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FBI gives telecom provider spying devices

Press TV
August 3, 2013
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is secretly pressurizing telecommunications providers into installing spying devices inside internal networks of companies in order to facilitate espionage programs.

Photo: Glyn Baker via Wikimedia Commons

Photo: Glyn Baker via Wikimedia Commons

Citing the authorization of the move under the Patriot Act, FBI officials have been discussing with carriers in their effort to deploy government-supplied software, which will enable intercepting and analyzing all communications streams, CNET reported.

The software, now identified as “port reader”, used to be known internally as the “harvesting program.”

The FBI spokesman has said the agency has the legal authority to use alternate methods to collect Internet metadata. “In circumstances where a provider is unable to comply with a court order utilizing its own technical solution(s), law enforcement may offer to provide technical assistance to meet the obligation of the court order.”

But, police cannot intercept the contents of real-time communication streams, including email bodies, Facebook messages or streaming video unless a wiretap order from a judge is obtained.

Notwithstanding, “The statute hasn’t caught up with the realities of electronic communication,” says Colleen Boothby, a partner at the Washington, D.C. firm of Levine, Blaszak, Block & Boothby who represents technology companies and industry associations.

Boothby said judges cannot always comprehend how technology has outpaced the law.

In the past, judges drew this conclusion that they have no ability to reject pen register and trap and trace requests as a federal magistrate judge in Florida, in reference to pen register law, wrote “The court under the Act seemingly provides nothing more than a rubber stamp.”

“If magistrates knew more, they would approve less,” said an industry participant, adding, it’s “an interception device by definition”.

The participant, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said carriers are “extra-cautious” resisting installation of the software, as they say it poses privacy and security risks against a sensitive internal network.

This article was posted: Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 9:55 am


“Let me just emphasize, this is nothing particularly new. This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the FISA authority and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this,”


Tyrants deserve only one fate, swinging by their necks from the Tree of Liberty


Senators Dismiss Treasonous NSA Attack on Fourth Amendment

Kurt Nimmo
June 7, 2013

After The Guardian outed the NSA and its unprecedented violations of the Fourth Amendment, members of Congress took to the limelight to defend the government’s tyrannical behavior.

San Francisco Democrat Dianne Feinstein led the pack. She said the massive intrusion into the private affairs of Americans minus court-issued warrants is on par with the TSA sticking its hand down the pants of travelers.

“I read intelligence carefully, and I know that people are trying to get to us,” she said during a press conference following a super-secret Intelligence Committee meeting. “This is the reason why we keep TSA doing what it’s doing. This is the reason why the FBI now has 10,000 people doing intelligence on counterterrorism. This is the reason for the National Counterterrorism Center that’s been set up in the time we’ve been active. It’s to ferret this out before it happens. It’s called protecting America.”

Feinstein neglected to say that, in fact, the TSA has never foiled a single terrorist plot and never will. As for the FBI, it specializes in creating fake terrorist plots and entrapping witless patsies, a fact pointed out by none other than The New York Times.

In order to underscore the fact support for the fraudulent war on terror and the erosion of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights is not limited to the deceptive ramblings of Democrats, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, a Republican said to represent Georgia, threw in his two cents. “Let me just emphasize, this is nothing particularly new. This has been going on for seven years under the auspices of the FISA authority and every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this,” he said.

In short: Nothing to see here. Move along. “To my knowledge, we have not had any citizen who has registered a complaint relative to the gathering of this information.” In other words, since nobody beefed about a program that was secret until Wednesday, we shouldn’t be worried about the government wantonly violating our constitutional rights. After all, according to the senator, the NSA is just collecting harmless meta data, so no worries. “It is simply what we call metadata that is never utilized by any governmental agency unless they go back to the FISA court and show that there’s real cause as to why something within the metadata should be looked at,” he explained.

Never mind that FISA is itself an unconstitutional secret court designed to skirt the Fourth Amendment. Chambliss’ smug dismissal and apology for over-the-top treason is undoubtedly linked to the Senate’s vote to extend the FISA Amendment Act for five years, well into the term of the next teleprompter-reader-in-chief. Our supposed representatives rejected out of hand “all the proposed amendments that would have brought a modicum of transparency and oversight to the government’s activities, despite previous refusals by the Executive branch to even estimate how many Americans are surveilled by this program or reveal critical secret court rulings interpreting it,” as the Electronic Frontier Foundation put it.

Chambliss seems to have shared the same crib notes Feinstein used. “That’s been very clear all along through the years of this program. It is proved meritorious, because we have gathered significant information on bad guys, but only on bad guys, over the years.”

Predictably, the reformulated Tea Party also supports the Stasi state. “I try not to comment on the results of a program or its effectiveness,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican who has been dubbed the “crown prince of the Tea Party movement” by the establishment media. He said “programs like this have great utility.”

Rubio sidestepped comments made by Senate colleague Rand Paul of Kentucky, who said on Wednesday: “After revelations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted political dissidents and the Department of Justice seized reporters’ phone records, it would appear that this Administration has now sunk to a new low.”

“If the President and Congress would obey the Fourth Amendment we all swore to uphold, this new shocking revelation that the government is now spying on citizens’ phone data en masse would never have happened,” Paul added.

However, despite the outrage and facile explanations – replete with images of bad guys who participate in phantom (and FBI orchestrated) terror plots – the latest revelations concerning NSA surveillance are hardly shocking considering the agency’s checkered past.

“For almost 30 years, copies of most international telegrams originating or forwarded through the United States were turned over to the National Security Agency,” Senator Frank Church said way back in the 1970s during congressional hearings exposing Operation Shamrock and other programs.

Beginning in 1945, Operation Shamrock, and its sister program Operation Minaret, allow NSA’s predecessor – based in the Pentagon – to search millions of telegrams. “Intercepted messages were disseminated to the FBI, CIA, Secret Service, Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, and the Department of Defense.” No court authorized the operation and there were no warrants, the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities reported on April 23, 1976.

It should be more than obvious now that ever increasing and technologically more sophisticated surveillance is a key feature of the national security state established under the National Security Act of 1947 reorganizing the military establishment and creating the CIA and the National Security Council. The NSA was established two years later in 1949.

This article was posted: Friday, June 7, 2013 at 2:30 pm

By KATIE GLUECK | 6/7/13 8:13 AM EDT

The journalist who broke the news that the government is monitoring vast quantities of American phone records is claiming the U.S. is building a “massive” snooping apparatus committed to destroying privacy worldwide.

“There is a massive apparatus within the United States government that with complete secrecy has been building this enormous structure that has only one goal, and that is to destroy privacy and anonymity, not just in the United States but around the world,” charged Glenn Greenwald, a reporter for the British newspaper “The Guardian,” speaking on CNN. “That is not hyperbole. That is their objective.”

Greenwald, speaking with CNN’s Piers Morgan, appeared during a week in which Americans learned that according to reports, the National Security Agency and other parts of the government have been monitoring the phone records of Verizon users and accessing Internet information as part of intelligence-gathering procedures. Some Republicans and Democrats have defended the phone records strategy, including the highest-ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee — Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.). But Greenwald dismissed those arguments.

(PHOTOS: Pols, pundits weigh in on NSA report)

“So whatever the Justice Department wants to do, they can beat their chests all they want,” he said. “People like Dianne Feinstein and Saxby Chambliss can have press conferences threatening people for bringing … light to what it is they’re doing, but the only people who are going to be investigated are them. It’s well past time that these threats start to be treated with the contempt that they deserve. That’s certainly how I intend to treat them moving forward, with more investigation and disclosures.”

He also bashed the Obama administration for issuing “threats.”

“The Obama administration has been very aggressive about bullying and threatening anybody who thinks about exposing it or writing it or even doing journalism about it, and it’s well past time that come to an end,” he said.

Greenwald also told CNN’s Jake Tapper that the administration has taken a “warped and distorted” view of the PATRIOT Act, the legislation that authorized certain kinds of surveillance for security reasons in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“What the Obama administration is doing in interpreting the PATRIOT Act is so warped and distorted and it vests themselves with such extremist surveillance powers over the United States and American citizens that Americans, in their words, would be stunned to learn what the Obama administration is doing,” he said on CNN’s “The Lead.”

Speaking with MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell, Greenwald dared lawmakers to investigate how information about the Verizon phone records leaked, as Feinstein has said should happen.

“Let them go and investigate,” Greenwald said.

He added, “There is this massive surveillance state that the United States government has built up that has extraordinary implications for how we live as human beings on the earth and as Americans in our country, and we have the right to know what it is that that government and that agency is doing. I intend to continue to shine light on that, and Dianne Feinstein can beat her chest all she wants and call for investigations, and none of that is going to stop and none of it is going to change.”

Liberals Defend Obama For Spying On Media

After years of denouncing Bush wiretapping, Think Progress says phone taps necessary to protect against terrorists

Paul Joseph Watson
May 14, 2013

After years of scorning the Bush administration for spying on American citizens in the name of prosecuting the war on terror, pro-Obama outfit Think Progress has defended the Obama administration for phone tapping the Associated Press in the name of fighting terrorists.

In an article entitled Why The Department Of Justice Is Going After The Associated Press’ Records, Think Progress writer Hayes Brown attempts to absolve the administration by placing the blame on the AP for reporting on the CIA’s involvement in disrupting an alleged terror plot in Yemen.

Despite the fact that the Associated Press obeyed orders by the White House and the CIA to delay reporting the story, Think Progress justified the phone taps by accusing the AP of aiding terrorists.

“By reporting the CIA’s involvement in foiling the plot, they put AQAP on notice that the CIA had a window into their activities. The AP’s reporting also led to other stories involving an operative in place within AQAP, and details of the operations he was involved in. That operative, it was feared, would be exposed and targeted by AQAP as retribution for siding with the United States,” wrote Brown.

The notion that it would take an Associated Press story to tip off Al-Qaeda that “the CIA had a window into their activities” is beyond naive.

In addition, the phone taps of the Associated Press extended well beyond issues related to national security, including 20 tapped phone lines used by over 100 journalists “whose phone records were targeted on a wide array of stories about government and other matters.”

While Think Progress is content to place the importance of disrupting foggy terror plots in foreign countries above the very bedrock of America, the Constitution and the 4th Amendment, under a Democratic administration, it was noticeably less keen to do so when George W. Bush was in office.

A search of the Think Progress website produces innumerable articles from 2005 onwards which slam the Bush-era wiretapping program as unconstitutional, with a plethora of stories which attack individuals who supported it, including an admonition of Ann Coulter for calling for the execution of the NY Times journalists who revealed the program.

Instead of skewering the Obama administration for spying on the media, now it’s Think Progress’ turn to blame the press while completely ignoring the constitutional question.

A number of readers expressed their anger with Think Progress for giving Obama a pass on the scandal.

“Oh so they spun it so that its AP’s fault for releasing secret info that endangered the CIA? Instead of being about the unconstitutional search and seizure of phone records. It feels like Thinkprogress works for who ever this portrays positively,” wrote Ryan Ducken

“As a liberal, I am frankly disgusted by the Obama Administration right now. And I am not sure why TP isn’t outraged as well. Substitute Bush for Obama in the above post and they would have been foaming at the mouth. This site needs to stop bending over backwards to justify everything Obama does. I voted for him, don’t regret voting for him but he and his administration need to step up and acknowledge that they were wrong in both this case and the IRS case (And maybe it is time for Eric Holder to resign. I doubt he will survive this AP scandal anyway),” wrote Kevin Petrocelli.

“I am glad the Department of Justice values the freedom of the press and wants to strike a balance. And the way to strike that balance is for the Administration to go to a judge and got a warrant. The Executive Branch does not get to decide for themselves what records they can seize—there was this scandal called Watergate several years ago that showed the danger of that. But I am concerned because I didn’t see any reference to a judge or a warrant in the story,” added Joseph Propenski.

Think Progress’ defense of the White House for spying on the media makes sense when you consider the fact that the organization is basically a front group for the Obama administration.

As we have previously documented, Think Progress claims that it is a “nonpartisan organization,” and yet is bankrolled by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, a think tank headed by Bill Clinton’s former chief of staff John D. Podesta , who was also head of Barack Obama’s presidential transition team after the 2008 election.

According to SourceWatch, “CAP’s Progressive Media project emerged as a major communications war room on behalf of Obama’s domestic and foreign policy agenda and CAP became a strong advocate for escalation in Afghanistan. Progressive Media is run through the Center for American Project Action Fund, the more political 501(c)4 arm of CAP. It coordinates closely with the Common Purpose Project, an effort to create message discipline among the pro-Obama organizations, with a direct tie to the White House.”

According to Center for American Progress director Jennifer Palmieri, the organization is focused around “driving the White House’s message and agenda.”

Think Progress is also closely allied with Media Matters under the umbrella of Podesta’s Progressive Media propaganda campaign. An investigation by the Daily Caller last year revealed that Media Matters is an Obama administration front that strategizes with the White House on a weekly basis on how to influence and direct the news media.

Though the Center for American Progress is shy about revealing its financial backers, according to SourceWatch, no less than 58 foundations have donated over $15 million dollars since 2003, as well as corporations and elitist philanthropists such as George Soros, who donated $3 million for “general support” in 2006.

Think Progress’ stance on the hacking of AP also correlates with the fact that it was the Obama administration itself which invoked “government secrecy in defending the Bush administration’s wiretapping program” in April 2009 just months after Obama came to office.


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

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