September NSA Update

Even as the boot-lickers continue to assure us that there is nothing to fear from NSA, that they are our friends, that there’s no indication of systematic abuse, we keep finding out more and more. To summarize events from the last few weeks.

Information has emerged about NSA employees using their access to stalk girlfriends, boyfriends and random people. That’s just a dozen that we know about; there is obviously no read on how often this happened when people were better at covering their tracks.

In addition, the sheer scale of NSA’s abilities is becoming clearer. Diane Feinstein inadvertently admitted that the NSA is tapping the internet backbone. This sounds trivial, but it is really important. You remember PRISM, the program where the NSA were working with tech companies to get data? This tap allows them to bypass even PRISM and collect data directly from the internet. They have also created programs that analyze social network data to get more information about the targets of their surveillance. Better hope your social circle doesn’t include too many “anti-Obama” radicals or maybe the IRS will pay you a visit.

Finally, information about the NSA’s past surveillance has emerged:

The National Security Agency eavesdropped on civil rights icon Martin Luther King and heavyweight boxer Muhammad Ali as well as other leading critics of the Vietnam War in a secret program later deemed “disreputable,” declassified documents revealed.

The six-year spying program, dubbed “Minaret,” had been exposed in the 1970s but the targets of the surveillance had been kept secret until now.

The documents released Wednesday showed the NSA tracked King and his colleague Whitney Young, boxing star Ali, journalists from the New York Times and the Washington Post, and two members of Congress, Senator Frank Church of Idaho and Senator Howard Baker of Tennessee.

The declassified NSA historical account of the episode called the spying “disreputable if not outright illegal.”

The justification for this was that these people opposed Vietnam and therefore might be communist agents. Considering that our leaders have an attitude that any opposition to their policies is de facto siding with the terrorists, how long will it take them to use the same logic to spy on their political opponents? Ten seconds? What will we find out forty years from now, when the NSA has to reveal their secrets?

So … to round up. We’ve found out more about bona fide NSA abuses, we’ve found out more about just how extensive their programs are and we’ve found out that they’ve abused their authority in the past.

Reassured yet? Don’t worry. If you’re nervous, it’s just because of the evil influence of someone like Rand Paul. Ignore them. Trust government.

Comments are closed.

  1. AlexInCT

    I am gonna add Hal that if the NSA was the only entity where employees were currently abusing their powers, with some, like the IRS, actually engaging in attacks against political opponents of the current administration, this would already be a frightning story. Now, with the revelation that abuses are prevalent, Americans should be ready to lynch our politicians. Most react by saying they have nothing to worry about because they are not doing anything wrong. The problem is that they do not get that if someone in government has a bone to pick with them, that doesn’t matter. They will find – or make up – shit to get you.

    I also bet that you didn’t mention the accusations that there is an assassination program, likely because of the source, but I woouldn’t be surprised that’s going on. After all, our prez told us he has the right to drone strike anyone that he dubs a terrorist, including Rush Limbaugh and John Boehner.

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  2. Hal_10000 *

    Alex, I never link to anything by Alex Jones. But we’ve known about the drone assassination program for a while, unless they’re revealing some new aspect of it.

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  3. Hal_10000 *

    PS – I don’t know if you saw it — I’m planning to blog on it later — but there NYT is reporting that the Administration leaking information about the “Legion of Doom” call in August has done far more harm to our national security than anything Edward Snowden has.

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  4. AlexInCT

    Alex, I never link to anything by Alex Jones. But we’ve known about the drone assassination program for a while, unless they’re revealing some new aspect of it.

    Jones is just one of the people talking about this revelation, and no, it is not about the drones. They claim it is something else. Once I hear the details I will figure out what to make of this. The NSA has had a boner about getting such sanctions since the early 80s, so I am not going to be surprised if they got to doing it somewhere along the line. Just wonder if they killed people domestically.

    PS – I don’t know if you saw it — I’m planning to blog on it later — but there NYT is reporting that the Administration leaking information about the “Legion of Doom” call in August has done far more harm to our national security than anything Edward Snowden has.

    Cool to hear you are blogging about it. BTW, I have it from others which are quite credible that there have been several other such Amin leaks that have been disastrous for our ops people and have actually cost us lives. Real nasty shit too. But poor Snowden is enemy number one because he embarrassed them.

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