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Posts Tagged ‘NSA

How the Pentagon punished NSA whistleblowers

Not a secret. Just how doing it

Sunday 22 May 2016

Long before Edward Snowden went public, John Crane was a top Pentagon official fighting to protect NSA whistle-blowers.

By now, almost everyone knows what Edward Snowden did. He leaked top-secret documents revealing that the National Security Agency was spying on hundreds of millions of people across the world, collecting the phone calls and emails of virtually everyone on Earth who used a mobile phone or the internet.

When this newspaper began publishing the NSA documents in June 2013, it ignited a fierce political debate that continues to this day – about government surveillance, but also about the morality, legality and civic value of whistleblowing.

But if you want to know why Snowden did it, and the way he did it, you have to know the stories of two other men.

The first is Thomas Drake, who blew the whistle on the very same NSA activities 10 years before Snowden did. Drake was a much higher-ranking NSA official than Snowden, and he obeyed US whistleblower laws, raising his concerns through official channels. And he got crushed.

Drake was fired, arrested at dawn by gun-wielding FBI agents, stripped of his security clearance, charged with crimes that could have sent him to prison for the rest of his life, and all but ruined financially and professionally. The only job he could find afterwards was working in an Apple store in suburban Washington, where he remains today. Adding insult to injury, his warnings about the dangers of the NSA’s surveillance programme were largely ignored.

The government spent many years trying to break me, and the more I resisted, the nastier they got,” Drake told me.

Drake’s story has since been told – and in fact, it had a profound impact on Snowden, who told an interviewer in 2015 that: “It’s fair to say that if there hadn’t been a Thomas Drake, there wouldn’t have been an Edward Snowden.”

But there is another man whose story has never been told before, who is speaking out publicly for the first time here. His name is John Crane, and he was a senior official in the Department of Defense who fought to provide fair treatment for whistleblowers such as Thomas Drake – until Crane himself was forced out of his job and became a whistleblower as well.

His testimony reveals a crucial new chapter in the Snowden story – and Crane’s failed battle to protect earlier whistleblowers should now make it very clear that Snowden had good reasons to go public with his revelations.

During dozens of hours of interviews, Crane told me how senior Defense Department officials repeatedly broke the law to persecute Drake.

First, he alleged, they revealed Drake’s identity to the Justice Department; then they withheld (and perhaps destroyed) evidence after Drake was indicted; finally, they lied about all this to a federal judge.

The supreme irony? In their zeal to punish Drake, these Pentagon officials unwittingly taught Snowden how to evade their clutches when the 29-year-old NSA contract employee blew the whistle himself.

Snowden was unaware of the hidden machinations inside the Pentagon that undid Drake, but the outcome of those machinations – Drake’s arrest, indictment and persecution – sent an unmistakable message: raising concerns within the system promised doom.

“Name one whistleblower from the intelligence community whose disclosures led to real change – overturning laws, ending policies – who didn’t face retaliation as a result. The protections just aren’t there,” Snowden told the Guardian this week. “The sad reality of today’s policies is that going to the inspector general with evidence of truly serious wrongdoing is often a mistake. Going to the press involves serious risks, but at least you’ve got a chance.”

Snowden saw what had happened to Drake and other whistleblowers like him. The key to Snowden’s effectiveness, according to Thomas Devine, the legal director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP), was that he practised “civil disobedience” rather than “lawful” whistleblowing. (GAP, a non-profit group in Washington, DC, that defends whistleblowers, has represented Snowden, Drake and Crane.)

“None of the lawful whistleblowers who tried to expose the government’s warrantless surveillance – and Drake was far from the only one who tried – had any success,” Devine told me. “They came forward and made their charges, but the government just said, ‘They’re lying, they’re paranoid, we’re not doing those things.’ And the whistleblowers couldn’t prove their case because the government had classified all the evidence. Whereas Snowden took the evidence with him, so when the government issued its usual denials, he could produce document after document showing that they were lying. That is civil disobedience whistleblowing.”

Crane, a solidly built Virginia resident with flecks of grey in a neatly trimmed chinstrap beard, understood Snowden’s decision to break the rules – but lamented it. “Someone like Snowden should not have felt the need to harm himself just to do the right thing,” he told me.

Crane’s testimony is not simply a clue to Snowden’s motivations and methods: if his allegations are confirmed in court, they could put current and former senior Pentagon officials in jail. (Official investigations are quietly under way.)

But Crane’s account has even larger ramifications: it repudiates the position on Snowden taken by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton – who both maintain that Snowden should have raised his concerns through official channels because US whistleblower law would have protected him.

By the time Snowden went public in 2013, Crane had spent years fighting a losing battle inside the Pentagon to provide whistleblowers the legal protections to which they were entitled. He took his responsibilities so seriously, and clashed with his superiors so often, that he carried copies of the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 and the US constitution in his breast pocket and pulled them out during office conflicts.

Crane’s attorneys at GAP – who were used to working with all types of government and corporate whistleblowers – were baffled by him: in their experience, most senior government officials cared little for whistleblowers’ rights. So what motivated Crane to keep fighting for the rights of whistleblowers inside the Pentagon, even as his superiors grew increasingly hostile and eventually forced him to resign?

To hear Crane tell it, the courage to stand up and fight runs in his family. He never forgot the story he heard as a child, about his own grandfather, a German army officer who once faced down Adolf Hitler at gunpoint – on the night the future Fuhrer first tried to take over Germany.

A former press aide to Republican members of Congress, John Crane was hired by the Inspector General’s office of the Department of Defense in 1988. Within US government agencies, an inspector general serves as a kind of judge and police chief. The IG, as the inspector general is known, is charged with making sure a given agency is operating according to the law – obeying rules and regulations, spending money as authorised by Congress. “In the IG’s office, we were the guys with the white hats,” Crane said.

By 2004 Crane had been promoted to assistant inspector general. At the age of 48, his responsibilities included supervising the whistleblower unit at the Department of Defense, as well as handling all whistleblower allegations arising from the department’s two million employees (by far the largest workforce in the US government), in some cases including allegations originating in the NSA and other intelligence agencies.

Drake, a father of five, had worked for the NSA for 12 years as a private-sector contractor. Now, as a staff member proper, he reported directly to the NSA’s third highest ranking official, Maureen Baginski; she headed the NSA’s largest division, the Signals Intelligence Directorate, which was responsible for the interception of phone calls and other communications.

Tall, sombre, intense, Drake was a championship chess player in high school whose gift for mathematics, computers and languages made him a natural for foreign eavesdropping and the cryptographic and linguistic skills it required. During the cold war, he worked for air force intelligence, monitoring the communications of East Germany’s infamous secret police, the Stasi.

Within weeks of the September 11 attacks, Drake was assigned to prepare the NSA’s postmortem on the disaster. Congress, the news media and the public were demanding answers: what had gone wrong at the NSA and other federal agencies to allow Osama bin Laden’s operatives to conduct such a devastating attack?

As Drake interviewed NSA colleagues and scoured the agency’s records, he came across information that horrified him. It appeared that the NSA – even before September 11 – had secretly revised its scope of operations to expand its powers.

Since its inception, the NSA had been strictly forbidden from eavesdropping on domestic communications. Drake’s investigation persuaded him that the NSA was now violating this restriction by collecting information on communications within as well as outside of the United States. And it was doing so without obtaining legally required court orders.

A straight arrow since high school – he once gave the police the names of classmates he suspected of selling pot – Drake told me he felt compelled to act. “I took an oath to uphold and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic,” he explained.

To Drake, the President’s Surveillance Program, as it was known inside the George W Bush administration, recalled the mindset of the Stasi. “You don’t spend year after year listening to a police state without being affected, you just don’t,” he told me. “I remember saying to myself, ‘Wow, I don’t want this to happen in our country!’ How could you live in a society where you always have to be looking over your shoulders, not knowing who you could trust, even in your own family?”

Drake’s descent into a nightmare of persecution at the hands of his own government began innocently. Having uncovered evidence of apparently illegal behaviour, he did what his military training and US whistleblower law instructed: he reported the information up the chain of command. Beginning in early 2002, he shared his concerns first with a small number of high-ranking NSA officials, then with the appropriate members of Congress and staff at the oversight committees of the US Senate and House of Representatives.

Drake spent countless hours in these sessions but eventually came to the conclusion that no one in a position of authority wanted to hear what he was saying. When he told his boss, Baginski, that the NSA’s expanded surveillance following 9/11 seemed legally dubious, she reportedly told him to drop the issue: the White House had ruled otherwise.


John Crane first heard about Thomas Drake when Crane and his colleagues at the Pentagon’s Office of the Inspector General received a whistleblower complaint in September 2002.

The complaint alleged that the NSA was backing an approach to electronic surveillance that was both financially and constitutionally irresponsible. The complaint was signed by three former NSA officials, William Binney, Kirk Wiebe and Edward Loomis, and a former senior Congressional staffer, Diane Roark.

Drake also endorsed the complaint – but because he, unlike the other four, had not yet retired from government service, he asked that his name be kept anonymous, even in a document that was supposed to be treated confidentially within the government.

Binney, Wiebe, Loomis and Roark shared Drake’s concerns about the constitutional implications of warrantless mass surveillance, but their complaint focused on two other issues.

Drake had discovered a shocking example while researching his postmortem report on the September 11 attacks. Months beforehand, the NSA had come into possession of a telephone number in San Diego that was used by two of the hijackers who later crashed planes into the World Trade Center. But the NSA did not act on this finding.

As Drake later told the NSA expert James Bamford, the NSA intercepted seven phone calls between this San Diego phone number and an al-Qaida “safe house” in Yemen. Drake found a record of the seven calls buried in an NSA database.

US officials had long known that the Yemen safe house was the operational hub through which Bin Laden, from a cave in Afghanistan, ordered attacks. Seven phone calls to such a hub from the same phone number was obviously suspicious. Yet the NSA took no action – the information had apparently been overlooked.

The NSA whistleblowers first sent their complaint to the inspector general of the NSA, who ruled against them. So they went up the bureaucratic ladder, filing the complaint with the Department of Defense inspector general. There, Crane and his staff “substantially affirmed” the complaint – in other words, their own investigation concluded that the NSA whistleblowers’ charges were probably on target.

In the course of their investigation, Crane and his colleagues in the inspector general’s office also affirmed the whistleblowers’ allegation that the Bush administration’s surveillance programme violated the fourth amendment of the US constitution by collecting Americans’ phone and internet communications without a warrant. “We were concerned about these constitutional issues even before we investigated their complaint,” Crane told me. “We had received other whistleblower filings that flagged the issue.”

In line with standard procedure, these investigative findings were relayed to the House and Senate committees overseeing the NSA – and this helped nudge Congress to end funding for the Trailblazer programme. But for the NSA whistleblowers, this apparent victory was the beginning of a dark saga that would change their lives for ever.

Crane could not believe his ears. “I told Henry that destruction of documents under such circumstances was, as he knew, a very serious matter and could lead to the inspector general being accused of obstructing a criminal investigation.” Shelley replied, according to Crane, that it didn’t have to be a problem if everyone was a good team player.

On 15 February, 2011, Shelley and Halbrooks sent the judge in the Drake case a letter that repeated the excuse given to Crane: the requested documents had been destroyed, by mistake, during a routine purge. This routine purge, the letter assured Judge Richard D Bennett, took place before Drake was indicted.

“Lynne and Henry had frozen me out by then, so I had no input into their letter to Judge Bennett,” Crane said. “So they ended up lying to a judge in a criminal case, which of course is a crime.”

With Drake adamantly resisting prosecutors’ pressure to make a plea deal – “I won’t bargain with the truth,” he declared – the government eventually withdrew most of its charges against him. Afterwards, the judge blasted the government’s conduct. It was “extraordinary”, he said, that the government barged into Drake’s home, indicted him, but then dropped the case on the eve of trial as if it wasn’t a big deal after all.

“I find that unconscionable,” Bennett added. “Unconscionable. It is at the very root of what this country was founded on … It was one of the most fundamental things in the bill of rights, that this country was not to be exposed to people knocking on the door with government authority and coming into their homes.”

When John Crane put his career on the line by standing up for legal treatment of Pentagon whistleblowers, he was following a moral code laid down 80 years before by his German grandfather. Crane grew up in suburban Virginia, but he spent nearly every summer in Germany with his mother’s extended family.

During these summer sojourns, Crane heard countless times about the moment when his grandfather confronted Hitler. His mother and his grandmother both told the story, and the moral never changed. “One must always try to do the right thing, even when there are risks,” Crane recalled being instructed. “And should someone do the right thing, there can of course be consequences.”

Crane’s grandfather was days shy of turning 40 on the night of Hitler’s “Beer Hall Putsch”, 8 November, 1923. Plotting to overthrow the Weimar Republic, Hitler and 600 armed members of his fledgling Nazi party surrounded a beer hall in Munich where the governor of Bavaria, Gustav von Kahr, was addressing a large crowd. The rebels burst into the hall, hoping to kidnap Von Kahr and march on Berlin.

After his men unveiled a machine gun hidden in the upstairs gallery, Hitler fired his pistol into the air and shouted, “The national revolution has begun!”

Crane’s grandfather, Günther Rüdel, was in the hall as part of his military duties, Rüdel recalled in an eight-page, single-spaced, typewritten affidavit that provides a minute-by-minute eyewitness account of the putsch. (Rüdel was later a government witness in the trial that sentenced Hitler to five years in prison, though he was not called to testify.)

The son of a prominent German general, Rüdel had served with distinction in the first world war, earning two Iron Crosses. By 1923, he was serving as chief political aide to General Otto von Lossow, the German army’s highest official in Bavaria. As such, Rüdel was the chief liaison between Von Lossow and Von Kahr and privy to the two men’s many dealings with Hitler.

Suspecting that Hitler and his followers were planning a coup, Lossow and Rüdel had forced their way into the beer hall to monitor developments. The head of Bavaria’s state police, Hans Ritter von Seisser, was also there, accompanied by a bodyguard. Rüdel was standing with Lossow and Von Seisser when armed men burst into the hall, with Hitler in the lead.

“Hitler, with pistol held high, escorted on right and left by armed men, his tunic stained with beer, stormed through the hall towards the podium,” Rüdel wrote in his affidavit. “When he was directly in front of us, police chief Von Seisser’s adjutant gripped [but did not unsheath] his sword. Hitler immediately aimed his pistol at the man’s chest. I shouted, ‘Mr Hitler, in this way you will never liberate Germany.’ Hitler hesitated, lowered his pistol and pushed his way between us to the podium.”

In the surrounding chaos, Hitler’s men tried to force Von Kahr, Lossow and Von Seisser to join the coup, but their uprising soon fizzled. A few days later, Hitler was arrested and charged with treason. He served a year in jail, where he wrote his autobiography, Mein Kampf.

Incredible as it may sound, Crane aims to get his old job back. His attorney, Devine, thinks that is a fantasy. In Devine’s view, the problems facing whistleblowers are systemic – and the system does not forgive, especially someone who has exposed the system’s corruption as devastatingly as Crane has done.

To Crane, however, it is a simple matter of right and wrong. It was not he who broke the law; it was his superiors. Therefore it is not he who should pay the price but they.

“I just want to see the system work properly,” he says. “I know the system can fail – world war two, Nazi Germany – but I also know that you need to do what is right. Because the government is so powerful, you need to have it run efficiently and honestly and according to the law.”

“What are the odds the system will work properly in your case?” I asked Crane.

“I’m not giving you odds,” he replies with a chuckle. “This is just something that I have to do.”

This article is adapted from Mark Hertsgaard’s new book, Bravehearts: Whistle Blowing in the Age of Snowden (Hot Books/Skyhorse)

Illustration by Nathalie Lees

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The World in 2025: 8 Predictions for the Next 10 Years

By  ON May 11, 2015

In 2025, in accordance with Moore’s Law, (lay it all on this law in matter of technology), we’ll see an acceleration in the rate of change as we move closer to a world of true abundance.  (Behavioral change?)

Here are eight areas where we’ll see extraordinary transformation in the next decade:

1. A $1,000 Human Brain

In 2025, $1,000 should buy you a computer able to calculate at 10^16 cycles per second (10,000 trillion cycles per second), the equivalent processing speed of the human brain.

2. A Trillion-Sensor Economy

The Internet of Everything describes the networked connections between devices, people, processes and data.

By 2025, the IoE will exceed 100 billion connected devices, each with a dozen or more sensors collecting data.

This will lead to a trillion-sensor economy driving a data revolution beyond our imagination.

Cisco’s recent report estimates the IoE will generate $19 trillion of newly created value.

(I doubt NSA will be pleased: Not many analysts to process all this massive collection of data. Pending the huge data center in Utah was planned for that many sensors)

3. Perfect Knowledge

We’re heading towards a world of perfect knowledge.

With a trillion sensors gathering data everywhere (autonomous cars, satellite systems, drones, wearables, cameras), you’ll be able to know anything you want, anytime, anywhere, and query that data for answers and insights.

(A vast difference between retrieving facts and comprehending the mechanism of any knowledge based system)

4. 8 Billion Hyper-Connected People

Facebook (Internet.org), SpaceX, Google (Project Loon), Qualcomm and Virgin (OneWeb) are planning to provide global connectivity to every human on Earth at speeds exceeding one megabit per second. (People will prefer to subscribe to Chinese platforms in order to avoid spying by NSA on personal communication)

We will grow from three to eight billion connected humans, adding five billion new consumers into the global economy.

They represent tens of trillions of new dollars flowing into the global economy. And they are not coming online like we did 20 years ago with a 9600 modem on AOL.

They’re coming online with a 1 Mbps connection and access to the world’s information on Google, cloud 3D printing, Amazon Web Services, artificial intelligence with Watson, crowdfunding, crowdsourcing, and more.

(How this progress will save the billion humans suffering from malnutrition and famine?)

5. Disruption of Healthcare

Existing healthcare institutions will be crushed as new business models with better and more efficient care emerge.

Thousands of startups, as well as today’s data giants (Google, Apple, Microsoft, SAP, IBM, etc.) will all enter this lucrative $3.8 trillion healthcare industry with new business models that dematerialize, demonetize and democratize today’s bureaucratic and inefficient system.

Biometric sensing (wearables) and AI will make each of us the CEOs of our own health.

Large-scale genomic sequencing and machine learning will allow us to understand the root cause of cancer, heart disease and neurodegenerative disease and what to do about it. Robotic surgeons can carry out an autonomous surgical procedure perfectly (every time) for pennies on the dollar.

Each of us will be able to regrow a heart, liver, lung or kidney when we need it, instead of waiting for the donor to die.

(And the cost? How many will still be able to afford it as monthly retirement shrinks, according to  Moore’s law?)

6. Augmented and Virtual Reality

Billions of dollars invested by Facebook (Oculus), Google (Magic Leap), Microsoft (Hololens), Sony, Qualcomm, HTC and others will lead to a new generation of displays and user interfaces.

The screen as we know it — on your phone, your computer and your TV — will disappear and be replaced by eyewear.

Not the geeky Google Glass, but stylish equivalents to what the well-dressed fashionistas are wearing today.

The result will be a massive disruption in a number of industries ranging from consumer retail, to real estate, education, travel, entertainment, and the fundamental ways we operate as humans.

7. Early Days of JARVIS

Artificial intelligence research will make strides in the next decade. If you think Siri is useful now, the next decade’s generation of Siri will be much more like JARVIS from Iron Man, with expanded capabilities to understand and answer.

Companies like IBM Watson, DeepMind and Vicarious continue to hunker down and develop next-generation AI systems.

In a decade, it will be normal for you to give your AI access to listen to all of your conversations, read your emails and scan your biometric data because the upside and convenience will be so immense.

8. Blockchain

If you haven’t heard of the blockchain, I highly recommend you read up on it.

You might have heard of bitcoin, which is the decentralized (global), democratized, highly secure cryptocurrency based on the blockchain.

But the real innovation is the blockchain itself, a protocol that allows for secure, direct (without a middleman), digital transfers of value and assets (think money, contracts, stocks, IP). Investors like Marc Andreesen have poured tens of millions into the development and believe this is as important of an opportunity as the creation of the Internet itself.

(The Intelligence agencies will outpace all these cryptocurrency  programs)

Bottom Line: We Live in the Most Exciting Time Ever

We are living toward incredible times where the only constant is change, and the rate of change is increasing.

Image Credit: Shutterstock.com

From “Bind man by chains of Constitution” to “Bind man by chains of Cryptography”:  No more confidence or faith in man behaviors  

Equal Internet to all? Any why science must outpace laws on restricting collective data gathering  and national security?

Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1798:

In questions of power. Let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution

In 2008, Edward Snowden wrote in his manifesto of pro-privacy, anti-surveillance of massive collective data gathering solidarity cause:

“Let us speak no more of faith in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of cryptography.

Equal internet will work to the advantage of the average person when science outpaces law.

By understanding the mechanisms through which our privacy is violated, we can win. We can guarantee people equal protection against unreasonable search through universal law, but only if the technical community is willing to face the threat and commit to implementing over engineered solutions in (cryptography)

The successive US governments worked hard in the last decade to demonstrate unlimited power. It preempted wars, tortured prisoners and imprisoned people without charges in undisclosed incarceration camps, drone-bombed targets in extrajudicial killings in Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Syria…

President Obama directive of Nov. 2012 stated:

“To senior national security and intelligence officials: Draw up list of potential overseas targets for US cyber attacks. Prepare for a series of aggressive offensive cyber operations around the world

And the messengers of divulging such atrocities and mass collective gathering of communication on private citizens in the US and abroad were Not immune under the law of free press.

Whistle-blowers were abused, prosecuted and jailed.

Investigative reporters and journalists were threatened with jail terms.

The decade of cultivated display of intimidation to anyone who even contemplate of challenging the power-to-be in the US is still thriving and immune from blame and prosecution.

On June 9, 2013, The Guardian revealed Edward Snowden, the leaker of top secret documents on the worldwide data gathering of the NSA.

Laura Poitras posted a 12-minute interview with Ed:

“Um, my name is Ed Snowden. I’m 29 years old. I work for Booz Allen Hamilton as an infrastructure analyst for NSA in Hawaii…

For 6 months, Snowden was emailing Glenn Greenwald under Cincinnatus encouraging him to install a PGP encryption program that shield email and online communication from surveillance and hacking activities. and so communications cannot be intercepted

And Glenn procrastinated because he was no expert in such installation. Snowden then contacted Laura Poitras and sent her a few secret documents in order to win Glenn over and join him in Hong Kong. Snowden identity was still a secret and on leave for epileptic treatments.

Snowden didn’t finish high school but was hired as an internet expert by the CIA, NSA and Booz Allen. He had a diplomatic passport when stationed in Switzerland and was ordered to visit many locations in Europe to install communication infrastructure in order to gather secret communication on a wide scale.

And Glenn and Laura published a series of top secret documents of the NSA in the Guardian.

And I’m wondering:

1. By what chains can we bind our morbid species from igniting a Hydrogen Bomb?

2. By what chains can we bind our fickle and instant gratifying species from poisoning our environment to an irreversible state of no return?

If history is a guide, the few occasional decades of enlightenment and culture do Not match the consistent trend of our species for self-immolation 

Note 1: Laura Poitras made the documentaries “My Country” in the Sunni Triangle during the US invasion of Iraq and “The Oath” following bin Laden’s bodyguard and driver in Yemen.

Note 2: Read “No Place to Hide” by Glenn Greenwald

https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2015/04/17/no-place-to-hide-when-investigative-journalists-are-prosecuted-for-divulging-secret-government-illegal-actions/

 

 

 

 

NSA targets people searching for anonymity options

TECHNOLOGY – JULY 3, 2014

As more information about the NSA’s spy program leaks, Internet users are exploring encryption options.

A new report suggests searching for privacy software online can make you a target for the NSA.

Source:

SOURCE:

The report published in Tagesschau (English translation) describes the “deep packet inspection” rules used by the NSA’s XKeyscore program to target Internet users for surveillance.

Among the activities that will trigger surveillance by the NSA is searching for information on Tor — anonymous browsing software used by journalists, activists, dissidents, as well as criminal elements.

Tor--The Onion Router--obscures users' identities by routing their Internet traffic through servers (or "nodes") around the world. The open-source project receives much of its funding from the U.S. Dept. of State and Dept. of Defense. Connecting to Tor is necessary to access the so-called Dark Web.SOURCE:

Tor–The Onion Router–obscures users’ identities by routing their Internet traffic through servers (or “nodes”) around the world.

The open-source project receives much of its funding from the U.S. Dept. of State and Dept. of Defense. Connecting to Tor is necessary to access the so-called Dark Web.

The German report found that the NSA had targeted a server in Germany that is used as a directory for Tor nodes. Users who connect to the server are logged and tracked by the agency.

The NSA also scans emails for those requesting access to a “bridge” — a node not listed on the public Tor directory.

In October 2013, the Guardian reported how the NSA and the UK’s GCHQ have made several attempts to penetrate Tor. It is believed that Tor has never been successfully compromised.

The report notes that the NSA and GCHQ, unable to successfully compromise Tor, have instead focused on compromising software commonly used to access Tor such as the popular Tor Browser Bundle.

Until recently the Bundle included a version of Firefox that was susceptible to attack. One such attack occurred last summe

“[The] NSA has unmatched technical capabilities to accomplish its lawful mission. As such, it should hardly be surprising that our intelligence agencies seek ways to counteract targets’ use of technologies to hide their communications…

Our intelligence community would not be doing its job if we did not try to counter that.” NSA SPOKESPERSON

The NSA did not confirm that it has targeted Tor, but told the Guardian that the agency has a rich history of attempting to collect and crack intelligence of foreign states and other adversaries.

A leaked intelligence presentation from June 2012 is titled “Tor Stinks,” and says that the intelligence agency will “never” be able to successfully penetrate Tor.

“The common thread among these stories is that the NSA is subverting the internet and turning it into a massive surveillance tool…

Given how inept the NSA was at protecting its own secrets, it’s extremely unlikely that Edward Snowden was the first sysadmin contractor to walk out the door with a boatload of them.” BRUCE SCHNEIER

Schneier is a well-known computer security expert who has helped the Guardian with its series of electronic surveillance articles.

Worldwide Internet freedom declined in 2013 as governments increased surveillance of what their citizens say and do online, according to Freedom House’s “Freedom on the Net 2013” report.

Though the U.S. dropped 5 points compared to 2012, it’s still considered one of the freest countries online.

 

Snowden Bombshell: Downloaded All the roster of US public employees…

Edward Snowden, the former contractor at the National Security Agency took with him multiple “Doomsday” packages of information when he departed the country and began revealing how intensely the US Government is spying on its own citizens.

He has the personal home info for all Elected Officials, Law Enforcement, Judges, Bankers, Corporate Boards of Directors and more!

 posted this Feb. 8, 2014

Snowden Bombshell: Seems he downloaded entire roster of U.S. government – all names, home addresses and other personal info of **all** officials and gov’t employees — including law enforcement — plus bankers, corporate boards of directors and more!

edwardsnowden_thumb

At a classified briefing for members of Congress which took place on Wednesday, members found out that Snowden took with him:

  • a complete roster of absolutely every employee and official of the entire US Government.
  • The names, home addresses, unlisted personal home telephone and personal cellular phone numbers, dates of birth and social security numbers of every person involved in any way, with any department of the US Government.
  • The files include elected officials, Cabinet appointees, Judges, and  **ALL** law enforcement agency employees including sworn officers.
  • Similar files with the personal information of EVERY government contractor and all employees of that contractor!
  • Similar files with all the personal information of EVERY Bank Corporation, their operating officers and their Boards of Directors, including all current and former members of the Federal Reserve
  • Similar files with all the personal information about anyone holding any type of license from the Government such as Doctors, Lawyers, Stock Brokers, Commodities Traders . . . . and many more.
  • Similar files with all the personal information of EVERY non-bank Corporation in the U.S., including their operating officers and Boards of Directors.

Snowden has made it clear that if he is arrested, if he vanishes, or if he “dies” from any cause whatsoever, ALL of the information in his possession will be published publicly.

TRN has confirmed that, working through Julian Assange and his “WikiLeaks” organization, copies of the encrypted data have already been distributed to more than 1,200 web sites around the world.

Those sites have agreed to conceal the information until such time as contact with Snowden is “lost.”  Once contact is lost, the sites have been told they will receive the Decryption keys via CD ROM, E-mail and P2P / Bit-Torrent file transfer.

Once the decryption keys are sent, the sites have been instructed to wait a specific amount of time to confirm Snowden’s disappearance, arrest or death and upon expiration of that time period, to publish the decrypted materials.

Making the situation all the more dire for the government is that Snowden has made clear he will release some of the information under certain “other” circumstances.

For instance,

1. if Martial Law is declared in the US or if any elections are canceled for any reason, all the government employee info goes out.

2. If an economic collapse takes place, all the Banker/Stock Broker/Commodities Trader information goes out.

3. If Corporations start hyper-inflating prices, all the information about them, their officers and Board of Directors will go out.

Snowden literally has the most powerful people in the United States in an inescapable stranglehold.  If any of the things articulated above take place, everyone throughout the country will know exactly who to blame and exactly where they live.

One can only speculate that under the right conditions, it might not be long until those responsible for the problems of our country, faced consequences for their actions; consequences delivered one at a time, in the dark of night, when there is no help . . . . and no escape.

Leading members of the House Armed Services Committee emerged from the classified briefing “shocked” at the amount of information he reportedly took with him beyond the NSA surveillance programs.

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), chairman of the Armed Service panel’s Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee and also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the briefing on the defense consequences of Snowden’s leaks was “very highly classified,” and therefore details couldn’t be discussed.

Thornberry did say that lawmakers “left the briefing disturbed and angered” after hearing that the leaks by the former Booz Allen Hamilton employee “went well beyond programs associated with the NSA and data collection.”

He characterized the leaks as so severe that they “compromise military capability and defense of the country” and “could cost lives” — while they “will certainly cost billions to repair.”

“His actions were espionage, plain and simple,” Thornberry said.

Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) read his statement rather than making comments on the fly “because of the seriousness of this issue and the sensitivity” of the information they’d just heard.

“Ed Snowden isn’t a whistleblower; he’s a traitor,” McKeon said.

No matter what opinion people hold of the data collection programs, he added, people should be “shocked and outraged to find that a substantial amount of the information has nothing to do with the NSA.

SOURCE: PJ Media

About Ask Marion

I am a baby-boomer and empty nester who savors every moment of my past and believes that it is the responsibility of each of us in my generation and Americans in general to make sure that America is as good or even a better place for future generations as it was for us.

So far… we haven’t done very well!! Favorite Quotes:

The first 50 years are to build and acquire; the second 50 are to leave your legacy”;

“Do something that scares you every day!”;

“The journey in between what you once were and who you are becoming is where the dance of life really takes place”.

Note 1NSA Whistleblower Snowden in Exile as the Obama Scandals List Grows

Note 2: Israel has already all the files of the Lebanese people through the corrupt governments and via the foreign intelligence services based in Lebanon.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

July 2020
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