Monday, December 16, 2013

"All this time, I Just Thought I Was Being Paranoid"

First, let me write it pains me to write anything remotely positive about Larry Klayman, some what less necessary to societty than an enema nozzle. You hate 'em, avoid 'em like plague, but if taking pain killers and constipated, you sometimes need 'em; but c'mon, this ass tool sued his mother.

In this case, Klayman files suit against Obama and others for excesses of NSA spying; a noble cause indeed but he never bothered nor cared nor filed suit for such spying until a brother--oops, a Democrat--gets elected prez while these programs started as far back as when the embers of World War the Deuce cooled.

Now, a federal judge has ruled the current prctices of the National Security Agency may well be proved unconstitutional. (Full Opinion)

Thanks, Mr. Enema, oops, Klayman.

[Computerworld - In a potential blow to government surveillance efforts, a federal judge in Washington D.C today ruled that the National Security Agency's practice of collecting phone metadata records on millions of Americans may be unconstitutional.

In a 68-page ruling, Judge Richard Leon of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia noted that the plaintiffs in the case had a legal basis for challenging the constitutionality of the government's bulk data collection.

Based on information presented to the court, the plaintiffs have demonstrated "a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of their Fourth Amendment claim" against unreasonable search by the government, the Judge ruled.

He granted a motion for a preliminary injunction filed by public interest lawyer Larry Klayman and other plaintiffs in the case seeking an immediate end to the NSA's bulk collection of phone metadata records. However, because of the significant national security interests at stake and the novelty of the constitutional issues raised by the case, Leon said he would stay the preliminary injunction pending an appeal by the government.]

Full Opinion

History: (My emphasis throughout)

[Project Echelon began with a secret post-World-War-II pact between the United States, Australia, Britain, Canada and New Zealand, countries housing Echelon's half dozen listening posts. These groups funnel intelligence to the NSA and receive in return technology sharing with the NSA to monitor their own people and a chunk of the budget.

The project has five "ear-in-the-sky" satellites capable of monitoring sounds from thousands of miles away. They allow Echelon to intercept virtually any internationally-transmitted phone call, fax, e-mail or data transfer for the ostensible purpose of tracking international terrorist groups or drug cartels. But unlike many spying relics of the Cold War, Echelon is aimed at surveillance of civilian communications, such as business and personal e-mails. Barr's office estimates Echelon intercepts up to 2 million transmissions per hour.

While the NSA will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the Echelon system, a report commissioned by the European Parliament last year confirmed that every communication in Europe has been subject to surveillance for years and the system can decode any clever encryptions. More alarmingly, European business intelligence has been known to leak from the NSA to American businesses, providing American businesses with illicit information on mergers, take-overs and bids.]

While CBS program 60Minutes from 15 Dec 2013 allowed the National Security Agency Administration to burnish the image of the Agency, once jokingly referred to as No Such Agency, their own correspondent reported on the Agency and listening rograms as far back as 27 Feb 2000.
Television Broadcast February 27, 2000


STEVE KROFT, co-host:

If you made a phone call today or sent an e-mail to a friend, there's a good chance what you said or wrote was captured and screened by the country's largest intelligence agency. The top-secret Global Surveillance Network is called Echelon, and it's run by the National Security Agency and four English-speaking allies: Canada, Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The mission is to eavesdrop on enemies of the state: foreign countries, terrorist groups and drug cartels. But in the process, Echelon's computers capture virtually every electronic conversation around the world.

How does it work, and what happens to all the information that's gathered? A lot of people have begun to ask that question, and some suspect that the information is being used for more than just catching bad guys.

(Footage of satellite; person talking on cell phone; fax machine; ATM being used; telephone pole and wires; radio towers)

KROFT: (Voiceover) We can't see them, but the air around us is filled with invisible electronic signals, everything from cell phone conversations to fax transmissions to ATM transfers. What most people don't realize is that virtually every signal radiated across the electromagnetic spectrum is being collected and analyzed.

How much of the world is covered by them?

Mr. MIKE FROST (Former Spy): The entire world, the whole planet--covers everything. Echelon covers everything that's radiated worldwide at any given instant.

KROFT: Every square inch is covered.

Mr. FROST: Every square inch is covered.

(Footage of Frost; listening post)

KROFT: (Voiceover) Mike Frost spent 20 years as a spy for the CSE, the Canadian equivalent of the National Security Agency, and he is the only high-ranking former intelligence agent to speak publicly about the Echelon program. Frost even showed us one of the installations where he says operators can listen in to just about anything.] My emphasis throughout.

Even erstwhile Republican. Eric Margolis,  now recognize the dangers of such a program to our civil liberties:
[In 1975, I was invited to join the US Senate’s Church Committee that was formed after the Watergate scandals. Its goal was to investigate massive illegalities committed by the CIA, National Security Agency and FBI.

As a then staunch Republican, and having worked on President Nixon’s reelection campaign developing Mideast policy, I declined.

With the wisdom of hindsight, I should have joined the investigation.

Senator Frank Church warned: “ If this government ever became a tyrant, if a dictator ever took charge in this country, the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back because the most careful effort to combine together in resistance to the government, no matter how privately it was done, is within the reach of the government to know. “

The Church Committee revealed Washington’s role in the assassinations of foreign leaders, CIA collaboration with the Mafia, wide scale subversion around the globe, mail and phone intercepts, spying on Americans by the US Army and intelligence services, collusion with right-wing terrorist groups like Gladio, and much, much more.

Edward Snowden’s revelations of NSA malfeasance have done much the same thing today. Both Church and Snowden were branded traitors by rightwing zealots and flag-wavers. Government security agencies were reined in for decades. But it’s now clear they are not only back to their old tricks, but are out of control.]

The gigantic rock lifted by the courageous Snowden revealed the chilling global reach of US electronic domination and intrusion.]

Now lest you think this of just academic or historical import, consider the US Drug Enforcement Agency has formed a secret unit to pass on information collected without warrants to local law enforcement agencies about drug crimes, non-violent drug crimes.
[(Reuters) - A secretive U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration unit is funneling information from intelligence intercepts, wiretaps, informants and a massive database of telephone records to authorities across the nation to help them launch criminal investigations of Americans.

Although these cases rarely involve national security issues, documents reviewed by Reuters show that law enforcement agents have been directed to conceal how such investigations truly begin - not only from defense lawyers but also sometimes from prosecutors and judges.

The undated documents show that federal agents are trained to "recreate" the investigative trail to effectively cover up where the information originated, a practice that some experts say violates a defendant's Constitutional right to a fair trial. If defendants don't know how an investigation began, they cannot know to ask to review potential sources of exculpatory evidence - information that could reveal entrapment, mistakes or biased witnesses.

"I have never heard of anything like this at all," said Nancy Gertner, a Harvard Law School professor who served as a federal judge from 1994 to 2011. Gertner and other legal experts said the program sounds more troubling than recent disclosures that the National Security Agency has been collecting domestic phone records. The NSA effort is geared toward stopping terrorists; the DEA program targets common criminals, primarily drug dealers.

"It is one thing to create special rules for national security," Gertner said. "Ordinary crime is entirely different. It sounds like they are phonying up investigations.]

Phonying up investigations: your tax dollars at work.

Thanks, Larry.

No comments: