mfioretti: control* + prism*

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  1. When NSA seizes, in bulk, data belonging to U.S. citizens or residents, data that inevitably includes information from innocent people that the government does not have probable cause to investigate, the agency has already committed an unconstitutional “unreasonable seizure,” even if analysts never query the data about innocent U.S. persons.

    The NSA has legal justifications for all their surveillance: Section 215 of the Patriot Act, now expired, was used to justify bulk collection of phone and email metadata. Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) is currently used to justify so-called “upstream” collection, tapping the physical infrastructure that the Internet uses to route traffic across the country and around the world in order to import into systems like XKEYSCORE. Executive Order 12333, approved by President Reagan, outlines vague rules, which are littered with exceptions and loopholes, that the executive branch made for itself to follow regarding spying on Americans, which includes USSID 18.

    But these laws and regulations ignore the uncomfortable truth that the Fourth Amendment requires surveillance of Americans to be targeted; it cannot be done in bulk. Americans are fighting to end bulk surveillance in dozens of lawsuits, including Jewel v. NSA, which relies on whistleblower-obtained evidence that NSA tapped the fiber optic cables that carry Internet traffic in AT&T’s Folsom Street building in San Francisco. It’s easy for the government to stall cases like this, or get them dismissed, by insisting that talking about it at all puts our national security at risk.

    And, of course, let’s not forget the 6.8 billion people on Earth who are not in the United States. Article 12 of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights states:
    https://theintercept.com/2015/07/09/s...ers-magnitude-invasive-phone-metadata
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  2. Have you guys heard of The Next Five Billion? Yeah? They’re really excited about this in Silicon Valley. The Next Five Billion are these poor souls in parts of the world where they can’t connect to the internet; they don’t have the resources, and there’s nobody locally who could fix this problem of course, so the white man has to bring the fire, right? With things like balloons with Google Loon, or Internet.org which is already working, where they’re giving free internet, but it’s not the full internet; it’s only Facebook and a few other services.

    So in the future, there might be a whole nation whose notion of the internet is something you sign into with your Google username or password, or your Facebook username and password, and that’s quite a bleak future to look forward to. And it’s also what I call digital imperialism. It is a new form of colonialism.

    So that’s data about you. But there’s more data in the world, right? And Google needs that data as well, so how do they get it? They’ve got satellites of course, they’ve got maps; beautiful Google Street View. Who’s seen the Google Street View Car here? Who’s done something funny while it was going by? Yeah. But there’s some places they can’t go with a car and they need the data. So there’s the Google Street View Trike for places you can’t go with a car but you need the data, right? And if you can’t go there with a trike, there’s the Google Street View Snowmobile. You can use that. And if you can’t go there with a snowmobile, maybe it’s indoors, there’s the Google Street View Trolley for that. And if you can’t go there with a trolley but you need the data, there is the Google Street View Backpack. And I saw this the other day; I shit you not!

    Now. Do you kinda get the feeling they need the data? Do you? Talk about Apple; they’ve got a different business model my friend; they sell products. They don’t sell your data, but we can talk about them. They’re not great; they’re closed, but they are a very different company. So that’s why I’m not talking about Apple, but thank you for bringing it up.

    So, what is the end-game? What are we trying to do? What does all of this combine into? Data about the world, data about all of us. What do we get if we combine all of that? Well we get what I would call the Camera Panopticon. And you might say Aral, OK, so they’re building this Camera Panopticon that knows everything about the world and everything about us. And that’s probably a useful tool for manipulating behaviour, for even, depending on how good your lens is, in predicting the future and creating it. But at least they don’t share it with governments, right? Well, wrong, of course. Since 9/11 things have changed. In the US, they’ve formed this, the Information Awareness Office, with the publicly stated goal of attaining total information awareness, knowing everything about everyone and everything. Now, if you’re going to do that, this was their real logo. Don’t make this your logo! Really! People get scared with a pyramid with an all-seeing eye shooting laser beams at the world. So, people got scared, and they were like, we were kidding, we’re just going to shut it down, right? That was a joke, ha-ha!

    And of course, they didn’t shut it down, as Edward Snowden’s revelations showed last year and we’ll be hearing from him tonight. The NSA really needs to hire a PowerPoint designer! But apart from that, all of these companies that we trusted with our most personal data, we realised were sharing it with the Government, all of this data that we thought was private. Why? Well easy; because data that you have volunteered to a third party is not under the same protections under the law. It’s so much easier for them to go to one place and to ask them for information you have volunteered. It’s like a drive-through MacDonald’s or something, you know, if you’re an agency, it’s just like all this data in one place and I just have to ask; it’s beautiful, right?

    privacy is not about whether or not you have something to hide; it’s about having the right to choose what you want to keep to yourself and what you want to share with others. It’s a fundamental human right that we have seen fit to enshrine in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Article 12 specifically. So, when these companies that need your data, that don’t respect your privacy, tell you, oh my gosh, we are fighting for your privacy, right, and if they build things like reform government surveillance and say, “We’re fighting for your privacy; the government is evil.” There’s a term for that. It is “bullshit”. Right?

    It is bullshit and it is misdirection. This is a cornerstone of magic.

    here’s the problem. If you want the problem at its core, this is the problem: in order to share something with your friend, you shouldn’t also have to share it with a stranger. You should be able to share it directly with them. This is not a complicated problem, and it doesn’t require a complicated solution. And if anyone tells you it’s a complicated problem, they probably have a vested interested in it appearing to be complicated. If we can do this, then we can start people off in their own homes, not in the home of a known abuser. We can start them off somewhere that is safe, not start them off somewhere that’s unsafe and say, “Protect yourself”. And if we can do this, then we can build products that actually protect our human rights, that protect our fundamental freedoms, that protect democracy.
    https://ind.ie/the-camera-panopticon
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  3. Mass surveillance in France failed to prevent the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Edward Snowden told the Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant on Wednesday.

    "This is consistent with what we've seen in every country. The White House did two independent investigations into the effectiveness of the Patriot Act and mass surveillance and, despite monitoring the phone calls of everyone in the United States, it hadn't stopped a single attack," Snowden told the publication.

    He also noted that mass surveillance is part of the problem when it comes to providing security, comparing the attack to the Boston Marathon bombings, and telling the newspaper that "The problem with mass surveillance is that you are burying people under too much data."
    http://sputniknews.com/news/20150122/1017232524.html
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  4. The intimate secret meetings between senior Enron executives and high-level US government officials via the Pentagon Highlands Forum, from November 2000 to June 2001, played a central role in establishing and cementing the increasingly symbiotic link between Enron and Pentagon planning. The Forum’s role was, as O’Neill has always said, to function as an ideas lab to explore the mutual interests of industry and government.
    Enron and Pentagon war planning

    In February 2001, when Enron executives including Kenneth Lay began participating concertedly in the Cheney Energy Task Force, a classified National Security Council document instructed NSC staffers to work with the task force in “melding” previously separate issues: “operational policies towards rogue states” and “actions regarding the capture of new and existing oil and gas fields.”

    According to Bush’s treasury secretary Paul O’Neill, as quoted by Ron Suskind in The Price of Loyalty (2004), cabinet officials discussed an invasion of Iraq in their first NSC meeting, and had even prepared a map for a post-war occupation marking the carve-up of Iraq’s oil fields. The message at that time from President Bush was that officials must “find a way to do this.”


    in June 2001, the same month that Enron’s executive vice president Steve Kean attended the Pentagon Highlands Forum, the company’s hopes for the Dabhol project were dashed when the Trans-Afghan pipeline failed to materialize, and as a consequence, construction on the Dabhol power plant was shut down. The failure of the $3 billion project contributed to Enron’s bankruptcy in December. That month, Enron officials met with Bush’s commerce secretary, Donald Evans, about the plant, and Cheney lobbied India’s main opposition party about the Dhabol project. Ken Lay had also reportedly contacted the Bush administration around this time to inform officials about the firm’s financial troubles.

    By August, desperate to pull off the deal, US officials threatened Taliban representatives with war if they refused to accept American terms: namely, to cease fighting and join in a federal alliance with the opposition Northern Alliance; and to give up demands for local consumption of the gas. On the 15th of that month, Enron lobbyist Pat Shortridge told then White House economic advisor Robert McNally that Enron was heading for a financial meltdown that could cripple the country’s energy markets.

    So the Pentagon had:

    1. contracted Rendon, a propaganda firm;

    2. given Rendon access to the intelligence community’s most classified information including data from NSA surveillance;

    3. tasked Rendon to facilitating the DoD’s development of information operations strategy by running the Highlands Forum process;

    4. and further, tasked Rendon with overseeing the concrete execution of this strategy developed through the Highlands Forum process, in actual information operations around the world in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.

    The Pentagon Highlands Forum’s intimate link, via Rendon, to the propaganda operations pursued under Bush and Obama in support of the ‘Long War,’ demonstrate the integral role of mass surveillance in both irregular warfare and ‘strategic communications.’

    Arquilla went on to advocate that western intelligence services should use the British case as a model for creating new “pseudo gang” terrorist groups, as a way of undermining “real” terror networks:

    “What worked in Kenya a half-century ago has a wonderful chance of undermining trust and recruitment among today’s terror networks. Forming new pseudo gangs should not be difficult.”

    Essentially, Arquilla’s argument was that as only networks can fight networks, the only way to defeat enemies conducting irregular warfare is to use techniques of irregular warfare against them.

    It is this sort of closed-door networking that has rendered the American vote pointless. Far from protecting the public interest or helping to combat terrorism, the comprehensive monitoring of electronic communications has been systematically abused to empower vested interests in the energy, defense, and IT industries.
    https://medium.com/@NafeezAhmed/why-google-made-the-nsa-2a80584c9c1
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  5. One of the more common responses we've seen to all of the revelations about all of that NSA surveillance, is the response that "Well, I don't think the NSA really cares about what I'm doing." A perfect example of that is long-time NSA defender Ben Wittes, who recently wrote about why he's not too worried that the NSA is spying on him at all, basically comparing it to the fact that he's confident that law enforcement isn't spying on him either:

    As I type these words, I have to take on faith that the Washington D.C. police, the FBI, the DEA, and the Secret Service are not raiding my house. I also have to take on faith that federal and state law enforcement authorities are not tapping my various phones. I have no way of knowing they are not doing these things. They certainly have the technical capability to do them. And there’s historical reason to be concerned. Indeed, there is enough history of government abuse in the search and seizure realm that the Founders specifically regulated the area in the Bill of Rights. Yet I sit here remarkably confident that these things are not happening while my back is turned—and so do an enormous number of other Americans.

    The reason is that the technical capability for a surveillance event to take place does not alone amount to the reality—or likelihood—of that event’s taking place....

    For much the same reason as I am not rushing home to guard my house, I have a great deal of confidence that the National Security Agency is not spying on me. No doubt it has any number of capabilities to do so. No doubt those capabilities are awesome—in the wrong hands the tools of a police state. But there are laws and rules that protect me, and there are compliance mechanisms that ensure that the NSA follows those laws and rules. These systems are, to be sure, different from those that restrain the D.C. cops, but they are robust enough to reassure me.

    Julian Sanchez has a blistering response to that, appropriately entitled Check Your Privilege, which highlights that while Wittes, a well-paid, white, DC-based policy think tank worker, may be confident of those things, plenty of other folks are not nearly so confident, and that the NSA has made it pretty clear that they shouldn't be so confident.
    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...sted-you-is-obnoxious-dangerous.shtml
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  6. ulk surveillance violates our fundamental rights and makes free speech risky. This guide will teach you a basic surveillance self-defense skill: email encryption. Once you've finished, you'll be able to send and receive emails that are coded to make sure that a surveillance agent or thief can't intercept your email and read it.

    Even if you have nothing to hide, using encryption helps protect the privacy of people you communicate with, and makes life difficult for bulk surveillance systems. If you do have something important to hide, you're in good company; these are the same tools that Edward Snowden used to share his famous secrets about the NSA.

    This guide relies on software which is freely licensed; it's completely transparent and anyone can copy it or make their own version. This makes it safer from surveillance than proprietary software (like Windows). Learn more about free software at fsf.org.
    https://emailselfdefense.fsf.org
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  7. i servizi di sicurezza USA prendono i dati degli utenti da Microsoft Skydrive non certo di nascosto e contro il volere di Microsoft. C’è una collaborazione consapevole e predeterminata.
    http://mgpf.it/2014/05/14/microsoft-skydrive-nsa.html
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  8. The Guardian reports NSA general counsel Rajesh De is contradicting months of denials from the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple:

    Rajesh De, the NSA general counsel, said all communications content and associated metadata harvested by the NSA under a 2008 surveillance law occurred with the knowledge of the companies...Asked during at a Wednesday hearing of the US government's institutional privacy watchdog if collection under the law, known as Section 702 or the Fisa Amendments Act, occurred with the "full knowledge and assistance of any company from which information is obtained," De replied: "Yes."

    Basically, we're back to the worst case assumption we all jumped to when news of PRISM and its spooky-sounding cousins first broke. But if the NSA's counsel is telling the truth—it's unclear if he'd be perjuring himself otherwise—the mega-vocal, orchestrated, tripping-over-their-own-chubby-legs protest campaign by Silicon Valley was a farce. They were in on it all along. Maybe they weren't happy about it, as Zuckerberg has brayed so loudly, but they were never in the dark—and a reluctant collaborator is still a collaborator.
    http://valleywag.gawker.com/nsa-tech-...ere-spying-on-you-all-alon-1547450543
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  9. 1. Facebook has a track record of not keeping its promises to users. 2. The ethos of both companies when it comes to privacy is diametrically opposite. 3. The probability that WhatsApp messages and content will be intercepted because of Facebook's participation in NSA's PRISM spying programme. 4.Facebook slurping WhatsApp's large repository of phone numbers. 5. Two hundred trackers already monitor your internet use when you are not using Facebook and now they tracking mobile use much more granularly. This week the Indian competition regulator (CCI) also told the media that the acquisition would be subject to scrutiny. However, unlike the US regulator the Indian regulator does not have the mandate to examine the acquisition from a privacy perspective.
    http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/t...hatsapp-deal/articleshow/31970166.cms
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  10. The N.S.A. and Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters were working together on how to collect and store data from dozens of smartphone apps by 2007, according to the documents, provided by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor. Since then, the agencies have traded recipes for grabbing location and planning data when a target uses Google Maps, and for vacuuming up address books, buddy lists, phone logs and the geographic data embedded in photos when someone sends a post to the mobile versions of Facebook, Flickr, LinkedIn, Twitter and other services.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/28/wor...hone-apps-for-personal-data.html?_r=1
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