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Forum Post: Ed Snowden, the Spy Industry's Bernie Madoff ~ Class War on the Government Front

Posted 7 years ago on June 17, 2013, 8:36 p.m. EST by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Ed Snowden, the Spy Industry's Bernie Madoff ~ Class War on the Government Front

Bernie Madoff committed the cardinal sin of stealing from the Private Funds of the Rich ~ Edward Snowden committed the cardinal sin of divulging the Privatization of our Intelligence Agencies. While Public Sector Bank Robbers, Saboteurs and Hostage Takers operate with impunity.

How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power

Lee Fang on June 11, 2013 - 1:45 AM ET

Read more: How Spy Agency Contractors Have Already Abused Their Power | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/blog/174741/how-spy-agency-contractors-have-already-abused-their-power#ixzz2WW8JD1ef Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook


War On Government | Randi Rhodes | WWW.RANDIRHODES.COM

Jun 14, 2013

Tea Party senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) says that "restoring faith in government" is "the wrong solution." Well then by all means, keep talking, Senator. Instead, Johnson says "we need to engender that healthy distrust, that healthy distrust that our Founders found with government." Is Ron Johnson aware that our Founders didn't found a corporation? They founded a government. The Founders didn't mistrust government. Most of our Founders gladly took important posts in the government that they created. The difference between the Founders and Ron Johnson is that the Founders weren't working to undermine the government.

Our Founders didn't mistrust government. They realized that government has a function but that it needs to be carefully monitored and regulated… kind of like how they felt about firearms. But then that's lost on these idiots as well. If our Founders hated the idea of government, they had an entire continent full of people living in tribal societies that they could have fled to. But then John Adams never chucked it all to go the Great Plains and hunt buffalo from horseback, did he?

US intelligence agencies routinely swap data ( http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-06-14/u-s-agencies-said-to-swap-data-with-thousands-of-firms.html ) with thousands of private firms. Hardware and software makers, banks, and internet security firms all provide our spy agencies with data and equipment specifications that help them infiltrate foreign computers. The spy agencies are corporate-assisted hackers! It would be like spy agencies trying to gain access to your home… with the help of your home security provider and the company who made the locks on your doors.

Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA) says that the surveillance programs that have been exposed are "just the tip of the iceberg." ( http://thehill.com/video/house/305047-dem-rep-lawmakers-learned-significantly-more-about-surveillance-programs-in-nsa-briefing ). And if you want to see the rest of it, you have to enter some pretty icy waters. House lawmakers were briefed by intelligence officials about the surveillance programs. The good news is that, as far as we know, nobody left the meeting and immediately cancelled their internet and cell phone service.

Congresswoman Sanchez said of the spying "I think it's just broader than most people even realize." Let's just hope that it's not any broader than a lot of people fear. According to Sanchez, the scope of the surveillance "astounded most of us." Yes, unfortunately, the reaction of some of them will be just to hit up Booz Allen for campaign contributions.

Randi Rhodes | Jun 17, 2013

It seems that everybody wants to know what's been going on at the NSA. Everybody, that is, except for 53 US Senators. Last week Senators were given a briefing by high-ranking intelligence officials about the surveillance programs. Only 47 Senators showed up. That's not even half—and as we all know, it actually takes 60 Senators to do anything at all.

Well, Dick Cheney is all for spying—but then that's no surprise, coming from a man who likes to spend "time in the shadows," if you will. Cheney called Edward Snowden a traitor who might be working for China. Under Dick Cheney, we sent countless jobs to China, and our debt to them skyrocketed. If China wants someone who really works for their interests they couldn't do better than Dick Cheney.

Even as the NSA scandal continues to play out, the bogus IRS "scandal" is pretty much already played out. Republicans have been unable to find any evidence to support their allegations that the White House was involved in IRS targeting of conservative groups. So they just decided to pretend that their allegations were facts.

Meanwhile, Glenn Beck is telling his listeners that this time we really are at the end times. The amazing thing is how a person so shallow can still go off the deep end. Beck told his staff and listeners "we are at the end." It's not clear if Glenn has gone completely insane, or if he's just doing a paid tie-in to the new Seth Rogan/James Franco movie "This Is the End." I don't know if the movie is funny, but it can't possibly be as funny as Glenn Beck.

Investigate Booz Allen Hamilton, not Edward Snowden

The firm that formerly employed both the director of national intelligence and the NSA whistleblower merits closer scrutiny

Pratap Chatterjee | guardian.co.uk, Friday 14 June 2013 09.00 EDT


Lawmakers planning bill to limit contractor access to NSA secrets

By Carlo Muñoz - 06/13/13 04:06 PM ET

Read more: http://thehill.com/blogs/defcon-hill/policy-and-strategy/305465-feinstein-congress-to-block-contractor-access-to-highly-classified-information-#ixzz2WWEZAoTf Follow us: @thehill on Twitter | TheHill on Facebook

Pentagon bracing for public dissent over climate and energy shocks

NSA Prism is motivated in part by fears that environmentally-linked disasters could spur anti-government activism

By Afeez Ahmed | the guardian

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a computer systems administrator for Booz Allen Hamilton, where he directly handled the NSA's IT systems, including the Prism surveillance system. According to Booz Allen's 2011 Annual Report, the corporation has overseen Unified Quest "for more than a decade" to help "military and civilian leaders envision the future."

The latest war games, the report reveals, focused on "detailed, realistic scenarios with hypothetical 'roads to crisis'", including "homeland operations" resulting from "a high-magnitude natural disaster" among other scenarios, in the context of:

"... converging global trends [which] may change the current security landscape and future operating environment... At the end of the two-day event, senior leaders were better prepared to understand new required capabilities and force design requirements to make homeland operations more effective."


It is therefore not surprising that the increasing privatisation of intelligence has coincided with the proliferation of domestic surveillance operations against political activists, particularly those linked to environmental and social justice protest groups.

Department of Homeland Security documents released in April prove a "systematic effort" by the agency "to surveil and disrupt peaceful demonstrations" linked to Occupy Wall Street, according to the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF).

A University of Bath study citing the Kennedy case, and based on confidential sources, found that a whole range of corporations - such as McDonald's, Nestle and the oil major Shell, "use covert methods to gather intelligence on activist groups, counter criticism of their strategies and practices, and evade accountability."


After Profits, Defense Contractor Faces the Pitfalls of Cybersecurity


Greenwald On "Smear Campaign" Against Snowden: "Tactic Of The Establishment"


Edward Snowden Q&A: Dick Cheney traitor charge is 'the highest honor'

The whistleblower behind the biggest intelligence leak in NSA history answered your questions about the NSA surveillance revelations




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[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 7 years ago

Guardian: Documents expose massive UK spying op

By RAPHAEL SATTER | Associated Press


LONDON (AP) — British spies are running an online eavesdropping operation so vast that internal documents say it even outstrips the United States' international Internet surveillance effort, the Guardian newspaper reported Friday.

The paper cited British intelligence memos leaked by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to claim that U.K. spies were tapping into the world's network of fiber optic cables to deliver the "biggest internet access" of any member of the Five Eyes — the name given to the espionage alliance composed of the United States, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

That access could in theory expose a huge chunk of the world's everyday communications — including the content of people's emails, calls, and more — to scrutiny from British spies and their American allies. How much data the Brits are copying off the fiber optic network isn't clear, but it's likely to be enormous. The Guardian said the information flowing across more than 200 cables was being monitored by more than 500 analysts from the NSA and its U.K. counterpart, GCHQ.

"This is a massive amount of data!" the Guardian quoted a leaked slide as boasting. The paper said other leaked slides, including one labeled "Collect-it-all," gave hints as to the program's ambition.

"Why can't we collect all the signals all the time?" NSA chief Lt. Gen. Keith Alexander was quoted as saying in another slide. "Sounds like a good summer project for Menwith" — a reference to GCHQ's Menwith Hill eavesdropping site in northern England.

The NSA declined to comment on Friday's report. GCHQ also declined to comment on the report, although in an emailed statement it repeated past assurances about the legality of its actions.

"Our work is carried out in accordance with a strict legal and policy framework which ensures that our activities are authorized, necessary, and proportionate," the statement said.

The Guardian, whose revelations about America and Britain's globe-spanning surveillance programs have reignited an international debate over the ethics of espionage, said GCHQ was using probes to capture and copy data as it crisscrossed the Atlantic between Western Europe and North America.

It said that, by last year, GCHQ was in some way handling 600 million telecommunications every day — although it did not go into any further detail and it was not clear whether that meant that GCHQ could systematically record or even track all the electronic movement at once.

Fiber optic cables — thin strands of glass bundled together and strung out underground or across the oceans — play a critical role in keeping the world connected. A 2010 estimate suggested that such cables are responsible for 95 percent of the world's international voice and data traffic, and the Guardian said Britain's geographic position on Europe's western fringe gave it natural access to many of the trans-Atlantic cables as they emerged from the sea.

The Guardian said GCHQ's probes did more than just monitor the data live; British eavesdroppers can store content for three days and metadata — information about who was talking to whom, for how long, from where, and through what medium — for 30 days.

The paper quoted Snowden, the leaker, as saying that the surveillance was "not just a US problem. The U.K. has a huge dog in this fight ... They (GCHQ) are worse than the U.S."

Snowden, whose whereabouts are unknown, faces the prospect of prosecution in the United States over his disclosures, and some there have called on him to be tried for treason. Snowden has expressed interest in seeking asylum in Iceland, where a local businessman said he was prepared to fly the leaker should he request it.

Attempts by The Associated Press to reach Snowden have so far been unsuccessful.

Kimberly Dozier in Washington contributed to this report.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Oy Vey!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

I can't see giving Cheney any credit as he is considered a sociopath

too bad he owns shit loads of money and property

[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

I forget, was Cheney recipient of Blackwater or Haliburton bid-less and blatant War Profiteering? He can afford a lot of airtime, but it's most likely good old corporate Quid Pro Quo.

[-] 0 points by OccNoVi (415) 7 years ago

Cheney moved at least $2-billion a year to Halliburton.

Iraq !!

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

I hope they have his sneering portrait in the boardroom for that. Where'd they move to, Dubai? What did they change their name to, Pink Kitties?

[-] 0 points by OccNoVi (415) 7 years ago

This one:

"Lawmakers planning bill to limit contractor access to NSA secrets"

Gawd, that's stupid. The one and only point of having contractors is to pay market rate wages to employees. The security checks are the same.

"Contractor" is irrelevant to what Snowden saw and how he reacted as a matter of conscience.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

No, that's what Labor Unions are for.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Put the Spies Back Under One Roof (A Government Roof)

By TIM SHORROCK | NYT Published: June 17, 2013

WASHINGTON — THE revelation that Edward J. Snowden, a contractor at Booz Allen Hamilton, was responsible for the biggest leak in the history of the National Security Agency has sparked a furious response in Congress.

“I’m very concerned that we have [private] government contractors doing what are essentially governmental jobs,” Senator Dianne Feinstein, the chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said last week. “Maybe we should bring some of that more in-house,” the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, mused.

It’s a little late for that. Seventy percent of America’s intelligence budget now flows to private contractors. Going by this year’s estimated budget of about $80 billion, that makes private intelligence a $56 billion-a-year industry. [That we know of]

For decades, the N.S.A. relied on its own computer scientists, cryptographers and mathematicians to tap, decode and analyze communications as they traversed phone lines and satellite networks. By the 1990s, however, advances in personal computing, the growth of the Internet, the advent of cellphones and the shift in telecommunications to high-speed fiber-optic lines has made it difficult for the N.S.A. to keep up.

As the commercial world began to surpass the N.S.A., some in the agency began looking to the private sector for solutions. [ In 2000, thanks in part to an advisory committee led by James R. Clapper Jr., now the director of national intelligence, the N.S.A. decided to shift away from its in-house development strategy and outsource on a huge scale. ] The N.S.A.’s headquarters began filling with [private] contractors working for Booz Allen and hundreds of other companies.

[ In 2001 the N.S.A. even outsourced its I.T. infrastructure “to push more of our work to contractors,” ] as its director testified last week. Mr. Snowden was a systems administrator on the program. That’s how he knew about the highly classified programs he leaked.

But apart from the risk of leaking classified information, what’s wrong with the N.S.A. or any other agency’s outsourcing critical programs to the private sector? Are private contractors really “not the issue,” as a former N.S.A. director, Michael V. Hayden, insisted on Sunday on NBC?

And if the N.S.A.’s mass surveillance programs are unlawful or unconstitutional, as many Americans (including myself) believe, does it make any difference whether the work is done by a government analyst or a private contractor?

Yes, it does. Here’s why:

First, it is dangerous to have half a million people — the number of private contractors holding top-secret security clearances — peering into the lives of their fellow citizens. Contractors aren’t part of the chain of command at the N.S.A. or other agencies and aren’t subject to Congressional oversight. Officially, their only loyalty is to their company and its shareholders. [And a paycheck]

Second, with billions of dollars of government money sloshing around, and with contractors providing advice on how to spend it, conflicts of interest and corruption are inevitable. Contractors simply shouldn’t be in the business of managing large projects and providing procurement advice to intelligence agencies. Thomas A. Drake, one of the N.S.A. whistle-blowers who exposed the waste and fraud in the N.S.A.’s Trailblazer program — Mr. Hayden’s disastrous attempt to privatize the N.S.A.’s analysis of intercepted signals intelligence — estimates that the project cost taxpayers as much as $7 billion (it was canceled in 2006). Yet the contracts kept rolling in, and Mr. Hayden went on to head the C.I.A.

Third, we’ve allowed contractors to conduct our most secret and sensitive operations with virtually no oversight. This is true not only at the N.S.A. Contractors now work alongside the C.I.A. in covert operations (two of the Americans killed in Benghazi were C.I.A. contractors; we still don’t know who their employer was).

They also analyze imagery and intercepted intelligence to track and kill suspected terrorists for the United States Special Operations Command. In April, the Pentagon’s Office of Inspector General found that nine of 28 tasks outlined in a $231 million contract the command awarded “may have included inherently governmental duties.” In other words, contractors were involved in secret and highly sensitive operations that by law are reserved for government operatives. After Blackwater’s sordid history in Iraq, we don’t need more unaccountable actors fighting terrorism for profit.

Finally, there’s the revolving door — or what President Dwight D. Eisenhower called “undue influence.” With few regulations and no questions being asked on Capitol Hill, hundreds of former top N.S.A. and C.I.A. officials have migrated from government to the private sector and back again. The poster boy is Michael McConnell, who served as N.S.A. director during Bill Clinton’s first term, then went to Booz Allen for a 10-year stint, became director of national intelligence for George W. Bush from 2007 to 2009, and is back at Booz Allen today.

We have no way of knowing how people like Mr. McConnell formed their business relationships, and what agreements or compromises they might have made to get their private-sector jobs (and vice versa). They may be honorable men, but as recent history has shown us, there’s no reason to take them at their word. And the current one-year ban on lobbying for former officials does little to prevent conflicts of interest.

Congress must act now to re-establish a government-run intelligence service operating with proper oversight. The first step is to appoint an independent review board — with no contractors on it — to decide where the line for government work should be drawn. The best response to the Snowden affair is to reduce the size of our private intelligence army and make contract spying a thing of the past. Our democracy depends on it.

Tim Shorrock is the author of “Spies for Hire: The Secret World of Intelligence Outsourcing.”

[-] -1 points by OccNoVi (415) 7 years ago


NSA's pay structure was not competitive with what private firms such as Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Sun, Oracle were paying.

That's why NSA had to go to contracting.

Oversight and security checks are exactly the same for GS system and contract employees.

And obviously Jessica's whistleblower clients are all former GS system people. Not a contractor in the list.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Conflict of interest.

[-] 0 points by OccNoVi (415) 7 years ago

How so ?

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

$ VS US!

Why do I even have to say it?!!

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

GREENWALD: Unfortunately, I'm not. One of his big concerns with coming out, really his only one, is that he knows that political media loves to dramatize and personalize things. And he was concerned that the focus would distract away from the revelations about what our government is doing onto him personally.

I hope he finds a job

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

I was going to post that very quote.

He'll be lucky to keep finding a heart beat. IMO he has two option paths: Julian Assange asylum or Bernie Madoff incarceration.

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

there's no need to hide from the government

but what private employer wants a whistle a blower ?

[-] -2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago


[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

oil mining ?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

tar sands are mining operations.

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

fracking is also mining

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 7 years ago

Yes, to the extent that drilling is mining, but tar sands operations are literal open pit mines.

[-] -1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

They could use them.

[-] 0 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

I am pleased more people are blowing whistles

thanks for getting the truth out Snowden

[-] -3 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

Let's make sure that what get's "OUT" is indeed the "TRUTH."

Privatization of our Government!

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago
[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

I wish, but a penitentiary would be more suitable. And they are only the figureheads and mercenaries, it's the bosses...

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

as long as we're on the subject of information gathering

Film the Police

[-] 1 points by OccNoVi (415) 7 years ago

GoPro cameras are perfect, apart from being somewhat large.

Miniature video cameras... perfect. 640x480 vids are dirt cheap now.

[-] 0 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 7 years ago

I hope we all learned something about the brutal state of today's police force from those few months of peaceful occupation, coast to coast. The Nazis developed Meth to make their soldiers Storm Troopers, and even the cops in Portland acted and suited-up like jacked-up robo-cops. Revelations in the above Guardian article mentioned gearing up for a public not getting depression relief until 2020. I think they ate Andy of Mayberry!