Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Archive for July 6th, 2013

NSA leaks

Posted by Charles II on July 6, 2013

Greenwald: NSA engaged in mass surveillance of Brazil. An as-yet-unidentified US telecomm company [Charles: which I would bet is AT&T] is partnering with the NSA and, in turn, with foreign telecomms.

Jonathan Watts, The Guardian: Snowden’s potential locations for asylum are expanding. Venezuela, Nicaragua, and Bolivia have extended offers. I’d like to see Brazil join that list, and would bet that Greenwald’s exposure of the Brazilian wiretapping is directed toward that end.

Ireland says that it would not deport Snowden while his application for refugee status is under review, should he land at Shannon. It’s not iron-clad, but it does represent yet another crack in the Empire’s sword.

Spencer Ackerman, The Guardian, calls out congressmen who equate Snowden’s releases with those of actual spies:

The Twitter account of Representative Mike Rogers (Republican, Michigan), the chairman of the House intelligence committee, on 18 June placed Snowden and accused WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning in the same company as Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, two infamous CIA and FBI double-agents. (The tweet appears to have been deleted.)

Never to be outdone, Peter King, a New York Republican and former chair of the House homeland security committee, proclaimed Snowden a “defector” on 10 June. Days later, Snowden left Hong Kong to seek asylum in an undetermined country – a curious move for a defector to make.

Armando Tejada, Jornada, says that Spain is refusing to apologize to Bolivia and telling them to simmer down. The Spaniards are denying that their airspace was closed. They said that they went to the airplane to search it, but accepted Morales’ assurances that Snowden was not on board. And they claim to have a letter from the Bolivians thanking them. The Bolivians are asking Spain for measures against the Spanish ambassador in Vienna, who asked to have coffee aboard the plane as a pretext for searching for Snowden.

Ian Traynor, The Guardian:

Britain has blocked the first crucial talks on intelligence and espionage between European officials and their American counterparts since the NSA surveillance scandal erupted.

The talks, due to begin in Washington on Monday, will now be restricted to issues of data privacy and the NSA’s Prism programme following a tense 24 hours of negotiations in Brussels between national EU ambassadors.

The BBC finally mentioned the bugging of the Ecuadorian embassy. It is not known whether this bug is in any way connected to the US.

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Posted in NSA eavesdropping, wiretapping | 1 Comment »

Reclaiming Our LIBERT-E

Posted by Phoenix Woman on July 6, 2013

John Conyers and Justin Amash have a message for us all:

On July 4th our thoughts turn towards our Nation’s proud history, and the hard fought rights and freedoms that we all enjoy. This Independence Day we honor those traditions, yet in the wake of the reported twin controversies surrounding the National Security Agency’s mass Internet and telecommunications surveillance, we must take a step back to question whether our security programs have gone too far. In combating the seemingly endless “War on Terror,” have we traded away too many of our fundamental rights – to privacy and due process amongst others – to enable a sprawling surveillance state?

Regrettably, my Republican colleague Justin Amash and I believe that we have reached this tipping point. And without Congressional action, it may be too late to turn the tide against the federal government’s encroachment on our civil liberties.

It is for these reasons that we have introduced H.R. 2399, the “Limiting Internet and Blanket Electronic Review of Telecommunications and Email Act,” or the LIBERT-E Act for short.

The intent of this legislation is twofold: to shine needed light on the secretive processes by which the federal government is able to snoop on American citizens, and to raise the standard for any federal agency engaging in surveillance activities to prevent the mass collection of private information. These two main components of the LIBERT-E Act reform both the PATRIOT Act and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendments (FISA) Act.

More can be found here, here and here.

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