In Part one of my piece, I attempted to explain the nature and scope of the US Warrantless Wiretap Program and the growing Surveillance Regime being built in this country. In Part 2, I will compare and contrast the growth and structure of the aforementioned Surveillance Regimes with other countries’ corresponding Systems of surveillance and control. I will also spotlight the International Surveillance Industry and its efforts to market its products by offering this technology to governmental power centers around the world.
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Richard “Ishmael” Scott, a writer at Sibel Edmonds website Boiling Frogs Post.Ishmael acquired his moniker hunting submarines for six years as a Destroyer Sonarman and specialist on Anti-Submarine and Anti-Surface Warfare. As a member of Nuclear Weapons Handling Teams, he participated in Nuclear Weapons Acceptance Inspections, Nuclear Technical Proficiency Inspections and Technical Surprise Inspections. He then spent thirty years in the belly of the Telecommunications beast as a technician specializing in all phases of Broadband Carrier Network Operations for A.T. &T., Qwest, Level3, Allegiance and others. He was personally responsible for keeping A.T. &T.’s long distance service working out of San Francisco in the immediate aftermath of the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake disaster. H[is] research for Boiling Frog Post focuses on telecommunications privacy and nuclear weapons issues. We will discuss his article “An Analysis of Warrantless Wiretapping-Part I“
So the questions I have are this. 1. Why is such an overarching, intrusive, draconian wiretap program necessary? 2. What mechanisms are there in place to prevent government-sourced private information from being shared with corporate entities? 3. Is the NSA positioning itself to take control of all telecommunications in the event of a national emergency?” 4. What national emergency might provide a trigger mechanism for the assumption of such control?”
Definition of Terms & Analysis of Klein’s Affidavit
This piece will attempt to analyze the US Government’s Warrantless Wiretap Program utilizing open source information including A.T.&T. Whistleblower Mark Klein’s EFF affidavit, podcasts by James Bamford and Russell Tice available on this site, and comparisons with similar surveillance networks currently in use in Great Britain and China. The rise of the Internet and the World Wide Web in the past thirty years has been touted as a mechanism of information freedom and open societies, a global clearinghouse for political and personal empowerment and a panacea against the forces of repression and censorship. What I will attempt to show in this piece is how those lofty goals remain largely unrealized and how governments, under the guise of “security” are, in fact, using the Internet as a new, overarching and suffocating surveillance state to monitor, compile and track the personal and private lives of virtually everyone who uses modern telecommunications in any form. I will attempt to demonstrate that, because of the erection of this surveillance regime, privacy of communications is essentially dead. I will also attempt to show how information gathered under this program can be used to populate private corporation databases and affect the general populace through credit reports, employment opportunities and the convergence of private and government databases.
President Barack Obama instructed Justice Department attorneys to argue last week in San Francisco before Federal District Judge Vaughn Walker, that he must toss out the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Shubert v. Bush lawsuit challenging the secret state’s driftnet surveillance of Americans’ electronic communications.
This latest move by the administration follows a pattern replicated countless times by Obama since assuming the presidency in January: denounce the lawless behavior of his Oval Office predecessor while continuing, even expanding, the reach of unaccountable security agencies that subvert constitutional guarantees barring “unreasonable searches and seizures.” EFF senior staff attorney Kevin Bankston wrote:
The Central Intelligence Agency withheld information about a secret counterterrorism program from Congress for eight years on direct orders from former Vice President Dick Cheney, the agency’s director, Leon E. Panetta, has told the Senate and House intelligence committees, two people with direct knowledge of the matter said Saturday.
The disclosure about Mr. Cheney’s role in the unidentified C.I.A. program comes a day after an inspector general’s report underscored the central role of the former vice president’s office in restricting to a small circle of officials knowledge of the National Security Agency’s program of eavesdropping without warrants, a degree of secrecy that the report concluded had hurt the effectiveness of the counterterrorism surveillance effort.
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Report Also Indicates White House Politicized “Threat Assessments” That Provided Foundation For Illegal Program
A report released today by several government agencies’ Inspectors General concludes that little, if any, useful information was collected by the Bush administration’s warrantless wiretapping program and the National Intelligence Agency (NSA). The report also indicates that the Bush White House politicized the “threat assessments” that it then relied upon as a foundation for the illegal program. Detailed findings of the report are listed below.
The report was mandated by the 2008 FISA Amendments Act (FAA) that effectively legalized the unlawful warrantless surveillance program approved by President Bush in late 2001. The FAA also gave the government new spying powers, including the power to conduct dragnet surveillance of Americans’ international communications. News reports have since indicated that the NSA has exceeded the already overbroad limits granted to it under the FAA.
Jeff Stein, Spy Talk columnist for Congressional Quarterly, discusses his breaking news story about the alleged NSA wiretap recording of Rep. Jane Harmon agreeing to intervene on behalf of two AIPAC employees accused of espionage in exchange for help getting appointed chair of the House Intelligence Committee and why then-Attorney General Gonzales intervened to close the case before it could really begin.
Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.
Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.
In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.
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Justice Department Moves to Squash NSA Spying Suits
Since fatuously declaring his to be a “change” administration, President Barack Obama has quickly donned the blood-spattered mantle of state secrecy and executive privilege worn by the Bush regime.
On Friday April 3, the Department of Justice filed a motion to dismiss one of the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) landmark lawsuits against illegal spying by the National Security Agency (NSA).
That suit, Jewell v. NSA, was filed last September against the NSA, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard Cheney, U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey and Mike McConnell, Director of National Intelligence. But with the departure of the Bush gang, the defendants now include President Barack Obama, NSA Director Keith B. Alexander, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Dennis C. Blair, Director of National Intelligence.
By David Kravets
January 22, 2009 | 4:32:47 PM
Spy The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.
In a filing in San Francisco federal court, President Barack Obama adopted the same position as his predecessor. With just hours left in office, President George W. Bush late Monday asked U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker to stay enforcement of an important Jan. 5 ruling admitting key evidence into the case.