In NSA We Trust | Unfilter 61

In NSA We Trust | Unfilter 61

A diagram that literally puts the NSA’s world wide spying system on the map has been exposed in a newly released presentation giving us a better picture of the surveillance system that is said to hold a three day buffer of all Internet activity.

Plus: An update on Bradley Manning, the Obama Administration pledges not to torture Snowden, and the US continues to dance around that big problem in Egypt.

Then it’s your feedback, our follow up, and much much more…

On this week’s Unfilter.

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— Show Notes —

Violence in Egypt Over the Weekend

A coalition of human rights liberals and conservatives opposed to foreign aid is gaining strength. In mid-July, Senate Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham, two party leaders on foreign policy, called canceling military aid “right and necessary.” Though, Graham said Tuesday he’s reserving final judgment until he and McCain return next week from a trip to Egypt at President Obama’s behest.

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In a twist that television industry gawkers immediately homed in on, the victory was shared by Ms. Sawyer and one of her regular fill-ins, David Muir. That was because Mr. Muir substituted for Ms. Sawyer three nights last week — the same three nights, it turned out, that ABC beat NBC in the all-important ratings demographic. Mr. Williams prevailed, barely, on the two nights that Ms. Sawyer was at work.

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Manning Not Aiding the Enemy – Faces Years in Prison

A military judge on Tuesday found U.S. soldier Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge he faced for handing over documents to WikiLeaks, but he still likely faces a long jail term after being found guilty of 19 other counts.

One of Manning’s most visible supporters was banned from the trial Friday after the judge said someone posted threats online. Clark Stoeckley, a college art instructor from New Jersey, confirmed he was the one booted.

Stoeckley attended the court-martial as a sketch artist, arriving each day in a white box truck with bold words painted on the sides: “WikiLeaks TOP SECRET Mobile Information Collection Unit.”

A tweet Thursday night from an account Stoeckley used said: “I don’t know how they sleep at night but I do know where.” It was removed Friday and Stoeckley told The Associated Press on Twitter he couldn’t comment.

During Bradley Manning’s trial in Fort Meade, Maryland, many of the soldier’s supporters showed up during the trial to back the whistleblower for revealing one of the biggest data leaks in US history, but last Friday Clark Stoeckley, courtroom sketch artist, was banned for one of his tweets.

NSA is Crazy

From Greenwald:

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.

Furthermore, Greenwald reports that analysts can use XKeyscore and other NSA systems “to obtain ongoing ‘real-time’ interception of an individual’s internet activity.”

Training materials for the XKeyscore program detail how analysts can use it and other systems to mine enormous agency databases and develop intelligence from the web

Some highlights:

“Performs strong (e.g. email) and soft (content) selection.” pg 2

“Provides real-time target activity.” pg 2

“Show me all the VPN startups in country X, and give me the data so I can decrypt and discover the users” pg 17

“Show me all the exploitable machines in country X” pg 24

According to one of the 11 judges that sits on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), no corporation ever served with a “business record” court order under the Patriot Act has ever challenged one, even though the law provides them a means to do so.

Sen. Ron Wyden said Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies’ violations of court orders on surveillance of Americans is worse than the government is letting on.

Wyden (D-Ore.), as a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, is privy to classified briefings on the government’s surveillance. On Tuesday, he told Andrea Mitchell on MSNBC that all he could say is that the violations are worse than being made public.

• 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

United States Representative Mike Rogers serves as the Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. The Committee is the House’s primary panel responsible for authorizing the funding for and overseeing the execution of the intelligence activities of the United States government.

General Keith Alexander Visits Black Hat

Alexander’s talk had begun with a plea for the hacker and security researcher community to reconsider the NSA’s role in the wake of a still-unfolding scandal revealed by the classified leaks of former Booz Allen contractor Edward Snowden. “Their reputation has been tarnished,” he said, speaking of his NSA staff. “But you can help us articulate the facts properly. I will answer every question to the fullest extent possible, and I promise you the truth: What I know, what we’re doing, and what I cannot tell you because we don’t want to jeopardize the future of our defense.”

After the talk, I found McCoy in the crowd and asked him about his not-so-friendly debate with the general. “His speech was pretty canned,” said McCoy. “It’s anything you can see on Fox News any day. We’re in danger, we have to get rid of your freedom to keep you safe.”

“Everyone’s thinking this, but no one’s saying it public, so everyone thinks they’re alone,” he said. “Ninety-eight percent of society has issues with this…But no one speaks up.”

He attempted to reassure a skeptical audience by saying “our people have to take courses and pass exams to use this data.” Data from the interception programs has “provided value” across some 53 “terror-related activities” detected by the NSA.

Where in the World is Snowden

In a letter sent this week, US attorney general Eric Holder told his Russian counterpart that the charges faced by Snowden do not carry the death penalty. Holder added that the US “would not seek the death penalty even if Mr Snowden were charged with additional, death penalty-eligible crimes”.

Holder said he had sent the letter, addressed to Alexander Vladimirovich, Russia’s minister of justice, in response to reports that Snowden had applied for temporary asylum in Russia “on the grounds that if he were returned to the United States, he would be tortured and would face the death penalty”.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said Sunday that Edward Snowden’s actions defy logic.

By granting NSA leaker Edward Snowden temporary asylum, Russia is giving itself time to figure out what their best move is, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee said Sunday.

What has happened to NSA whistleblower who leaked files to Guardian since he decided to reveal his identity to the world and began his asylum battle


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