Posts tagged spying
WHICH INTERNET COMPANY HASN’T GIVEN THE U.S. GOVERNMENT ITS RECORDS?
NEW YORK: Outraged Internet users searching for an alternative to the privacy-busting companies they’d trusted are turning to a company that provides what it calls, “the world’s most private search engines.”
StartPage and its sister search engine Ixquick were launched in 2006 to staunchly defend their users’ privacy and civil liberties. StartPage provides a private portal to Google results, while Ixquick provides private results from other search engines.
The services have not participated in PRISM, nor have they ever provided user data to the U.S. government or to any other government or agency in the U.S. or anywhere in the world.
That is more than nine of the biggest Internet companies — Apple, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Facebook, YouTube, PalTalk, AOL and Skype — can say.
“The Privacy of our users rests on three important foundations,” explains StartPage and Ixquick CEO Robert Beens. “We are based in the Netherlands, we use encrypted connections, and — most importantly — we don’t store or share any of our users’ personal search data.”
- No User Data Stored: StartPage and Ixquick never store user data, including IP addresses and search queries, so government agencies have no incentive to ask for these. This privacy is so complete; the company doesn’t even know who its customers are, so it can’t share anything with Big Brother.
- Encrypted (HTTPS) Connections: StartPage and Ixquick were the first search engines to use automatic encryption on all connections to prevent snooping. When searches are encrypted, third parties like ISP’s and the NSA can’t avesdrop on Internet connections to see what people are searching for.
- Not Under U.S. Jurisdiction: StartPage and Ixquick are based in the Netherlands, so they are not directly subject to U.S. regulations, warrants, or court orders. They can’t be forced to participate in spying programs like PRISM. The company has never turned over a single bit of user data to any government entity in the 14 years it has been in business, which is not surprising since there is no data in the first place.
StartPage and Ixquick are also the only search engines whose privacy practices have been independently verified and third-party certified through the European Union’s Privacy Seal program.
“Unfortunately, it takes a scandal like PRISM to wake people up to the erosion of privacy”, says Harvard-trained privacy expert Dr. Katherine Albrecht, who helped develop StartPage. “As people get fed up with being spied on, they look for alternatives. We already serve nearly 3 million private searches each day, and we expect that number to grow as people seek shelter from search engines that store and share their private information.”
The company will expand its privacy services this summer with the addition of a new private email product called StartMail. StartMail will offer a paid, private email platform with strong encryption. Anyone interested in beta testing the program on its release can sign up at www.StartMail.com
My choice since mid 2009, thanks to Katherine Albrecht.
Posted by Judy Morris
The American intelligence director and the White House have finally confirmed what insiders have long known: The Obama administration is spying on the entire world. Politicians in Germany are demanding answers.
South of Utah’s Great Salt Lake, the National Security Agency (NSA), a United States foreign intelligence service, keeps watch over one of its most expensive secrets. Here, on 100,000 square meters (1,100,000 square feet) near the US military’s Camp Williams, the NSA is constructing enormous buildings to house superfast computers. All together, the project will cost around $2 billion (€1.5 billion) and the computers will be capable of storing a gigantic volume of data, at least 5 billion gigabytes. The energy needed to power the cooling system for the servers alone will cost $40 million a year.
Read the rest at Spiegel Online, here.
27 Edward Snowden Quotes About U.S. Government Spying That Should Send A Chill Up Your Spine
Would you be willing to give up what Edward Snowden has given up? He has given up his high paying job, his home, his girlfriend, his family, his future and his freedom just to expose the monolithic spy machinery that the U.S. government has been secretly building to the world. He says that he does not want to live in a world where there isn’t any privacy. He says that he does not want to live in a world where everything that he says and does is recorded. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that the U.S. government has been spying on us to a degree that most people would have never even dared to imagine.
Up until now, the general public has known very little about the U.S. government spy grid that knows almost everything about us. But making this information public is going to cost Edward Snowden everything. Essentially, his previous life is now totally over. And if the U.S. government gets their hands on him, he will be very fortunate if he only has to spend the next several decades rotting in some horrible prison somewhere. There is a reason why government whistleblowers are so rare. And most Americans are so apathetic that they wouldn’t even give up watching their favorite television show for a single evening to do something good for society. Most Americans never even try to make a difference because they do not believe that it will benefit them personally. Meanwhile, our society continues to fall apart all around us. Hopefully the great sacrifice that Edward Snowden has made will not be in vain. Hopefully people will carefully consider what he has tried to share with the world. The following are 27 quotes from Edward Snowden about U.S. government spying that should send a chill up your spine…
#1 “The majority of people in developed countries spend at least some time interacting with the Internet, and Governments are abusing that necessity in secret to extend their powers beyond what is necessary and appropriate.”
#2 “…I believe that at this point in history, the greatest danger to our freedom and way of life comes from the reasonable fear of omniscient State powers kept in check by nothing more than policy documents.”
#3 “The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to.”
#4 “…I can’t in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they’re secretly building.”
#5 “The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything.”
#6 “With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting. If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.”
#7 “Any analyst at any time can target anyone. Any selector, anywhere… I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President…”
#8 “To do that, the NSA specifically targets the communications of everyone. It ingests them by default. It collects them in its system and it filters them and it analyzes them and it measures them and it stores them for periods of time simply because that’s the easiest, most efficient and most valuable way to achieve these ends. So while they may be intending to target someone associated with a foreign government, or someone that they suspect of terrorism, they are collecting YOUR communications to do so.”
#9 “I believe that when [senator Ron] Wyden and [senator Mark] Udall asked about the scale of this, they [the NSA] said it did not have the tools to provide an answer. We do have the tools and I have maps showing where people have been scrutinized most. We collect more digital communications from America than we do from the Russians.”
#10 “…they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behavior in the world known to them.”
#11 “Even if you’re not doing anything wrong, you’re being watched and recorded. …it’s getting to the point where you don’t have to have done anything wrong, you simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call, and then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with, and attack you on that basis, to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life.”
#12 “Allowing the U.S. government to intimidate its people with threats of retaliation for revealing wrongdoing is contrary to the public interest.”
#13 “Everyone everywhere now understands how bad things have gotten — and they’re talking about it. They have the power to decide for themselves whether they are willing to sacrifice their privacy to the surveillance state.”
#14 “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”
#15 “I don’t want to live in a world where there’s no privacy, and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity.”
#16 “I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong.”
#17 “I had been looking for leaders, but I realized that leadership is about being the first to act.”
#18 “There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich.”
#19 “The great fear that I have regarding the outcome for America of these disclosures is that nothing will change. [People] won’t be willing to take the risks necessary to stand up and fight to change things… And in the months ahead, the years ahead, it’s only going to get worse. [The NSA will] say that… because of the crisis, the dangers that we face in the world, some new and unpredicted threat, we need more authority, we need more power, and there will be nothing the people can do at that point to oppose it. And it will be turnkey tyranny.”
#20 “I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant.”
#21 “You can’t come up against the world’s most powerful intelligence agencies and not accept the risk.”
#22 “I know the media likes to personalize political debates, and I know the government will demonize me.”
#23 “We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be.”
#24 “I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions, and that the return of this information to the public marks my end.”
#25 “There’s no saving me.”
#26 “The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won’t be able to help any more. That’s what keeps me up at night.”
#27 “I do not expect to see home again.”
Would you make the same choice that Edward Snowden made? Most Americans would not. One CNN reporter says that he really admires Snowden because he has tried to get insiders to come forward with details about government spying for years, but none of them were ever willing to…
As a digital technology writer, I have had more than one former student and colleague tell me about digital switchers they have serviced through which calls and data are diverted to government servers or the big data algorithms they’ve written to be used on our e-mails by intelligence agencies. I always begged them to write about it or to let me do so while protecting their identities. They refused to come forward and believed my efforts to shield them would be futile. “I don’t want to lose my security clearance. Or my freedom,” one told me.
And if the U.S. government has anything to say about it, Snowden is most definitely going to pay for what he has done. In fact, according to the Daily Beast, a directorate known as “the Q Group” is already hunting Snowden down…
The people who began chasing Snowden work for the Associate Directorate for Security and Counterintelligence, according to former U.S. intelligence officers who spoke on condition of anonymity. The directorate, sometimes known as “the Q Group,” is continuing to track Snowden now that he’s outed himself as The Guardian’s source, according to the intelligence officers.
If Snowden is not already under the protection of some foreign government (such as China), it will just be a matter of time before U.S. government agents get him.
And how will they treat him once they find him? Well, one reporter overheard a group of U.S. intelligence officials talking about how Edward Snowden should be “disappeared”. The following is from a Daily Mail article that was posted on Monday…
A group of intelligence officials were overheard yesterday discussing how the National Security Agency worker who leaked sensitive documents to a reporter last week should be ‘disappeared.’
Foreign policy analyst and editor at large of The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, tweeted about the ‘disturbing’ conversation after listening in to four men who were sitting near him as he waited for a flight at Washington’s Dulles airport.
‘In Dulles UAL lounge listening to 4 US intel officials saying loudly leaker & reporter on #NSA stuff should be disappeared recorded a bit,’ he tweeted at 8:42 a.m. on Saturday.
According to Clemons, the men had been attending an event hosted by the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
As an American, I am deeply disturbed that the U.S. government is embarrassing itself in front of the rest of the world like this.
The fact that we are collecting trillions of pieces of information on people all over the planet is a massive embarrassment and the fact that our politicians are defending this practice now that it has been exposed is a massive embarrassment.
If the U.S. government continues to act like a Big Brother police state, then the rest of the world will eventually conclude that is exactly what we are. At that point we become the “bad guy” and we lose all credibility with the rest of the planet.
NSA Spying on Americans Now Explained and Justified (Well, almost)
As most Americans are taking in the deluge of stories regarding the NSA wiretapping, spying and data mining through all the major internet and phone providers plus the social media organizations, one must think that George Orwell was right, just 30 or so years off on his pick for the title for his novel 1984, as was predicted. Although it would appear many in government consider this book a very useful training manual, that is not the case. In fact, it should have been a warning to the citizens, but they seemed to have missed this point while religiously worshiping such mind opening sagas as Dancing With The Stars and a slew of reality shows.
This afternoon I read a post that shed light regarding the spying inside America on Americans, and I now see how this action may truly be used against the war on terror as we have been told time and again.
This post by Weasel Zippers of an interview on NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper opened my eyes. I now have a better understanding of the true “War on Terror” that the internal spying is all about.
As posted by Weasel Zippers:
NBC: “Why Do You Need Every Telephone Number?” – DNI Chief Clapper: “Well, You Have To Start Someplace”…
Really? — That’s where you need to start?
JUNE 9, 2013 — NBC News Chief Foreign Affairs Correspondent Andrea Mitchell sat down with Director of National Intelligence James Clapper yesterday for an exclusive wide-ranging interview to discuss recent revelations about government surveillance programs and the impact of leaks on national security. [...]
ANDREA MITCHELL: Why do you need every telephone number? Why is it such a broad vacuum cleaner approach?
JAMES CLAPPER: Well, you have to start someplace. If– and over the years that this program has operated, we have refined it and tried to– to make it ever more precise and more disciplined as to which– which things we take out of the library. But you have to be in the– in the– in the chamber in order to be able to pick and choose those things that we need in the interest of protecting the country and gleaning information on terrorists who are plotting to kill Americans, to destroy our economy, and destroy our way of life.
HT: Justin Brookman
Now I understand, and hope you do also. We agree, I hope, that the government’s two main jobs should be to protect the freedom and liberty of it’s people and protect the people’s property and way of life from undue and unwanted influence. Still not sure? Let us look at this justification for government surveillance, as mentioned in the interview, one point at a time.
Actions of terrorist that the surveillance is in place for:
- Plotting to kill Americans, we should all agree, no matter where it comes from, such as drone strikes or even FBI plots foiled by the FBI .
- To destroy our economy, I think we all agree, so surveillance on the Federal Reserve banks are justified.
- Destroy our way of life, which I think we will also agree, so surveillance on the TSA is also justified.
Now, I do not agree on the spying, data mining, surveillance and intrusion taking place on all Americans old enough to walk and talk, but I can now understand that there is truly a need for NSA surveillance inside our shores, not even going to bring up the State Department or indiscretions in the past. Cheering on and fully supporting the NSA mission as it eliminates the drone warfare and any possibility of use on Americans, ends the FED with the BIS control and abolishes the TSA! What is next for the NSA? I might suggest expanding the targets that destroy our way of life, such as the IRS :) After that we can toast a cheer, say a legitimate “Mission Accomplished” and move on to the rest of the list, such as possibly the EPA, Department of Education, and stopping China from taking over our communities one at a time. Just a thought. Perhaps it all about the good will? Actually, the “good will” link explains it best in my opinion, along with the need for some parody during these Stasi times we find ourselves in.
Your thoughts? Feel free to enter them below.
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
Posted by Lew Rockwell
Ron Paul: the 4th Amendment Has Been Wiped Off the Books
Start at 3:54 for Ron Paul. Thanks to Travis Holte.
From the Youtube post:
Ron Paul on Anderson Cooper 360 discussing the US government spying on internet and Verizon users.
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
UK officials plan to monitor Britons’ online activities by placing surveillance devices on the country’s telecom networks, a Parliamentary report says. The program would keep tabs on which websites were visited as well as who contacted whom.
On Tuesday the British Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee published the report outlining a massive, national surveillance program based in the country’s very electronic infrastructure. The report does not specify the number of so-called “probes” to be installed across Britain’s telecommunications networks, but says it would be part of a regime stockpiling information on nearly every move Britons make online.
“It’s been in the media and on the table of the government since last April and it’s been receiving quite a lot of attention, as you can imagine the people in Great Britain don’t like the thought of the government collecting all of their communications in this way. From their point of view, it goes against the very basis of the democratic institution that is our parliament in Britain,” deputy director of Big Brother Watch, Emma Carr, told RT.
The new program will go beyond just keeping tabs on the Brits. If anyone abroad communicates online with someone in the UK then it will allow surveillance of their personal information as well, stretching the program’s geographical reach.
The government says the installation of the probes will be critical in the online fight against terrorism and other crime, and that the content of emails or Skype calls would not necessarily be collected. Instead, they say, the program would keep track of so-called “outside the envelope” information – such as a message’s origin and recipient. An email’s contents would be accessible with a court order, though time and date of sending and receipt would be available with the authorization of a senior law enforcement or intelligence officer.
Which online services the probes would monitor were not identified in the report. However, Facebook, Twitter, Hotmail, and Google Chat are all widely used in the UK and are mentioned in other sections of the report.
However, people use encryption more and more during communicating with others on the web. It could significantly complicate the life of those, who will be trying to keep track of every word sent or received vie internet, believes Carr.
“One of the things, that came out of the evidence when was being gathered for this bill is that encryption is a very widely used tool by people who communicate via internet. And actually that’s going to make the kind of inspection of the communications that we have very difficult for the government and the internet service providers, who are going to be asked to gather all of this information,” she added.
The report said the surveillance regime would function on deep packet inspection, a monitoring method that lets an individual who intercepts data to search its contents. Though the project is still in draft form, the committee generally rejected critics’ claims that it would constitute an oppressive domestic spying program, saying that without such new security measures, rapidly developing technologies would soon “have a serious impact on the intelligence and security agencies.”
“Under current European data retention laws, deep packet inspection is not only legal, but also widely used by the private sector,” the report notes. “Whilst legislation is not a perfect solution,” it states elsewhere, “we believe it is the best available option.”
Likening the new surveillance program to an Orwellian vision of the future, investigative journalist Tony Gosling told RT that the UK should “protect the people from this Big Brother state” rather than shutting them in an “electronic cage.”
“There is great commercial pressure for this intrusion since much of this information can be sold quietly to rich corporations and commercial concerns. This is something the public cannot compete with, this lobbying power backed by commercial interests,” noted Gosling. He went on to say that this dark side to big business that “leads to a dictatorial fascist system similar to that in Nazi Germany.”
In the future, if the changes are implemented Gosling concluded that “people will think twice before emailing Orwellian Britain” and speculated that there could be a boost to the old-fashioned postal services.
By Steve Watson
Activists warn public is being categorized as “low-grade enemy”
Legislation to stave off the use of drones by law enforcement and government agencies in Virginia has advanced in the State Senate, as well as the House, bringing closer a two-year moratorium on the unmanned craft.
A House panel approved sending their version of the bill, HB2012 sponsored by Del. Benjamin L. Cline, to the floor by a 9-4 vote, while the Senate Courts of Justice, also endorsed the legislation Monday.
While the House bill advocates a blanket ban on the use of drones, the Senate version has an exception where missing person searches are concerned.
Delegate Todd Gilbert, who sponsored a similar drone bill last year said that strict limitations should be imposed upon the use of drones, including requiring search warrants for surveillance or collecting evidence for criminal investigations.
Claire Guthrie Gastañaga, executive director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Virginia noted that “All of us are about to sacrifice our privacy to this new technology.”
“The Fourth Amendment should be the floor to protect our privacy, not the ceiling.” Gastañaga added.
At the House hearing, law enforcement groups argued that warrants may not be able to be obtained in time to use the technology effectively. Russell County Sheriff’s Office said it had already purchased two drones, and argued against the introduction of stipulations.
Last year, Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell described warrantless drones as “great”, citing “battlefield successes”.
“If you’re keeping police officers safe, making it more productive and saving money… it’s absolutely the right thing to do.” McDonnell said on the deployment of drones in the State.
Residents seem to disagree, particularly in Charlottesville, where the City Council is considering making the city a no-drone zone.
Over the weekend, anti-drone activists led by resident David Swanson, held a rally, complete with a giant model of a drone, to educate more people on the matter and pressure the Council to act.
“They can put drones outside our windows, drones can listen in on our phone calls, drones can spy on us in ways that will be far too tempting to any police department and they’re already openly saying that’s what they need it for,” Swanson said.
“We have police departments across the country picking up the use of drones with tear gas, with rubber bullets to control crowds,” he added. “We don’t think we need to be controlled, we think such police departments need to be controlled.”
Swanson added that the way the military uses drones overseas is a core reason to prohibit their use domestically.
“A government that would target and kill an American abroad would target and kill an American at home,” Swanson said, adding that “There’s this trend toward looking at the public as sort of a low-grade enemy.”
The anti-drone resolution will be debated at a City Council meeting tonight at 7p.m.
A new Congressional Research Service report published last week warned that drones could be used for stalking, voyeurism, and laws need to be amended to protect the rights of citizens.
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.
If the growing use of governmental tip-toeing to wiretap phone lines and emails doesn’t seem serious, think again. So heightened lately are concerns over surveillance that two major organizations have published a primer on federal spy programs.
Both ProPublica and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have released thorough guides this week that explore what the US government can and can’t do in terms of tracking US citizens using an array of weirdly-worded wiretap laws currently on the books.
The EFF, a long-time opponent of the expanding evasive spy state, published on Thursday a collection of information they’re considering “Warrantless Surveillance 101: Introducing EFF’s New NSA Domestic Spying Guide.” Just two days earlier, the independent journalism project ProPublica released their own breakdown, “No Warrant, No Problem: How The Government Can Still Get Your Digital Data.”