Archive for the ‘Surveillance’ Category

Phil Ebersole's Blog

Ladar Levison, who closed down his Lavabit e-mail service rather than comply with a secret government order, is in the classic Prisoner’s Dilemma situation.

h-LAVABITHe and other business owners would be better off if they stuck together and resisted the government’s secret demands in the courts.  But because of the government’s gag orders, none of them has any way of knowing whether others are fighting the same battle or they are all alone.

Levison is forbidden to say just what the government ordered him to do and what his objection was.  His secret appeal against a secret order will be tried in secret.  This is crazy.   This is bizarre.  It is like some unpublished short story by Franz Kafka.

We have a huge national security apparatus which operates in secret.  The President of the United States issues secret orders for assassinations of people deemed national enemies, based on a secret…

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220px-John_lewis_official_biopic228px-Picture_of_Edward_SnowdenThe degree of pressure on reporters and politicians from the White House and Democratic leadership in the Snowden controversy was in full and embarrassing view yesterday when Rep. John Lewis walked back from an interview that he gave to the Guardian praising Snowden. He appears not to have gotten the memo: Snowden is not to be praised in the media or by members of Congress. Various reporters and new organizations have held the line in mocking Snowden or refusing to call him a “whistleblower” rather than a “leaker.”  After all, the fear seems to be that Snowden has to be a traitor or Obama would look like a tyrant.

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CNN Political Ticker

Updated 9:46 a.m. ET, 8/7/2013

(CNN) — President Barack Obama canceled a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow next month, according to a White House official.

The decision came not long after Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer reiterated his call for the White House to reconsider the scheduled summit, following the country’s decision to grant temporary asylum to NSA leaker Edward Snowden.

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LOS ANGELES (CBSDC/AP) — President Barack Obama will not travel to Moscow as planned to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Obama said Tuesday that he was “disappointed” that Russia granted temporary asylum to National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, defying Obama administration demands that the former government contractor be sent back to the U.S. to face espionage charges.

Obama, in his first comments about Snowden since Russia’s decision last week, said the move reflected the “underlying challenges” he faces in dealing with Moscow.

“There have been times where they slip back into Cold War thinking and a Cold War mentality,” Obama said during an interview with NBC’s “The Tonight Show.”

Snowden, an ex-NSA systems analyst, is accused of leaking details about highly-secretive government surveillance programs. He spent several weeks in the transit zone of a Moscow airport before being granted asylum for a year.

Russia’s decision pushed the White…

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A journalist named Michele Catalano touched off a minor firestorm of paranoia and outrage on August 1 when she wrote about being visited by three truckloads of plainclothes police at her house, a surprise inspection that appeared to have been triggered by some Google searches that she and her husband had performed on the topic of pressure cookers. The visit later turned out to be based on a report from her husband’s employer rather than NSA-level data mining, but it still highlighted one of the most pernicious aspects of the government’s secret surveillance program — namely, that so little is known about it that almost anything seems possible, no matter how outlandish.

In her original post — which has since been updated after a statement was released by the local police in Suffolk County, which covers most of Long Island in New York — Catalano described how six armed…

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Talk & Politics

This was a bit surprising.. giving him a full year straight up like that… week after week and back and forth would’ve been more “diplomatic”… this is hard to see not as a hard slap at Obama… maybe for internal russian politics.. maybe just to see what happens..

And Putin probably enjoys the whole thing…

Jay Carney

The White House is “extremely disappointed” with the Kremlin for granting temporary asylum to Edward Snowden, the 30-year-old Defense contractor who leaked details of top-secret National Security Agency surveillance programs.

“We see this as an unfortunate development, and we are extremely disappointed by it,” White House press secretary Jay Carney said. The Kremlin acted “despite our very clear and lawful requests in public and private,” he added.

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2012: What's the 'real' truth?

Published time: August 01, 2013 02:52

General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (Reuters / Steve Marcus)General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency (Reuters / Steve Marcus)

National Security Agency Director Keith Alexander was jeered as he pleaded with professional hackers and cyber-security experts to reconsider the indiscriminate NSA surveillance during a speech at the annual Black Hat conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Alexander claimed that the surveillance methods, disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, have been mischaracterized by the media and are subject to rigorous government oversight. He was approximately 30 minutes into his speech when an audience member, later revealed to be 30-year-old security consultant Jon McCoy, shouted “Freedom!”

Exactly,” Alexander replied from the stage. “We stand for freedom.”

Bullshit!” McCoy said.

Not bad,” the NSA director retorted. “But I think what you’re saying is that in these cases, what’s the distinction, where’s the…

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President_Barack_ObamaNational_Security_Agency.svgThis morning we have yet another article detailing a warrantless surveillance program by the National Security Agency that contradicts representations made by President Barack Obama and members of Congress. You may recall how Obama has tried to get citizens to embrace a new surveillance-friendly model of privacy after the disclosure of massive surveillance of citizens, including programs acquiring every call made by citizens. Various Democratic members came forward to admit that they knew of such programs and not to be afraid . . . they have our backs. Yet every story that has surfaced has contradicted claims that such programs are limited and do not involve the content of communications in emails and messages. The latest program being reported is called XKeyscore and is described as scouring emails, chat rooms, and browsing histories . . . all without a warrant. In the meantime, citizens in polls are saying that they…

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By Ashley Fantz. Ben Brumfield and Phil Black


MOSCOW (CNN) — The White House is “very disappointed” that National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden has been granted temporary asylum in Russia.

Snowden has legal status in Russia for one year, his Russian lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said earlier Thursday, adding that his client has left the Moscow airport. Hours later White House spokesman Jay Carney spoke about the news in a press conference.

The United States is reconsidering a planned meeting between President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin next month in Moscow before a G-20 gathering in St. Petersburg, he said. “We are evaluating the utility of a summit.”

In an interview with state-run Russia 24, Kucherena said that Russia “didn’t have a choice” in granting his client asylum.

“It was a humane decision because Edward couldn’t come and buy himself tickets to Havana or any other countries…

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