Posts tagged DOJ
Posted by Judy Morris
President Rand Paul: Watch out, he’s becoming a better politician every day
Posted by Jerry Titus
The National Security Agency’s Domestic Spying Program
“It took me a few days to work up the nerve to phone William Binney. As someone already a “target” of the United States government, I found it difficult not to worry about the chain of unintended consequences I might unleash by calling Mr. Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency turned whistle-blower. He picked up. I nervously explained I was a documentary filmmaker and wanted to speak to him. To my surprise he replied: “I’m tired of my government harassing me and violating the Constitution. Yes, I’ll talk to you.”
The filmmaker profiles William Binney, a 32-year veteran of the National Security Agency who helped design a top-secret program he says is broadly collecting Americans’ personal data.
By Judy Morris
Secret court won’t object to release of opinion on illegal surveillance
In a rare public ruling by the nation’s most secretive judicial body, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court ruled Wednesday that it did not object to the release of a classified 86-page opinion concluding that some of the U.S. government’s surveillance activities were unconstitutional.
The ruling, signed by the court’s chief judge, Reggie Walton, rejected the Justice Department’s arguments that the secret national security court’s rules prevented disclosure of the opinion. Instead, the court found that because the document was in the possession of the Justice Department, it was subject to release under the Freedom of Information Act.
Privacy advocates who brought the case said Wednesday that the ruling could pave the way for at least the partial release of landmark — but still classified — court rulings that some government surveillance activities violated the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.”
The release of the opinion, they say, may prove central in the current controversy over the scope of National Security Agency surveillance programs.
Read the rest at NBC News, here.
Written by Adam Dick
US Government Spying: Constructing a ‘Turnkey Totalitarian State’?
The Washington Post reports that the ranking minority member of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence seems not too concerned about the United States government collecting information about our phone conversations:
Sen. Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), the top Republican on the Intelligence Committee, said, “This is nothing particularly new…. Every member of the United States Senate has been advised of this.”
He added: “It is simply what we call metadata that is never utilized by any government agency” unless an agency goes to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court judges for further review of the information.
Using section 215 of the PATRIOT Act federal government agencies can require companies to hand over this and other personal information without the government establishing reasonable grounds, much less the constitutionally required probably cause, that the people whose information is sought are engaged in criminal activity.
When section 215 came up for re-authorization in 2011, Sens. Ron Wyden and Mark Udall, also members of the Senate Intelligence Committee with access to classified briefings on the US government’s use and interpretation of section 215 powers, warned that Americans would be concerned about the powers being exercised and promoted unsuccessful efforts to limit the exercise of these powers. Declan McCullagh detailed the senators’ concerns and legislative efforts.
Further, Sen. Chambliss’s suggestion that the FISA court will protect us from government snooping provides little comfort. That court ordered Verizon to hand over millions of individuals’ personal phone records. Indeed, the US Department of Justice reported to Congress that in 2012 the FISA court did not deny any of 1,789 applications for monitoring electronic communications.
National Security Agency whistleblower William Binney reminds us in the Washington Times that US government snooping on the “metadata” and content of vast amounts of email and phone calls has been ongoing for over a decade. For more explanation from Binney about the secret US government spying on our private lives check out James Bamford’s investigative report from last year in Wired that also goes into the details of the multi-year, billions-upon-billions of dollars build-up of facilities, technology, and manpower to spy on our activities on an unprecedented scale. The US government’s snooping has reached the point that Binney gives the following warning in Bamford’s article:
Sitting in a restaurant not far from NSA headquarters, the place where he spent nearly 40 years of his life, Binney held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state,” he says.
Written by Adam Dick
NSA, the secret AT&T spy room, 2 Israeli companies, and loss of American privacy
Boom. Explosive revelations. The NSA is using telecom giants to spy on anybody and everybody, in a program called PRISM.
But the information is not new.
Three books have been written about the super-secret NSA, and James Bamford has written them all.
Bamford explained that, in the 1990s, everything changed for NSA. Previously, they’d been able to intercept electronic communications by using big dishes to capture what was coming down to Earth from telecom satellites.
But with the shift to fiber-optic cables, NSA was shut out. So they devised new methods.
For example, they set up a secret spy room at an AT&T office in San Francisco. NSA installed new equipment that enabled them to tap into the fiber-optic cables and suck up all traffic.
How Bamford describes this, in 2008, tells you exactly where the PRISM program came from:
NSA began making these agreements with AT&T and other companies, and that in order to get access to the actual cables, they had to build these secret rooms in these buildings.
So what would happen would be the communications on the cables would come into the building, and then the cable would go to this thing called a splitter box, which was a box that had something that was similar to a prism, a glass prism.
And the prism was shaped like a prism, and the light signals would come in, and they’d be split by the prism. And one copy of the light signal would go off to where it was supposed to be going in the telecom system, and the other half, this new cloned copy of the cables, would actually go one floor below to NSA’s secret room.
… And in the secret room was equipment by a private company called Narus, the very small company hardly anybody has ever heard of that created the hardware and the software to analyze these cables and then pick out the targets NSA is looking for and then forward the targeted communications onto NSA headquarters.
In James Bamford’s 2008 interview, he mentions two Israeli companies, Narus and Verint, that almost nobody knew about. They played a key role in developing and selling the technology that allowed NSA to deploy its PRISM spying program:
Yeah. There’s two major — or not major, they’re small companies, but they service the two major telecom companies. This company, Narus, which was founded in Israel and has large Israel connections, does the — basically the tapping of the communications on AT&T. And Verizon chose another company, ironically also founded in Israel and largely controlled by and developed by people in Israel called Verint.
So these two companies specialize in what’s known as mass surveillance. Their literature — I read this literature from Verint, for example — is supposed to only go to intelligence agencies and so forth, and it says, ‘We specialize in mass surveillance,’ and that’s what they do.
They put [this] mass surveillance equipment in these facilities. So you have AT&T, for example, that, you know, considers it’s their job to get messages from one person to another, not tapping into messages, and you get the NSA that says, we want, you know, copies of all this. So that’s where these [two Israeli] companies come in. These companies act as the intermediary basically between the telecom companies and the NSA.
AMY GOODMAN: “Now, Jim Bamford, take this a step further, because you say the founder and former CEO of one of these companies [Verint] is now a fugitive from the United States somewhere in Africa?”
JAMES BAMFORD: “…the company that Verizon uses, Verint, the founder of the company, the former head of the company, is now a fugitive in — hiding out in Africa in the country of Namibia, because he’s wanted on a number of felony warrants for fraud and other charges. And then, two other top executives of the company, the general counsel and another top official of the parent company, have also pled guilty to these charges.
“So, you know, you’ve got companies — these [two] companies have foreign connections with potential ties to foreign intelligence agencies, and you have problems of credibility, problems of honesty and all that. And these companies — through these two companies pass probably 80 percent or more of all US communications at one point or another.
“And it’s even — gets even worse in the fact that these companies also supply their equipment all around the world to other countries, to countries that don’t have a lot of respect for individual rights —- Vietnam, China, Libya, other countries like that. And so, these countries use this equipment to filter out dissident communications and people trying to protest the government. It gives them the ability to eavesdrop on communications and monitor dissident email communications. And as a result of that, people are put in jail, and so forth…”
AMY GOODMAN: “And despite all of this…these telecom companies still have access to the most private communications of people all over America and actually, it ends up, around the world. And at the beginning of the summer , the Democrats and Republicans joined together in granting retroactive immunity to these companies for spying on American citizens.”
The fugitive CEO of Verint, whom Bamford mentions, is Jacob “Kobi” Alexander. In 2006, the US Dept. of Justice charged him with conspiring to commit securities and wire and mail fraud. The SEC weighed in and filed similar civil charges.
Alexander fled to Namibia, where he finally settled with the SEC for $46 million. The DOJ criminal complaint, as far as I can tell, still stands. Alexander continues to fight against extradition to the US.
The EyeOpener Report- The AP Spying Story: What You Aren’t Being Told
In recent weeks we have been told to focus on a series of scandals which, we are told, are rocking the Obama Administration. Has the media finally found outrage over the Obama regime’s use of drone strikes to kill scores of innocent women and children in countries that are not even at war with the United States? Or the DOJ’s recent admission that the strikes had indeed killed American citizens? Or John Kerry’s recent attempts to once again lead the American public into supporting military intervention in the Middle East based on provably false claims of WMD?
Of course not. No, the media’s sudden discovery of outrage is directed at an entirely different scandal: the fact that reporters have now allegedly found themselves in the government’s crosshairs.
Find out more about the real scandal behind the AP spying story in this week’s edition of The Boiling Frogs Post EyeOpener Report.
Watch the Full Video Report Here:
TRANSCRIPT AND SOURCES: http://www.corbettreport.com/?p=7416
This is Chuck Todd, NBC’s political news director saying this.
Posted by TheYoungTurks
“Conspiracy theorists of the world, believers in the hidden hands of the Rothschilds and the Masons and the Illuminati, we skeptics owe you an apology. You were right. The players may be a little different, but your basic premise is correct: The world is a rigged game. We found this out in recent months, when a series of related corruption stories spilled out of the financial sector, suggesting the world’s largest banks may be fixing the prices of, well, just about everything.”*
The Libor bank scandal has nothing on the newest interest rate swap manipulation scheme where bankers are going completely unchecked. This is a $379 trillion market– why are bankers allowed to manipulate it without restraint? Cenk Uygur breaks it down.
Yes, a major bank scheme, yes, the game is rigged, and this bank scheme is only one of many.
The U.S. Government has just submitted its objections to Megaupload’s motion to dismiss the case against the company. Megaupload’s lawyers have pointed out that the Department of Justice is trying to change the law to legitimize the destruction of Megaupload. However, the Government refutes this assertion and asks the court to deny Megaupload’s motion, fearing that otherwise the entire case may fall apart.
Several months ago Megaupload filed a request to dismiss the indictment against it, until the U.S. Government finds a way to properly serve the company.
Megaupload based its request on “Rule 4” of criminal procedure, which requires the authorities to serve a company at an address in the United States. However, since Megaupload is a Hong Kong company, this was and is impossible.
The defense argued that the court can only protect Megaupload’s due process rights by dismissing the case. However, the Government disagreed and asked the court to deny Megaupload’s motion. Among other things the Government claimed that federal rules shouldn’t be interpreted so narrowly.
Two weeks ago Megaupload renewed its request and the defunct file-hosting company noted that the Government was trying to change the law in its favor. The lawyers cited a letter to the Advisory Committee on the Criminal Rules where the DoJ made suggestions that would directly influence the Megaupload case.
Among other things the letter suggested an amendment to the law so that it would no longer be a requirement to serve a foreign company in the United States. Megaupload’s lawyers used the letter to point out to the court that the Government knew very well that it was not playing by the rules.
This week the U.S. Government replied to the motion, stating that Megaupload misrepresents the facts.
The Government explains that the DoJ’s letter begins with “a bedrock principle of criminal law, one that applies equally to both organizations and natural persons,” citing the following passage:
“When a person located abroad violates the laws of the United States, that person may be held criminally liable despite the fact that the person has never set foot in the United States.”
In other words, every person and company in the world should comply with U.S. law.