From Russia with Love | Unfilter 56

From Russia with Love | Unfilter 56

Edward Snowden dominates the mainstream headlines, as he makes his escape from Hong Kong. We’ll reflect on their continued character assassination and arm you with the critical thinking you’ll need to form your own opinions on his motivations.

Warrantless dragnet surveillance of the Internet expands beyond the borders of the US. This week it was revealed Britain’s spy agency the GCHQ has secretly gained access to the network cables that carry the world’s phone calls and internet traffic, which it has admitted to sharing with the NSA. Effectively creating a world-wide police state.

Plus the troubling death of Michael Hastings, your feedback, and much much more.

On this week’s Unfilter.

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— Show Notes —


Michael Hastings Death Twists

Hastings was researching a story about a privacy lawsuit brought by Florida socialite Jill Kelley against the Department of Defense and the FBI.

He was scheduled to meet with a Kelley representative next week in L.A. to discuss the case, according to a person close to Kelley. Hastings wrote for Rolling Stone and the website BuzzFeed.

He was best known for a 2010 Rolling Stone profile that led to the resignation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal.

On Wednesday night, the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks published a message on Twitter that Hastings had contacted a lawyer for the organization hours before his car smashed into a tree on North Highland Avenue in Los Angeles.

The message read: “Michael Hastings contacted WikiLeaks lawyer Jennifer Robinson just a few hours before he died, saying that the FBI was investigating him.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said Hastings was never under investigation by the agency.

The bureau responded in a statement: “At no time was journalist Michael Hastings ever under investigation by the FBI.”

“Hey [redacted copy], the Feds are interviewing my ‘close friends and associates.’ Perhaps if authorities arrive ‘BuzzFeed GQ’, er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues,” Hastings wrote in the email.

“Also: I’m onto a big story, and need to go off the radar for a bit,” he added. “All the best, and hope to see you all soon.” He signed the letter, “Michael.”

Roughly 15 hours later, 33-year-old Hastings was dead.

I’m here to state that I’ve seen dozens of cars hit walls and stuff at high speeds and the number of them that I have observed to eject their powertrains and immediately catch massive fire is, um, ah, zero. Modern cars are very good at not catching fire in accidents. The Mercedes-Benz C-Class, which is an evolutionary design from a company known for sweating the safety details over and above the Euro NCAP requirements, should be leading the pack in the not-catching-on-fire category.


The Media Misdirection in Full Force

Instead of devoting coverage to surveillance information revealed by Edward Snowden, the mainstream US media has slandered him.


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GCHQ taps Fibre-optic Cables for Secret Access to World’s Communications

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

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

The British spy agency GCHQ has access to the global network of communications, storing calls, Facebook posts and internet histories – and shares this data with the NSA, Edward Snowden has revealed to the Guardian in a new leak


Where in the World is Snowden

“My position with Booz Allen Hamilton granted me access to lists of machines all over the world the NSA hacked. That is why I accepted that position about three months ago,” he told Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post during an interview on June 12 that was published on Tuesday.

Edward Snowden signed on to work with intelligence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton only to obtain information about the United States’ surveillance programs, the NSA leaker told the South China Morning Post.

Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking state secrets, is not collaborating with Russia’s Federal Security Service, the FSB, anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks said on its Twitter feed Wednesday.


Second NSA whistleblower being ignored

But again I find it fascinating that so much attention is being put on Snowden at the exact same time as another NSA whistleblower Russell Tice just stepped forward with some incredible revelations including the fact that in 2004 the NSA was wire tapping soon-to-be president Barack Obama, then an Illinois State Senator, presumably for the purpose of blackmailing the information that they found out about him. As well as General David Petraeus, White House General Secretary Scott McClelland – a whole range of names that Russell Tice has just revealed.


Spying on US is Nothing New for the NSA

  • Timeline of NSA Domestic Spying | Electronic Frontier Foundation

  • James Bamford has been the preeminent expert on the National Security Agency since his reporting revealed the agency’s existence in the 1980s. Now Bamford describes the transformation of the NSA since 9/11, as the agency increasingly turns its high-tech ears on the American public.

    The Shadow Factory reconstructs how the NSA missed a chance to thwart the 9/11 hijackers and details how this mistake has led to a heightening of domestic surveillance. In disturbing detail, Bamford describes exactly how every American’s data is being mined and what is being done with it. Any reader who thinks America’s liberties are being protected by Congress will be shocked and appalled at what is revealed here.

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