitution and against citizens. Without a free press there is nothing but the government’s lies. In order to protect its lies from exposure, Washington intends to exterminate all truth tellers.

The Obama Regime is the most oppressive regime ever in its prosecution of protected whistleblowers. Whistleblowers are protected by law, but the Obama Regime insists that whistleblowers are not really whistleblowers. Instead, the Obama Regime defines whistleblowers as spies, traitors, and foreign agents. Congress, the media, and the faux judiciary echo the executive branch propaganda that whistleblowers are a threat to America. It is not the government that is violating and raping the US Constitution that is a threat. It is the whistleblowers who inform us of the rape who are the threat.

The Obama Regime has destroyed press freedom. A lackey federal appeals court has ruled that NY Times reporter James Risen must testify in the trial of a CIA officer charged with providing Risen with information about CIA plots against Iran. The ruling of this fascist court destroys confidentiality and is intended to end all leaks of the government’s crimes to media.

What Americans have learned in the 21st century is that the US government lies about everything and breaks every law. Without whistleblowers, Americans will remain in the dark as “their” government enserfs them, destroying every liberty, and impoverishes them with endless wars for Washington’s and Wall Street’s hegemony.

Snowden harmed no one except the liars and traitors in the US government. Contrast Washington’s animosity against Snowden with the pardon that Bush gave to Dick Cheney aide, Libby, who took the fall for his boss for blowing the cover, a felony, on a covert CIA operative, the spouse of a former government official who exposed the Bush/Cheney/neocon lies about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction.

Whatever serves the tiny clique that rules america is legal; whatever exposes the criminals is illegal.

That’s all there is to it.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts is the father of Reaganomics and the former head of policy at the Department of Treasury. He is a columnist and was previously the editor of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book, “How the Economy Was Lost: The War of the Worlds,” details why America is disintegrating.

Report: Michael Hastings’ Body Cremated Against Family’s Wishes

Journalist feared big story could make him a target

Paul Joseph Watson
Infowars.com
July 17, 2013

Rolling Stone journalist Michael Hastings’ body was cremated against his family’s wishes, destroying potential evidence that could have contradicted the explanation that he died as a result of an accident, according to San Diego 6 reporter Kimberly Dvorak.

Hastings was killed in the early hours of June 18 in the Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles when his Mercedes crashed into a tree at high speed and exploded into flames, sparking theories that the journalist, who was working on a major exposé of the CIA, could have been assassinated.

Stating that she had spoken with several close friends of the family, including Alex Jones Show guest Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, Dvorak said, “A close family friend did confirm that Michael’s body was sent home in an urn, meaning he was cremated and it wasn’t the request of the family….in fact the family wanted Michael’s body to go home.”

Dvorak said the decision to cremate Hastings against his family’s wishes was “shocking” because it ensured that evidence of any substance (or indeed the absence of any substance) inside his body was lost. According to Hastings’ family, the journalist had not drunk alcohol for five years.

Dvorak added that Hastings had spoken with an attorney before his death who has all the details about the story Hastings was working on. Hastings refrained from telling his wife about the story “because he said he wanted to protect her from knowing anything so if anything were to happen to him nothing could happen to her,” said Dvorak.

Hastings wife has now hired a private investigator to look into the writer’s death, according to Dvorak.

Dvorak also revealed that she had personally been threatened as a result of her efforts to investigate Hastings’ death on behalf of San Diego 6. Aside from Infowars, the news channel is the only media organization asking questions about what happened.

“Despite the LAPD’s categorization of the Hasting fatal accident as a “no (evidence of) foul play,” LAPD continues to ignore FOIA (CPRA in Calif.) requests made by San Diego 6 News for the police report, 9/11 call, autopsy, bomb squad and toxicology reports, or make the Mercedes available for inspection which only fuels conjecture,” writes Dvorak.

As we reported earlier this month, Dvorak’s investigation also uncovered the fact that police and firefighters in the area have been given a gag order and told not to talk to the media about Hastings’ death.

Although the LAPD ruled out foul play days after the incident, automotive experts questioned why Hastings’ brand new Mercedes exploded into flames with such ferocity and why the engine was found 150 feet behind the vehicle.

Former counter-terror czar Richard Clarke reacted to the news by telling the Huffington Post that the fatal crash was “consistent with a car cyber attack.” Academic studies show that it is relatively easy to hack and remote control a modern day vehicle.

Hastings sent out an email to friends and colleagues 15 hours before his car crash stating he was “onto a big story” and needed “to go off the rada[r] for a bit.”

According to colleagues, Hastings was “incredibly tense and very worried, and was concerned that the government was looking in on his material,” and also a “nervous wreck” in response to the surveillance of journalists revealed by the AP phone tapping scandal and the NSA PRISM scandal.

After Wikileaks reported that Hastings had contacted them a few hours before his death complaining that he was under FBI investigation, other friends confirmed that the journalist was “very paranoid” about the feds watching him.

Hastings routinely received death threats as a result of his hard-hitting journalism, particularly in relation to his 2010 exposé of Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal.

Hastings’ close friend Staff Sergeant Joe Biggs, who told Fox News that the journalist “drove like a grandma” and was working on “the biggest story yet” about the CIA before his death, joined Alex Jones yesterday to discuss latest developments and his plans to personally investigate Hastings’ death on behalf of Infowars.

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

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.

» ‘Heroic effort at great personal cost’: Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize Alex Jones’ Infowars: There’s a war on for your mind!.

A Swedish sociology professor has nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. He says the NSA whistleblower could help “save the prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision” to give the 2009 award to Barack Obama.

In his letter addressed to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Stefan Svallfors praised Snowden for his “heroic effort at great personal cost.” He stated that by revealing the existence and the scale of the US surveillance programs, Snowden showed “individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms.”

Snowden Claims: NSA Ties Put German Intelligence in Tight Spot

The German foreign intelligence service knew more about the activities of the NSA in Germany than previously known. “They’re in bed together,” Edward Snowden claims in an interview in SPIEGEL. The whistleblower also lodges fresh allegations against the British.

For weeks now, officials at intelligence services around the world have been in suspense as one leak after another from whistleblower Edward Snowden has been published. Be it America’s National Security Agency, Britain’s GCHQ or systems like Prism or Tempora, he has been leaking scandalous information about international spying agencies. In an interview published by SPIEGEL in its latest issue, Snowden provides additional details, describing the closeness between the US and German intelligence services as well as Britain’s acquisitiveness when it comes to collecting data.

In Germany, reports of the United States’ vast espionage activities have surprised and upset many, including politicians. But Snowden isn’t buying the innocence of leading German politicians and government figures, who say that they were entirely unaware of the spying programs. On the contrary, the NSA people are “in bed together with the Germans,” the whistleblower told American cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras in an interview conducted with the help of encrypted emails shortly before Snowden became a globally recognized name.

Snowden describes the intelligence services partnerships in detail. The NSA even has a special department for such cooperation, the Foreign Affairs Directorate, he says. He also exposes a noteworthy detail about how government decision-makers are protected by these programs. The partnerships are organized in a way so that authorities in other countries can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” in the event it becomes public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy,” the former NSA employee says.

Intensive Cooperation with Germany

SPIEGEL reporting also indicates that cooperation between the NSA and Germany’s foreign intelligence service, the BND, is more intensive than previously known. The NSA, for example, provides “analysis tools” for the BND to monitor signals from foreign data streams that travel through Germany. Among the BND’s focuses are the Middle East route through which data packets from crisis regions travel.

BND head Gerhard Schindler confirmed the partnership during a recent meeting with members of the German parliament’s control committee for intelligence issues.

But it’s not just the BND’s activities that are the focus of the interview with Snowden.

The 30-year-old also provides new details about Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). He says that Britain’s Tempora system is the signal intelligence community’s first “full-take Internet buffer,” meaning that it saves all of the data passing through the country.

Data Remains Buffered for Three Days

The scope of this “full take” system is vast. According to Snowden and Britain’s Guardian newspaper, Tempora stores communications data for up to 30 days and saves all content for up to three days in a so-called Internet buffer. “It snarfs everything in a rolling buffer to allow retroactive investigation without missing a single bit,” Snowden says.

Asked if it is possible to get around this total surveillance of all Internet communication, he says: “As a general rule, so long as you have any choice at all, you should never route through or peer with the UK under any circumstances.”

In other words, Snowden says, one can only prevent GCHQ from accessing their data if they do not send any information through British Internet lines or servers. However, German Internet experts believe this would be almost impossible in practice.

Metadata Provide Orientation in Sea of Data

The attempt to conduct total data retention is noteworthy because most of the leaks so far in the spying scandal have pertained to so-called metadata. In the interview, Snowden reiterates just how important metadata — which can include telephone numbers, IP addresses and connection times, for example — really are. “In most cases, content isn’t as valuable as metadata,” Snowden says.Those in possession of metadata can determine who has communicated with whom. And using the metadata, they can determine which data sets and communications content they would like to take a closer look at. “The metadata tells you what out of their data stream you actually want,” Snowden says.

It is becoming increasingly clear to recognize the way in which surveillance programs from the NSA and GCHQ — including Prism, Tempora and Boundless Informant — cooperate. The metadata provides analysts with tips on which communications and content might be interesting. Then, Snowden says, with the touch of a button they can then retrieve or permanently collect the full content of communications that have already been stored for a specific person or group, or they can collect future communications. But a person can also be “selected for targeting based on, for example, your Facebook or webmail content.”

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Origins of the Modern Surveillance State

Pentagon wanted searchable database of people’s lives in 2003

Josh Peterson

Tech Editor

Ten years before the recent global panic over the U.S. government’s domestic spying program, the Pentagon solicited contractors for a searchable database of people’s lives.

In 2003, the Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) hoped to create a database that would amass everything about the life of a person participating in the project, ranging from GPS coordinates to every email and phone call sent and received.

The participant would wear a camera, microphone and sensors to record the minutia of everyday life. The program, called Lifelog, would act as a person’s digital diary.

Lifelog was a feature of DARPA’s Perceptive Assistant that Learns (PAL) program, which was meant to create intelligent digital personal assistants.

DARPA hoped the database would further research in artificial intelligence. It would take the data gathered from consenting participants and map out relationships and events found in the data.

After privacy advocates voiced concerns that effectively brought Lifelog to a halt in 2004, DARPA rebooted its attempt to create PAL technology several months later by tailoring the project with a military focus in order to assuage critics.

Private sector versions of PAL technology also emerged on the market in later years, Apple’s Siri being a direct descendant of DARPA’s PAL initiative.

DARPA would not confirm any connection between the National Security Agency’s surveillance database technology, such as PRISM, and DARPA’s PAL program.

The revelations about the U.S. government’s counter-terrorism surveillance apparatus, however, illuminate how both governments and corporations effectively collect data on the commercial and personal activities of everyday life.

Lee Tien, senior staff attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, told The Daily Caller that there are options for people, and they don’t have to accept the destruction of personal privacy as the new normal.

“There are economic and political incentives that are very hard to fight, no-one questions that,” Tien said.

“We didn’t want the Patriot Act after 9/11, but we couldn’t stop it,” he said, “but just because you couldn’t stop it then doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to fight it now.”

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