Journalists must do the same with their sources. Or they need complex, user-hostile encryption programs. The loss of freedom from unreasonable search and seizure that Snowden exposed means the loss of a free press and free speech, as well as a loss of freedom of association.
Narus Insight equipment. It can process 1.25 million 1,000-character emails a second. The NSA has ten of them. All web information is collected, regardless of whether the transmitters are of US origin, and all information is stored for a period of years by the government.
Before Snowden told us in the summer of 2013, we did not know how much the US government spent on intelligence. Now we know: $52.6 billion annually. Of that amount, 70 percent goes to private corporations. Because, as taxpayers, we who fund the whole business have no right to know what we’re paying for, the setup is ripe for waste and fraud.
James Clapper discredited himself as well as the NSA when Snowden’s first disclosure exposed his lie of March 12, 2013, to an open hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) had asked him whether the NSA collects “any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of Americans.” Clapper answered unequivocally: “No, sir.” Then he equivocated a bit and added: “Not wittingly.”
“I responded in what I thought was the most truthful or least untruthful manner, by saying ‘No.’” He then tried to explain his explanation by saying that he was confused about what Senator Wyden was asking. Subsequently, though, we discovered that Wyden’s office sent Clapper the question twenty-four hours in advance and therefore gave him ample time to clarify it, as well as to compose his answer. So Clapper not only lied in answer to the senator’s question in March, but he also lied in July when explaining his earlier lie. By September, no one believed anything Clapper said anymore, but he nevertheless kept talking.
Alexander, who nonetheless told Senator Tom Udall with a straight face shortly after the first Snowden disclosures: “Now, what we need to do, I think, is to bring as many facts as we can out to the American people, so I agree with you, but I just want to make that clear.” For his part, Senator Udall did not respond graciously: It’s very, very difficult, I think, to have a transparent debate about secret programs approved by a secret court issuing secret court orders based on secret interpretations of the law.
There is powerful evidence to substantiate the claim that September 11, 2001, was not, in fact, the incident that precipitated the broad sweep surveillance of Americans. Nacchio and the lawsuits against AT&T and other telecoms assert that the request for access to private data began virtually as soon as George W. Bush took office, months before 9/11.
Congress does not object. Even when lied to in open session while the television cameras roll, as Senator Wyden was, the Senate does not investigate. There is no special prosecutor and no effort to determine what lies beneath the lies. Why is that? Because, in acquiring all electronic information there is to have about each of us, the NSA also acquires unlimited information about senators and congressmen. Who among them wants to find him- or herself in a pissing match with Keith Alexander or James Clapper? How can any one of them be sure there is no record of a dubious campaign contribution, a fund-raising call from a Senate office instead of campaign headquarters, a childhood friend who turned out badly, a quick trip to rehab, a struggle with online poker playing or pornography? As Willie Stark told Jake in All the King’s Men: “There’s always something.” Any sensible politician would be afraid that the NSA knows what that something is.
Truth is now treason in the United States. At this point in our history, if a crime is an official secret, anyone who speaks about it is a criminal.
==The Rise of the American Corporate Security State: Six Reasons to Be Afraid (Beatrice Edwards)
James Clapper, the nation’s top spy, said keeping logs of U.S. citizens’ phone calls is a preventive measure for discerning potential threats. Any legislation that shifts collection from the government to private telecom companies—a move Clapper has said he supports—could fail to stop a terrorist attack, he added.
The endgame of this isn’t pretty: It’s a global surveillance network where all countries collude to surveil everyone on the entire planet. It’ll probably not happen for a while—but most smaller countries will be motivated to join.
Surveillance, privacy, bulk data collection, NSA, Patriot Act, Congress | Homeland Security News Wire
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said that if Congress failed to reauthorize a controversial provision of the Patriot Act by June, then lawmakers who opposed the renewal of the provision – Section215 – would bear the blame if a terrorist attack, which could have been prevented by actions Section 215 permits, happened. Clapper said that if Congress decided not to renew the Patriot Act, or decided to renew it without Section 215, and an “untoward incident” occurred as a result, he hopes “everyone involved in that decision assumes responsibility” and does not just blame the intelligence community.
James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, said that if Congress failed to reauthorize a controversial provision of the Patriot Act by June, then lawmakers who opposed the renewal of the provision – Section215 – would bear the blame if a terrorist attack, which could have been prevented by actions Section 215 permits, happened.
Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, Clapper stressed his support for renewing Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the FBI and NSA to collect domestic phone metadata. The law is set to expire on 1 June, and some lawmakers say that they would support the renewal of the Patriot Act only if Section 215 is removed.