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Government Surveillance

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One of the few positive things in the ill-named USA FREEDOM Act, enacted in 2015 after the Snowden revelations on NSA domestic spying, is that it required the Director of National Intelligence to regularly report on its domestic surveillance activities. On Friday, the latest report was released on just how much our own government is... Read More
For the past few days, the nation's media and political class have been fixated on the firing of the No. 2 person in the FBI, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. McCabe became embroiled in the investigation of President Donald Trump because of his alleged approval of the use of a political dossier, written about Trump and... Read More
There are many signs of American collapse. One of the most scary is the fact that the American Civil Liberties Union no longer knows what are the civil liberties it purports to defend. Identity Politics has transformed civil rights into privileges for victim groups. Yesterday (February 22, 2018) I received a 50-state survey from the... Read More
We remain embroiled in a debate over the nature and extent of our own government's spying on us. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which was enacted in 1978 as a response to the unlawful government spying of the Watergate era, was a lawful means for the government to engage in foreign surveillance on U.S. soil,... Read More
The House Intelligence Committee’s report on the FBI/DOJ deception of the FISA court has now been released. I have read the so-called “Nunes Memo.” As far as I can tell, the report from the House Intelligence Committee says exactly what the previously released Memorandum Opinion and Order from the FISA court itself says. I posted... Read More
I have argued for a few weeks now that House Intelligence Committee members have committed misconduct in office by concealing evidence of spying abuses by the National Security Agency and the FBI. They did this by sitting on a four-page memo that summarizes the abuse of raw intelligence data while Congress was debating a massive... Read More
During the past three weeks, Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law vast new powers for the NSA and the FBI to spy on innocent Americans and selectively to pass on to law enforcement the fruits of that spying. Those fruits can now lawfully include all fiber-optic data transmitted to or in the... Read More
The NSA, CIA, and FBI are criminal organizations that should be abolished and their leaderships imprisoned. Here is proof from the United States Foreign Intelligence Survelliance Court that security agencies have been operating outside the law:https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/icotr/51117/2016_Cert_FISC_Memo_Opin_Order_Apr_2017.pdf On page 4 the federal court that oversees the spy program states that the US government has not been... Read More
Late last week, Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, repeated his public observations that members of the intelligence community -- particularly the CIA, the NSA and the intelligence division of the FBI -- are not trustworthy with the nation's intelligence secrets. Because he has a security clearance at... Read More
When the US Supreme Court consisted of civil libertarians such as William Douglas, William Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall, Republicans argued that the Supreme Court was coddling criminals and inventing rights. To prevent legislation from the bench, it was necessary, Republicans said, to elect Republican presidents who would appoint a different court that would respect the... Read More
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Or How I Learned Not to Love Big Brother
[This piece has been adapted and expanded from the introduction to Alfred W. McCoy’s new book, In the Shadows of the American Century: The Rise and Decline of U.S. Global Power.] In the wake of the 2001 terrorist attacks, Washington pursued its elusive enemies across the landscapes of Asia and Africa, thanks in part to... Read More
What if the federal government captures in real time the contents of every telephone call, email and text message and all the fiber-optic data generated by every person and entity in the United States 24/7/365? What if this mass surveillance was never authorized by any federal law? What if this mass surveillance has come about... Read More
How not to prevent the next Reality Winner
Once upon a time one applied for a government position that required a clearance with the expectation that in three or four months the process would be completed and the authorization would or would not be issued. I experienced the drill on three occasions for top-secret clearances, once for the Department of Defense (DOD) and... Read More
He had lugged the 50 lb. bag of Milorganite into the garden in order to discover, as on many prior occasions, that he had nothing with which to open it. He blamed this on the war on terror and the TSA. As a youth he, as did every boy, had a pocket knife. Always. It... Read More
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The Western media shame Germans, stay silent on endless attacks against Muslim countries and insist on massive immigration into mostly white nations. Meanwhile, false flags are staged that are blamed on Muslims, with the aim of flaming hatred between pale, nominal Christians and darker Muslims, for this animosity distracts from the systematic economic and war... Read More
Last weekend, the FBI arrested an employee of a corporation in Augusta, Georgia, that had a contract with the National Security Agency and charged her with espionage. Espionage occurs when someone who has been entrusted to safeguard state secrets fails to do so. In this case, the government alleges that the person to whom state... Read More
“The makers of our Constitution … conferred, as against the Government, the right to be let alone -- the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men.” -- Justice Louis D. Brandeis, 1928 After the Watergate era had ended and Jimmy Carter was in the White House and the Senate’s Church... Read More
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I have decided to share with you something which I originally sent out to the key members of the Saker community: my recommendation on how to keep your private communications private in the age of “Big Brother” aka NSA, ECHELON, GCHQ, Unit 8200, etc. I have been interested in the topic of encryption for many... Read More
Late last week, President Donald Trump told CBS News that domestic surveillance of American citizens should the “No. 1” topic of inquiry until we can find out “what the hell is going on” with it. Also late last week, the National Security Agency -- the federal government’s 60,000-person-strong domestic spying agency -- announced that it... Read More
The issue of federal government surveillance of Americans has largely occupied Washington politicians and the media since President Donald Trump first accused the administration of his predecessor of spying on him while he and his colleagues worked at Trump Tower in New York City during the presidential election campaign and during the presidential transition. Trump's... Read More
Mike Whitney has written an excellent expose of the “Russiagate” cover story for Obama’s political use of national security to help his party oppose Republicans. http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/46775.htm Covert surveillance of politicians on Obama’s Nixon-like “Enemies List” has been going on for many years, but is only now being unmasked as a result of the failure of... Read More
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Will Trump Take on the Spooks?
Although many details are still hazy because of secrecy – and further befogged by politics – it appears House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes was informed last week about invasive electronic surveillance of senior U.S. government officials and, in turn, passed that information onto President Trump. This news presents Trump with an unwelcome but unavoidable... Read More
There was high drama last week when Rep. Devin Nunes announced at the White House that he had seen evidence that the communications of the Donald Trump campaign people, and perhaps even Trump himself, had been “incidentally collected” by the US government.If true, this means that someone authorized the monitoring of Trump campaign communications using... Read More
Just as President Putin has stated that governments and media in the West have destroyed Russia’s trust in the West, the governments and media in the West have destroyed the trust of their citizens, who have been transformed into serfs to whom government no longer is accountable. I have stressed in many columns that the... Read More
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The question of whether former President Barack Obama actually spied on President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and transition has been tantalizing Washington since President Trump first made the allegation nearly two weeks ago. Since then, three investigations have been launched -- one by the FBI, one by the House of Representatives and... Read More
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The danger lies in what might be coming next
The WikiLeaks exposure of thousands of documents relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) hacking program, which was expanded dramatically under President Barack Obama between 2013 and 2016, has created something of a panic in the users of cell phones, online computers and even for smart television viewers. The documents describe “more than a thousand... Read More
Those of us who believe that the Constitution means what it says have been arguing since the late 1970s that congressional efforts to strengthen national security by weakening personal liberty are unconstitutional, un-American and ineffective. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which Congress passed in the aftermath of President Richard Nixon’s use of the CIA and... Read More
Last week, The Wall Street Journal revealed that members of the intelligence community -- part of the deep state, the unseen government within the government that does not change with elections -- now have acquired so much data on everyone in America that they can selectively reveal it to reward their friends and harm their... Read More
Nine Things Obama Could Do Before Leaving Office to Reveal the Nature of the National Security State
In less than seven weeks, President Barack Obama will hand over the government to Donald Trump, including access to the White House, Air Force One, and Camp David. Trump will also, of course, inherit the infamous nuclear codes, as well as the latest in warfare technology, including the Central Intelligence Agency’s fleet of killer drones,... Read More
Imagine this scenario: you’ve occupied an office for eight years and now you’re about to move out. You know who's going to move in and, by reputation, he’s a fellow with a minimal ability to control himself who might conceivably be a danger to others. So here’s one thing you undoubtedly wouldn’t do: leave a... Read More
FBI Director James Comey got Hillary off the hook but wants to put you on it. He is pushing hard for warrantless access to all of your Internet activity. Comey, who would have fit in perfectly with Hitler’s Gestapo, tells Congress that the United States is not safe unless the FBI knows when every American... Read More
Three recent stories regarding three government agencies — the IRS, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) — show why we should oppose big government for practical, as well as philosophical, reasons.In recent months, many Americans have missed their flights because of longer-than-usual TSA security lines. In typical DC fashion,... Read More
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Police Nationwide Are Secretly Exploiting Intrusive Technologies With the Feds’ Complicity
Can’t you see the writing on the touchscreen? A techno-utopia is upon us. We’ve gone from smartphones at the turn of the twenty-first century to smart fridges and smart cars. The revolutionary changes to our everyday life will no doubt keep barreling along. By 2018, so predicts Gartner, an information technology research and advisory company,... Read More
The so-called “Panama Papers” which are presented by the world’s corporate media as some kind of super-mega-uber-Wikileaks are simply the latest US strategic PSYOP. Of course, no hard proof of that will ever materialize, but take a look at this pretty good summary of the leak so far: The source: an anonymous leaker who has... Read More
The revelation that an Israeli firm cracked the iPhone raises questions about state-corporate espionage
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) court battle with Apple over the security system in place on iPhones appears to be over. But some experts in the communications security community are expressing concern because of the Bureau’s unwillingness to reveal what exactly occurred to end the standoff. According to government sources speaking both on and... Read More
It was not long after last week’s horrifying bombings in Brussels that the so-called security experts were out warning that Europeans must give up more of their liberty so government can keep them secure from terrorism. I guess people are not supposed to notice that every terrorist attack represents a major government failure and that... Read More
The FBI tells us that its demand for a back door into the iPhone is all about fighting terrorism, and that it is essential to break in just this one time to find out more about the San Bernardino attack last December. But the truth is they had long sought a way to break Apple’s... Read More
"There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all." -- Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016) After the San Bernardino massacre on Dec. 2, 2015, the FBI lawfully acquired the cellphone of one of the killers and persuaded a federal... Read More
Letting the government bypass iPhone security measures won't stop terrorists—or make you safer
The question of how to balance government surveillance with individual privacy is really quite simple. On one side the government believes that the investigation of someone who is either planning or has actually carried out a crime should be without any conditions, that all evidence potentially relating to the event should be accessible to law... Read More
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A New Year's Wish
“Terrorism” might well be the word one encounters most in the international media. The reaction to recent incidents has been hysterical coupled with demands for an apocalyptic violent response. At this point with the old year ending and the new one about to begin, it would perhaps be fruitful to examine both the reality of... Read More
Judging by his prime-time speech last week, the final year of Barack Obama’s presidency will be marked by increased militarism abroad and authoritarianism at home. The centerpiece of the president’s speech was his demand for a new law forbidding anyone on the federal government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing a firearm. There has never been... Read More
If you were looking for a needle in a haystack, simple logic would tell you that the smaller the haystack the likelier you are to find the needle. Except for the government. Since Edward Snowden revealed the federal government's unlawful and unconstitutional use of federal statutes to justify spying on all in America all the... Read More
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“HEY, it’s me, Salah Abdeslam. Did you see the attacks across Paris? Bismillah, may we have many more like them. Brothers Brahim Abdeslam, Abdelhamid Abaaoud, myself and others pulled it off. I’m still in Paris. I need a ride back to Brussels. Come get me.” After executing 130 people in Paris, Nov. 13, and maiming... Read More
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A few cheering thoughts on terrorism. This column specializes in cheering thoughts. Terrorism by Moslems in America and Europe cannot be stopped. If attacks do not occur, it will be because nobody tried very hard. Stopping them would require excluding Moslems, deporting them, or controlling them by totalitarian methods. Or, improbably, minding our own business... Read More
In an effort to draw attention away from the intelligence failures that permitted the attacks of 9/11 and create the impression that it was doing something -- anything -- to avoid a repeat, the federal government tampered seriously with freedoms expressly guaranteed in the Constitution. Its principal target was the right to privacy, which is... Read More
The tragedy in Paris last Friday has regrettably been employed as a catalyst for renewed calls by governments in western Europe and even in the United States for more curtailment of personal liberties. Those who accept the trade of liberty for safety have argued in favor of less liberty. They want government to have more... Read More
The Paris attack is playing out as I expected. The French government is attacking French civil liberty with legislation similar to the US PATRIOT Act.http://sputniknews.com/politics/20151117/1030277245/paris-massacre-france-orwellian-police-state-us-patriot-act.html Readers in France have informed me that 84% of the French people, according to a poll, are content to be spied upon as long as it keeps them safe. This... Read More
The “war on terror” was a hoax. Americans were deceived by policymakers, who are pursuing a hegemonic agenda. The American people were too trusting and too gullible and, consequently, Americans were easily betrayed by Washington and by the presstitute media. The consequences of the deceit, gullibility, and betrayal are horrendous for Americans, for millions of... Read More
John Kiriakou is an American patriot who informed us of the criminal behavior of illegal and immoral US “cloak and dagger” operations that were bringing dishonor to our country. His reward was to be called a “traitor” by the idiot conservative Republicans and sentenced to prison by the corrupt US government. Manning revealed US war... Read More
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How to Censor Yourself Before the Government Even Has the Chance
It was August 2002. My partner Jan Adams and I were just beginning our annual pilgrimage to Massachusetts to visit my father and stepmother. At the check-in line at San Francisco International Airport, we handed over our driver’s licenses and waited for the airline ticket agent to find our flight and reservation. Suddenly, she got... Read More
Category Classics
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
While other top brass played press agents for the administration’s war, William Odom told the truth about...
Which superpower is more threatened by its “extractive elites”?