Thursday, June 6, 2013

Breaking News: Obama Secretly Spying on U.S. Businesses

UPDATE: Seeing Through the PRISM of Obama's Spying Program

I don't like posting that side on this side, but this is that serious.

Time to impeach.  

(And while I remain that is the correct thing to do since Obama is the chief executive officer of this government, the fact is the whole government needs to be impeached. )

UPDATE: Collection of phone records is ongoing practice

So, what, that makes it all right?

"US secretly collects data on business calls" by Charlie Savage and Edward Wyatt |  New York Times, June 06, 2013

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is secretly carrying out a domestic surveillance program by collecting business communications records involving Americans under a hotly debated section of the Patriot Act, according to a highly classified court order disclosed Wednesday night.

The order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court in April, directs a Verizon Communications subsidiary, Verizon Business Network Services, to turn over “on an ongoing daily basis” to the National Security Agency all call logs “between the United States and abroad” or “wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls.”

The order does not apply to the content of the communications.

So we are told. 

Verizon Business Network Services is one of the nation’s largest telecommunications and Internet providers for corporations. It is not clear whether similar orders have gone to other parts of Verizon, such as its residential or cellphone services, or to other telecommunications carriers. The order prohibits its recipient from discussing its existence, and representatives of Verizon declined to comment Wednesday evening.

And they called it freedom.

The four-page order was disclosed by the newspaper The Guardian.

Oh, it took a BRITISH PAPER to BLOW the WHISTLE, huh? 

That's why the AP scandal just faded away.

Obama administration officials at the FBI and the White House also declined to comment on it Wednesday evening, but did not deny the report, and a person familiar with the order confirmed its authenticity.


Six Zionist Companies Own 96% of the World's Media
Declassified: Massive Israeli manipulation of US media exposed
Operation Mockingbird
Why Am I No Longer Reading the Newspaper?

Nothing but a big s*** show fooley?

And then the AmeriKan media let go. 

“We will respond as soon as we can,” said Marci Green Miller, a National Security Agency spokeswoman, in an e-mail.

The FBI sought the order under a section of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the 1978 law that regulates domestic surveillance for national security purposes, including “tangible things” that the law defines as business records. The provision was expanded by Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which Congress enacted after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. 

This isn't going to make business happy in this nation, and I suspect Obama may have finally stepped over the line on this one.  When you do such things to average citizens the corporate pre$$ is in favor of such things (for the obvious rea$ons), but when you are spying on them, well... 

The order was marked “TOP SECRET//SI//NOFORN,” referring to communications-related intelligence information that may not be released to noncitizens. That would make it among the most closely held secrets in the federal government, and its disclosure comes amid a furor over the Obama administration’s aggressive tactics in its investigations of leaks.

The collection of call logs is set to expire in July unless the court extends it.

The mass collection of communications logs, or calling “metadata,” was believed to be a major component of the Bush administration’s surveillance program that took place without court order under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. The order would suggest that the government later continued a form of that aspect of the program by bringing it under the Patriot Act.

I'm so glad we got change in 2008, aren't you?

The disclosure late Wednesday seemed likely to set off a new furor over the scope of government surveillance.

I hope so. I hope it leads to the impeachment of this president.  I know that won't change anything, but I don't care. I want this dismal failure and liar out of office.

Kate Martin of the Center for National Security Studies, a civil liberties advocacy group, said that “absent some explanation I haven’t thought of, this looks like the largest assault on privacy since the NSA wiretapped Americans in clear violation of the law” under the Bush administration.


“On what possible basis has the government refused to tell us that it believes that the law authorizes this kind of request?” she said.

For several years, two Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Mark Udall of Colorado, have been cryptically warning that the government was interpreting its surveillance powers under that section of the Patriot Act in a way that would be alarming to the public if it knew about it.

Oh, we are MORE than ALARMED, we are FUCKING OUTRAGED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“We believe most Americans would be stunned to learn the details of how these secret court opinions have interpreted section 215 of the Patriot Act,” they wrote last year in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.

No, not really, not after all we have seen in the last decade.

They added: “As we see it, there is now a significant gap between what most Americans think the law allows and what the government secretly claims the law allows. This is a problem, because it is impossible to have an informed public debate about what the law should say when the public doesn’t know what its government thinks the law says.”

And you thought this government gave a shit about your safety and protection?

A Wyden spokesman did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment on the Verizon order.

The senators were angry because the Obama administration described Section 215 orders as being similar to a grand jury subpoena for obtaining business records, like a suspect’s hotel or credit card records. The senators said the secret interpretation of the law was nothing like that.

Oh, the Obama administration lied? 

That's why we call it AmeriKa. 


"Domestic Spying Revelation Could Be Devastating For The Obama White House

by Peter Foster, The Telegraph | Jun. 6, 2013

The Obama administration will be bracing itself for a torrent of hostile questions this morning following the apparent revelation that the National Security Agency has been data-mining the phone records of tens of millions of ordinary Americans.

Not to be confused with eaves-dropping, or bugging the phones of those suspected of conspiring to commit a terrorist or criminal offence, the top secret court order published by The Guardian appears to show that the NSA has been trawling the anonymous 'metadata' of potentially billions of phone-calls.

On the one hand, American might take comfort that the 'internals' of their phone conversations – ie the voices themselves - are not being routinely recorded, but on the other, it seems from this leak that potentially everyone with a phone is under some form of surveillance in the USA.

For Mr Obama– a president who prided himself on his liberal credentials – this leak is a potentially devastating revelation since it exposes him to attack on two fronts - from both the libertarian Right and the liberal Left.

Already the administration has been hammered over its aggressive prosecution of leakers, including what appeared to be an attempt to criminalise a Fox News journalist, James Rosen, for working a source to obtain a leak from the State Department about North Korea.

That story caused the New York Times – usually a reliable friend of the Obama administration - to write a seething editorial accusing the Department of Justice of over-reaching, and using its powers to send a "chilling" message to the media.

It is not clear how wide the NSA data-mining project goes, it's effectiveness as a counter-terrorism tool in identifying potential terrorist or criminal cells or – indeed – whether it has been used for any other purposes.

It appears from previous reports that the NSA's data-mining operation is not new, and has long been suspected – but this is the first clear-cut proof, in the shape of a highly unusual leak from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Service Court (Fisa), that the practice is occurring.

A report in USA Today newspaper from 2006, quoting anonymous intelligence officials, alleged that the NSA been "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans" and that the agency was using the data to "analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity".

Since September 11 and the passing of the 2001 Patriot Act, the American public has accepted a great deal of inconvenience and intrusion in the name of national security. The publication of this court order will re-open the debate on how far the security services' writ should run.

Politically, the difficulty for Mr Obama is that even if the NSA is actually doing nothing different than it did for George W Bush, the American public – particularly on the liberal left – had believed that Mr Obama's administration represented a fundamental departure from the excesses of the Bush years.

Now, with the continued debate over the use of drones, the failure to close Guantanamo, the ultra-aggressive prosecution of leaks even to the point, perhaps, of muzzling a free press – the questions from the public and the media are starting to weigh down on the Obama White House.

Already last night, within hours of publication, civil liberties groups who have long warned about the extent of secret surveillance, were jumping on the revelations.

"This confirms what we had long suspected," says Cindy Cohn, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil liberties organization that has accused the government of operating a secret dragnet surveillance program told the Washington Post.

"I don't think Congress thought it was authorizing dragnet surveillance" when it passed the Patriot Act, Ms Cohn said, "I don't think Americans think that's OK. I would be shocked if the majority of Congressmen thought it's okay." Over the next few days and weeks, expect a fierce and polarizing debate over just what Americans do feel is acceptable, in the name of their national security.


Related: The NSA Is Building the Country’s Biggest Spy Center (Watch What You Say)


"Collection of phone records is ongoing practice" by Donna Cassata and Matt Apuzzo  |  Associated Press,  June 06, 2013

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government is secretly collecting the telephone records of millions of U.S. customers of Verizon under a top-secret court order, according to the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee. The Obama administration is defending the National Security Agency’s need to collect such records, but critics are calling it a huge over-reach.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., told reporters Thursday that the court order for telephone records, first disclosed by The Guardian newspaper in Britain, was a three-month renewal of an ongoing practice.

And this has been going on HOW LONG?

The records have been collected for some seven years, according to Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

‘‘I think people want the homeland kept safe to the extent we can,’’ Feinstein said at a Capitol Hill news conference. ‘‘We want to protect these privacy rights. That’s why this is carefully done in federal court with federal judges who sit 24/7 who review these requests.’’

This has NOTHING to do with the RAFT of LIES surrounding homeland security, and just wondering why a FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE COURT was used for DOMESTIC SPYING!

The disclosure raised a number of questions: What is the government looking for? Are other big telephone companies under similar orders to turn over information? How is the information used and how long are the records kept?

The sweeping roundup of U.S. phone records has been going on for years and was a key part of the Bush administration’s warrantless surveillance program, according to a U.S. official.

And your point is what? That this is all OKAY?

The White House had no immediate on-the-record comment. Attorney General Eric Holder sidestepped questions about the issue during an appearance before a Senate subcommittee, offering instead to discuss it at a classified session that several senators said they would arrange.

The order was granted by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court on April 25 and is good until July 19, the Guardian reported. It requires Verizon, one of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, on an ‘‘ongoing, daily basis,’’ to give the NSA information on all landline and mobile telephone calls of Verizon Business in its systems, both within the U.S. and between the U.S. and other countries.

And that is protecting us from the "terrorists," huh?

The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration, the communication records of millions of U.S. citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk, regardless of whether the people are suspected of any wrongdoing.


A former U.S. intelligence official who is familiar with the NSA program said that records from all U.S. phone companies would be seized by the government under the warrants, and that they would include business and residential numbers.

Yeah, I thought THAT WAS IMPORTANT, too!

Reaction to the revelation — both pro and con — reflected the vigorous debate in Washington over how best to balance the sometimes-competing goals of protecting the nation from terror attacks while safeguarding the privacy and civil rights of Americans. President Barack Obama, in a recent national security address, said the nation is at a crossroads as it determines how to remain vigilant yet move beyond a post-9/11 mindset focused on global antiterrorism.

Former Vice President Al Gore tweeted that privacy was essential in the digital era.

‘‘Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?’’ wrote Gore, the Democrat who lost the 2000 presidential election to George W. Bush.

It's not just you, Al, and for anyone who reads this blog they know  am no fan of the man.

Vermont’s Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent whose comments were echoed by members of both parties, said: ‘‘To simply say in a blanket way that millions and millions of Americans are going to have their phone records checked by the U.S. government is to my mind indefensible and unacceptable.’’


But Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said he had no problem with the court order and the practice, declaring, ‘‘If we don’t do it, we’re crazy.’’

‘‘If you’re not getting a call from a terrorist organization, you've got nothing to worry about,’’ he said.

That supremely fascist mind-set is sickening! 

Btw, ever hear of a WRONG NUMBER, you f***?!! 

Related: Feds Using AP and IRS Scandals To Limit First Amendment Rights 

I suppose the attitude is not surprising seeing as it is coming from someone who DOES NOT BELIEVE in the FIRST AMENDMENT!

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who ran against Obama for president in 2008, said that if the records sweep was designed to track ‘‘people in the United States who are communicating with members of jihadist terrorist organizations,’’ that might not be a problem. ‘‘But if it was something where we just blanket started finding out who everybody called and under what circumstances, then I think it deserves congressional hearings.’’

Senate Democratic leader Reid played down the significance of the revelation.


‘‘Right now I think that everyone should just calm down and understand that this isn’t anything that’s brand new,’’ he said. ‘‘This is a program that’s been in effect for seven years, as I recall. It’s a program that has worked to prevent not all terrorism but certainly the vast, vast majority. Now is the program perfect? Of course not.’’


The disclosure of the records sweep was just the latest controversy to hit the Obama administration.

The president also is facing questions over the Internal Revenue Service’s improper targeting of conservative groups, the seizure of journalist phone records in an investigation into who leaked information to the media, and the administration’s handling of the terrorist attack in Libya that left four Americans dead.

And there are like three others that the corporate media isn't even mentioning, including one at EPA.

At the very least, the controversies threaten to distract the White House at a pivotal time, when the president wants to tackle big issues like immigration reform and taxes.

Well, TOO BAD! I don't give a SHIT about the president and his political program in the face of this MASSIVE TOTALITARIAN TYRANNY!

At most, the controversies collectively could erode the American people’s trust in him, threatening both to derail his second term agenda and sully his presidential legacy.

Aww, poor Obama! 

Is that SHIT JOURNALISM or what? 

As for the TRUST ISSUE, he has LOST THAT LONG AGO and he will NEVER GET IT BACK!

 Sorry, but I'm sick and tired of being patient while waiting for the "good change" as the BAD CHANGES CONTINUE and CONTINUE and CONTINUE! It is the GOD-DAMN AGENDA being PUSHED FORWARD and NOTHING ELSE!

The court order did not authorize snooping into the content of phone calls.

So we are told by the lying government and its mouthpiece media.

But with millions of phone records in hand, the NSA’s computers can analyze them for patterns, spot unusual behavior and identify what are known in intelligence circles as ‘‘communities of interest’’ — networks of people in contact with targets or suspicious phone numbers overseas.

Once the government has zeroed in on numbers it believes are tied to terrorism or foreign governments, it can go back to the court with a wiretap request. That allows the government to monitor the calls in real time, record them and store them indefinitely. 

I give up on AmeriKa's apologetic pieces of shit.

The court document related to Verizon offers a glimpse into the larger NSA effort. Under the law, the government would need to demand records from each phone company individually. While subpoenas for other phone companies have not been made public, for the data-mining program described by government officials to work, the government would need records for all providers.

‘‘There is no indication that this order to Verizon was unique or novel. It is very likely that business records orders like this exist for every major American telecommunication company, meaning that if you make calls in the United States the NSA has those records. And this has been going on for at least 7 years, and probably longer,’’ wrote Cindy Cohn, general counsel of the nonprofit digital rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, and staff attorney Mark Rumold, in a blog post.

Yes, dear readers, BLOGS are where it is at these days, not pos AmeriKan newspapers.

Jim Harper, a communications and privacy expert at the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute, questioned the effectiveness of using so-called pattern analyses to intercept terrorism. He said that kind of analysis — finding trends in transactional data collected by Verizon — would produce many false positives and give the government access to intricate data about people’s calling habits.

That last part has been the WHOLE POINT of the MASSIVE AMOUNT of LIES since 9/11.

‘‘This is not just entertainment or a sideshow. This is a record of who you called every day this month,’’ he said, urging Congress to require the government to provide ‘‘a full explanation’’ of how this data turns up terrorism plots.

Under Bush, the National Security Agency built a highly classified wiretapping program to monitor emails and phone calls worldwide. The full details of that program remain unknown, but one aspect was to monitor massive numbers of incoming and outgoing U.S. calls to look for suspicious patterns, said an official familiar with the program. That official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss it publicly.

Yes, we knew it was being done by the Bush Administration, and I'm sure I blogged my outrage back then. It GOES ALL the WAY back to BILL CLINTON?!!!!!

After The New York Times revealed the existence of that wiretapping program, the roundup continued under authority granted in the USA Patriot Act, the official said.

So the NYT scoop and exclusive did nothing?

The official did not know if the program was continuous or whether it stopped and restarted at times.

Give me a break. 

The official had not seen the court order released by the Guardian newspaper but said it was consistent with similar authorizations the Justice Department has received.

Verizon spokesman Ed McFadden said Wednesday the company had no comment.

The NSA had no immediate comment.

It's all no comment, no comment, no comment. So much for transparency!

The agency is sensitive to perceptions that it might be spying on Americans.


Like this pos tyranny gives a crap about what we think.

In a brochure it distributes, which includes a DVD for reporters to view video that it provides for public relations purposes, it pledges that the agency ‘‘is unwavering in its respect for U.S. laws and Americans’ civil liberties — and its commitment to accountability,’’ and says, ‘‘Earning the American public’s trust is paramount.’’

Like I said, nothing but a mouthpiece.

Verizon Communications Inc. listed 121 million customers in its first-quarter earnings report this April — 98.9 million wireless customers, 11.7 million residential phone lines and about 10 million commercial lines. The court order didn’t specify which customers’ records were being tracked.

Folks, EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN has been SPIED ON! Once again, the AmeriKan media have shown themselves to be collaborators.

Under the terms of the order, the phone numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as are call time and duration, and unique identifiers. The contents of the conversation itself are not covered, The Guardian said.

So we are told! If you believe that I have some of Saddam's non-existent nuclear weapons to sell you.

A senior administration official, defending the collection of phone records by the government, said, ‘‘On its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the government to listen in on anyone’s telephone calls.’’ The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

This government is HOPELESS, and it is time to WATER the TREE OF LIBERTY, if you know what I mean!

Interviewed separately, the former intelligence official described a system in which the database needed to be kept current so that if intelligence agencies obtained a phone number from a terror suspect overseas, it could immediately be matched against the records on file. Because it is not easy or quick to obtain the records from phone companies, the Obama administration needed to renew the Bush-era program on an ongoing basis to keep it updated, the former official said.

Have you HAD IT with the EXCUSES!!??

It’s not clear how long the records are kept, or if they are destroyed.

Yeah, right. This government never destroys shit; it simply changes the name of the program.

The former official said that since terror suspects frequently change phone numbers to cover their tracks, there is little need for older records.

Congressional intelligence agencies were briefed extensively on the program, and received support from both Republicans and Democrats to continue it, the former official said. ‘‘Some were nervous about it, but there was never any attempt to stop the program,’’ he said. He described it as a White House-led process.

One reason among many as to why I NO LONGER WANT TO BLOG about the Boston Globe or AmeriKa anymore. We need this government to SELF-IMPLODE so we can START OVER FROM SCRATCH! It is BEYOND SAVING NOW!

The broad, unlimited nature of the records being handed over to the NSA is unusual.

Is it? How would we know? Certainly not through the AmeriKan media. 


FISA court orders typically direct the production of records pertaining to a specific named target suspected of being an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or a finite set of individually named targets. NSA warrantless wiretapping during the George W. Bush administration after the 9/11 attacks was very controversial.

The FISA court order, signed by Judge Roger Vinson, compelled Verizon to provide the NSA with electronic copies of ‘‘all call detail records or telephony metadata created by Verizon for communications between the United States and abroad’’ or ‘‘wholly within the United States, including local telephone calls,’’ The Guardian said.

The law on which the order explicitly relies is the ‘‘business records’’ provision of the USA Patriot Act.