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Forum Post: Obama spying on all Americans?

Posted 6 years ago on June 10, 2013, 11:07 p.m. EST by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

On Wednesday evening, the London Guardian's Glenn Greenwald published a top-secret order of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) secret eavesdropping court, which ordered Verizon Business Communications to hand over daily to the National Security Agency (NSA) the telephone numbers, times, and caller locations of every U.S. telephone call, including local calls, for a period of 90 days from April into July. What developed rapidly was the obvious: that this was a mere 90-day rollover of spying that had been going on continuously for seven years (throughout the entirety of the Obama Administration), as Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.) admitted in trying to defend the program Thursday,— and that every U.S. telephone carrier had received the same order, while forbidden even to mention it, and was doing exactly the same thing, as the Wall Street Journal reported the same day.

'Few Americans believe that they live in a police state...'

There was instant pandemonium in a Senate hearing Thursday morning, when Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) asked Attorney General Holder whether the Administration was spying on members of Congress and the Supreme Court. When Holder tried to maintain that Congressmen had been "fully briefed," Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) interrupted, saying "We're going to stop right here, because this 'fully briefed' is something that drives us up the wall," and insisted that neither she nor any of the other Senators sitting with her knew what was going on.

Separately, Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) told press that this was exactly what they had been publicly warning of for years: that the Obama Administration had a secret, radically overblown legal interpretation of its rights to spy on ordinary Americans under the Patriot Act, one which would shock most Americans were they to learn it. And indeed it has. And it's only beginning.

Veteran Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.), the author of the Patriot Act, demonstrated in a letter to Holder that the leaked order specifically contravened the Act. He demanded that Holder answer four questions by Wednesday, June 12, of which the fourth was, "Does the FBI believe that there are limits on what information it can obtain under [Patriot Act] section 215? If so, what are those limits?"

Then, Thursday afternoon, only about 24 hours after the first leak, the Guardian and Greenwald obtained and selectively published another file held at the highest level of U.S. security clearance: an internal NSA slide-show instructing employees on how to use a data-mining apparatus called "Prism." The slide-show was dated April 2013—right now. The Washington Post obtained the same leak and published another story at the same time.

The slide-show said that the NSA had obtained direct access to the main servers of nine leading Internet service providers, including Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, AOL, and Apple. NSA analysts were told that they could obtain any data, whether current or historical, including e-mail, video and voice chats, photos, voice-over-internet protocol, file transfers, videoconferencing, notifications of target activity ("logins, etc."), online social networking details, or "special requests."

Because of the word "foreign" in "Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act," the slide-show presentation instructed NSA staff, as a fig-leaf of compliance with the law, that they could only target such data if they believed there was a 51% chance that the target might be outside the United States, or in communication with someone outside the United States.

The Guardian accompanied its second leaked revelation with an unsigned June 6 editorial which might have been entitled "An Existential Challenge to American Freedom." After summarizing what the paper had reported over the two days, the editors wrote:

"Few Americans believe that they live in a police state; indeed many would be outraged at the suggestion. Yet the everyday fact that the police have the right to monitor the communications of all its citizens—in secret—is a classic hallmark of a state that fears freedom as well as championing it. Ironically, the Guardian's revelations were published 69 years to the day since U.S. and British soldiers launched the D-Day invasion of Europe. The young Americans who fought their way up the Normandy beaches rightly believed they were helping free the world from a tyranny. They did not think that they were making it safe for their own rulers to take such sweeping powers as these over their descendants."

After qualifying that Britishers should not minimize the dangers of terrorism, or the very real possibility that their own government might be spying on them in just the same way, they conclude:

"But it is American civil liberties that are primarily in the spotlight now. Ever since 9/11, the U.S. has allowed the war on terror to frame a new domestic authoritarianism that is strikingly at odds with America's passionate sense of its own freedom. This week's revelations have stunned millions of Americans whose justified outrage against 9/11 surely never led them to expect such routine and unrestrained surveillance on such a massive scale. U.S. politicians have a poor post-9/11 record of confronting such powers. Even now, it is possible that many will look the other way. But this is an existential challenge to American freedom. That it has been so relentlessly prosecuted by a leader who once promised to stand up against such authority, makes the challenge more pressing, not less."

Which is to say, accurately, that it is Obama who is the one responsible for these crimes. He cannot blame the Congress, as he attempted to do in a press appearance Thursday morning.

The New York Times appeared Friday morning with a very lengthy, bitter 1,100-word editorial entitled "President Obama's Dragnet," which formalized that newspaper's divorce from the U.S. President, and appropriately ridiculed his apologists. Contorted and emotional, the editorial mirrored fights at high levels in the United States. Bloggers noted that one sentence was altered just two hours after the editorial was first posted on Thursday. In the original version, the lead sentence of the third paragraph read, "The administration has now lost all credibility." Two hour later, someone had added the words, "on this issue."

Further Documentation: Police State U.S.A.: A Timeline of Obama's Expansion of Bush-Cheney Domestic Spy Programs

Despite his campaign promises to the contrary, once Barack Obama became President in 2009, he wholeheartedly adopted and expanded the National Security Agency's dragnet surveillance and data-mining program which had been created during the Bush Administration, under the direct control of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Obama's about-face should not have surprised anybody; it was signaled already in July 2008, when then-Senator Obama reversed course and voted to give the telecommunications companies immunity from civil suits for their cooperation with the NSA. A few months earlier, Obama had voted against immunity. It has been reliably reported, and not disputed, that what changed Obama's vote was the advice of this campaign counter-terrorism advisor, John Brennan, who was speaking out publicly in favor of immunizing the telecoms who had been giving the NSA full access to their electronic traffic.

Upon assuming office, although Obama tried to distance himself from Bush on the issues of torture and Guantanamo, he was silent on the NSA surveillance program. No speeches, no executive orders. And in fact, as we have now learned, the Bush-Cheney program has now extended beyond the major telecommunications companies, to include access to the major Internet companies.

Under the latter program, launched in late 2007 and 2008 after Congress provided new legal authorities (including the immunity law supported by Obama), the NSA obtained the cooperation of Microsoft and Yahoo in providing access to their servers, according to the Washington Post. Since the beginning of 2009, the so-called PRISM program expanded to include Google, Facebook, YouTube, Skype, and others—so that Obama is now presiding over a data-collection and data-mining project which is truly the fulfillment of John Poindexter's Total Information Awareness program.



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[-] 5 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

The question is;

What is the admin looking for, and Why are they suspecting average Americans of dissent?

Are they preparing for a total insurrection? I'm not seeing the big picture here.

Does the current US admin think that their enemy resides within the U.S. of A?

[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

Good questions. I would guess that they understand that what they are doing must inevitably provoke a response from the American people in self defense. Perhaps they are trying to identify the leaders of such a response with plans of "neutralizing" them.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

In your opinion, are the actions of the admin a clear breach of the constitution? Are they relying too much on the patriot act, in their clandestine endeavours?


[-] 2 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

I would guess the last few administrations have been heavily involved in breaching the constitution. Its just my intuition, but you see how this stuff is starting to come out in the open now.

Maybe there is going to be some kind of media revolt against the powers that be. Sometimes in a war, certain factions on either side may decide to change sides, which can have a decisive effect on the outcome of the war. Maybe something like that is happening now.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Builder, your link may have virus.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Hmmm, norton shows no probs.

Thanks for the heads up.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

Secrets of the Patriot Act (introduced into the House on October 2, 2001) are still being revealed.

The answer is YES! We have the worst of the worst hate and terrorist and traitor groups right here in the good old USA! This does not include the worst of the worst, the RepubliCon Cult and the greed-addled 1% they worship!


Big Brother is in the Private Sector: http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2013/06/10/2131641/how-private-contractors-like-booz-allen-cost-taxpayers-more/

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 6 years ago

We also have the biggest customs violators - drug dealers, illegal arms importers, slave traffickers, etc. This goes way beyond the terrorist of the Patriot Act, to enable law enforcement.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I venture some guesses here: The N.S.A. is simply scooping up information of average Americans so that it can filter out false alarms about average Americans. The tuning of the sensitivity of their algorithms requires as much information about the background communication pattern of the average Americans as possible. The most flexible way to achieve that is to store all information of that type and analyze later. If that were the only way that the information had been used, we can all just relax. BUT is the premise correct???

The administration does not suspect the average Americans of dissent but certainly suspects that there ARE Americans who are dissidents potentially susceptible to foreign al-Qaeda-affiliated and violent jihadist influence. They are not preparing for a total insurrection but they got pretty nervous (not the least is our Congress which certainly has a section that has become mightily paranoid and blessed the domestic spying efforts). Yes, the current U.S. administration does think that their enemy resides within the U.S. of A. This is nothing new, though, as we all know that there are enemies or potential enemies everywhere.

The really important questions are how the administration has used the information. I fear the nexus of the administration which will link up its political instincts to analyze the dragnet data already in possession of the N.S.A., combine that with the widely available, commercially procurable information collected by the private companies and state and municipal governments (e.g., DMVs), and feed that to the I.R.S., F.B.I., and other law enforcement agencies to exert pressure on the populace, the opposition, the dissidents, and the press.

All elements for a dictatorship/autocracy in the making have come into being although the linkage may not have happened yet but the law of the universe says that all possible states of any system will eventually be visited. It is time to take a deep breath, spread out your arms and legs, breathe out slowly, take another breath, and say loudly, "I have NOTHING to hide!" and mean it.

[-] 4 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Isn't this whole site dedicated to bringing massive changes to the system as it is now? Aren't you, as a regular contributer here on this forum, actively working against the corruption and bribery inherent in the actions of the current admin?

Is that not something this rather inclusive dragnet is attempting to filter and target?

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Yes, yes, and not sure what you mean. What surprised me was the uproar -- maybe because I came to terms earlier with the surveillance but frankly I was somewhat upset by the bipartisan congressional fig leaf provided for the surveillance efforts, subsequent to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Amendment Act. I calmed down some after rationalizing it by comparing with how much data about each one of us already exist in the hands of the private companies for free and for purchase. Yes, indeed, my intense online digging had scared a person before, using only freely available information from private companies. As I had heard before, "Resistance is futile!" How true that was! The horses have long bolted from the barn, the only difference now being the U.S. government has law enforcement arms that are pretty scary.

I was providing some plausible hypotheses for people to think with and I hope that everyone will take them with grains of salt. "Don't trust anyone over 30" changed to "Don't trust anyone - under 30, 30, or over 30" and that being unworkable changed to "Trust AND verify." I was not alarmed as much because I have long expected that the current administration knows all the tricks that Nixon knew.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

Yes, the Patriot Act has been contaminating the halls of Congress since 10/02/01, and after 9/11 if you weren't for it and the world wide War on Terror you were deemed a traitor. War Time Frenzy! How quickly we forget.

And yes, you have it right, "Private Companies."



[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Yes, and I was aware of Echelon (our govt is an enabler) a long time ago, so knowing that my emails, calls, texts, forum posts have always been up for perusal has been at the back of my mind for quite some time.

I'm of the impression that this current wave of borderline hysteria is serving a purpose; scaring people into silence. Controlling dissent on a mass scale, without really having to do anything. The whole shock-horror response is feeding into that purpose.

After a recent tragic wildfire episode, it was revealed that every mobile phone in the district could be pinpointed, allowing the authorities to target warning messages directly to people in the path of danger. I'm thinking that it would not be hard to pinpoint anyone, anywhere, regardless of having an RFID chip inserted on their person. We all willingly carry our "chip" with us everywhere.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Yes, and if you are willing to pay a bit of money, there is a truly remarkable amount of information about anyone in the more information-developed world that is already available out there for purchase. Those with good thinking skills can then easily link up the information and really scare just about anyone. That is why I became resigned to "Resistance is futile!" but many people are still in the angry stage so soothing comments can still help a bit, like some valium or morphine.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

Opium of the masses.

There's going to be a pandemic shortly. Bank on it.

Church attendance will skyrocket.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

The propensity for religions was built into the human brain. Right at the base of every human brain sits the emotional center. Similar to the heating furnace in a house's basement, controlling it frees the higher-level thinking brain to ponder, discover, and act in relative comfort. It is therefore important to control the thermostat. Beware of the jubjub bird of propaganda but take the valium to calm your nerves and have a good rest.

As your wildfire/mobile phone episode indicates, it is not bad that the authorities can pinpoint nearly anyone, anywhere who willing carry their "chip" everywhere. We just need to infuse the technology with a good will for the common good. The intention and motive will determine whether the technology does good or evil.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

I prefer to free-range, and gorge on the obelisk of passion.

Each to their own.

[-] 1 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

Yes, it is freedom of choice. Freedom, though, is a rather nebulous and often abused concept. If I were Australian, my freedom from paying your medical bills for treating first-, second-, or third-degree burns may conflict with your freedom to free-range and gorge on the obelisk of passion. It is the perennial quest to strike the proper balance amongst freedoms.

I think that the main reason for the uproar over the N.S.A. spying is that it really hits home and touches the intimate and sensitive parts of the U.S. populace. I should have anticipated that but I did not. Perhaps the U.S. populace has more common sense than I do in this matter as I have experienced before so we will see what comes of it.

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

We pay for our "free" medical in a small tax on income. Hardly any medications are free either. We also have a choice to buy medical insurance, which attracts a tax deductable status.

As for the "proper balance amongst freedoms", our target really needs to be overturning "citizens united" because corporate personhood has completely corrupted the political process, and turned the people's representatives into paid hacks, who are only interested in their own wealth accumulation.

We can never have true freedom while this is the political reality we live in.

The recent discovery of a virus within the genetically engineered food supply should be ringing alarm bells right across the nation. Instead, the prez signs an indemnity from prosecution for the biggest bio-engineering corp in the land.

If that's not evidence of the depth of corruption, and it takes RT news to report on it, because the media is also bought and paid for, then what do the people need to be shown?

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

I succumbed to ethnocentrism when I mentioned medical bills because they are one of the most expensive items in U.S. living. Australia probably has much lower medical expenditures, perhaps due to the struggles of the English working class centuries ago.

Our President had the haze of the U.S. preeminence and economic impact of genetic engineering blown in his face for so long that he became very enamored (or should I say intoxicated?) of the impact of >100 billion dollars a year, not to mention who knows what corporate goodies have already come from the bio-engineering companies.

As for RT news and Russia's potentially providing Ed Snowden with asylum status, we should be glad that the world is not a unipolar world yet. Even our sworn enemy of old from decades ago can exert a rather desirable rectifying influence on our much-debased country.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 6 years ago

I see this as a tool that enhances politics. Because when it comes to data mining they can plug in any key words they please.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

That is correct. The data mining having been automated can put political passion on steroid and blitzkrieg the political mass at odds with the administration. Political passion being fickle implies that there will be many large scale panzer battles with lots of casualties.

[-] -1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 6 years ago

That's the way I interpret it.

[-] 2 points by grapes (5232) 6 years ago

From physics: for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Unlike physics, in the political realm, the reaction takes some time to form and is uncertain in its magnitude. The reaction to the reaction will likewise take some time but usually somewhat shorter and stronger than the last time around. That may be the perfect recipe for stability to swing wildly into chaos.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 6 years ago

they are all going to prison. every last one of them. everyone who is complicit. the whole organization. everyone guilty will pay the piper.

[-] 3 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

In a perfect world, I would agree.

The culmination of our angst could be directed towards creating a people's court, along with the required dints and hollows, to prosecute the crimes of the inbreds and their henchmen.

I'm not so sure we are over the bickering and finger-pointing stage as yet. Perhaps we've been pre-empted in this respect. Have you perused the work of this international people's court?


[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

Right after we prosecute and convict the Wall Street Banksters and the Bush-Cheney Administration, then we can go after the Argyle Group and affiliates.

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

Yes to the last question. ( Does the current adminstration think that their enemy resisides within the US of A) It's the American people and by extention, The Bill of Rights. The recording many of us hear when calling a company ( this call is being recorded for quality assurance) takes on new meaning.

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago
[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

thinkprogress is a soros funded group,.........

[-] 1 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

Who's Dick Armey, for 20 points?

[-] 1 points by bensdad (8977) 6 years ago

from movie - "the world according to dick cheney" -

dick armey was against giving bush the power to invade Iraq until almost the last minute when his good friend, dick cheney called him in for a private meeting and persuaded him to cast his vote in favor of giving bush the authority -
by giving him a long list of reasons to do so

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

Former House majority leader, then former chaiman of freedom works.

[+] -6 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

And the guy the Koch Bros hired to start and facilitate the AstroTurf Teabagger gaggle.

Also: The original Tea Party was a reaction to the Corporate Monopoly and Gouging of the tea business. Which makes anti-gubmint Teabaggers utter Clowns.

[-] -2 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

The original tea party in boston was a reaction to taxes levied on tea,....................taxation without representation.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

Corporate Monopoly and Price-Gouging by a greedy tea company! Just like Exxon-Mobile!

God you're a CornDog!

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

of genetic crops, corn is king

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

The direct cause was the Tea act passed by the british parliament in 1773. the people of boston were already boycotting british tea because of the taxes imposed by Townshend acts in 1767. while the townshend acts were rescinded its duties on tea were still in force.

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

That's the Walt Disney version.

Are you Mickey Mouse, or just a whole lot Goofy?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

'N' you're funded by Glenn Beck.

I'll take Soros over him any day of the week.

[-] -1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

I am not " funded" by anyone. As for for soros,.........you support a person that is intent on taking down the USA. That say a lot about you.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

If you're so good?

Prove that article incorrect.

Show that those ties don't exist.

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

do your own search. "is george soros connected to thinkprogress"?

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

Why bother?


Since it's the truth, other outlets are reporting it as well.

How much truth has Glenn ever told?

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

I dont know how much truth beck has ever told,........BUT what has he lied about?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago


That's why you are clueless about ANY truth he's ever told.

There's no money in it for him, so he doesn't bother.....

BTW, I think he's recently said it's the end of the World .......again.

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

"everything"? thats pretty broad,.............and non informative.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

His lying IS pretty broad.

Interesting that you ignored the one thing I did point out.

But really?

I don't possess the typing skills to enumerate his many. many lies.

He writes whole books full of them.

It would be MUCH simpler if you would offer the one or two things he may not have lied about.

Or is that too difficult?

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

i gave you 2 examples,...............i am correct, you = uninterested.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

this far down the line, I don't even know who "he" refers to

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

You are seriously confused, as was your "comment".

Try and make it at least a little comprehensible.

This ain't FLAKESnews.

[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

Obamas real relationship with bill ayers ( obama said he hardly knew him) Thats an out right lie. he and obama are friends. obamas realationship with rev wright,.............obama ( long time member of wrights church) said he never really heard anything that wright preached about,........"god damn america , in particular). when what wright said about america was brought up by some of the msm,........ obama said he would never distance himself from wright,......... as time went on in the campaign ,.obama distanced himself from wright.

[-] -3 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

I knew it would be too difficult for you.

Thanks for proving me correct.

So it's gameoff?

As if it was ever actually on.

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

you live in the river in egypt.

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

you were given truths , 2 of them and you choose to ignore them

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

There was NO proof of anything given.

So it's still gameoff.

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

since the post i wanted to reply to had no " reply" i used one from another one of your posts. too hard to figure out?

[-] 1 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

You haven't demonstrated ANY truth he might have offered.

So really, it is gameoff, as you've proven it's as pointless to try as it is to understand such a simpering psychopath. .

[-] 1 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Ya, I'm all done with the whiny let's be nice to the dumb fucking Tea Toler/Libertopia group.

[-] 0 points by shoozTroll (17632) 6 years ago

Especially those that bring in the Glenn Beck/infowars/FLAKESnews bullshit.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 6 years ago

Yep. Same sham operation.

[-] 0 points by justiceforzim (-17) 6 years ago

I think they are just collecting all the electronic info because they can and who can tell in the future if/how it will come in handy.

What bothers me more is why have all these 'scandals' come out at this time. Methinks it is to distract from Benghazi, as it was just heating up again when the IRS thing came out, but who knows? We really are not surprised about what Snowden has leaked....hell Nova had a episode in 2009 "the spy factory" that spelled a lot of this out.

My question is...what are we being distracted from at this time? We gonna invade Syria and fight side by side with jihadists that we were shooting at a few months ago in Iraq and Afghanistan?

Benghazi is about arming muslim extremists and Obama's order to let 30+ Americans fend for themselves. Is it because he was too coked up to care?

[-] 7 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

The whole al qaeda/terror thing is BS.

Just one more mercenary force that can morph from enemy to ally in a week.

The criminals are now totally in control, and they don't give a fuck who knows it.

[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 6 years ago

I have often wondered if Obama was not Clinton's supplier.

[-] -3 points by martinspitz (-40) 6 years ago

My question is, how would it be possible to monitor the daily phone calls of 300+ million citizens? The time and backup space needed would be astronomical.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 6 years ago

If you do some research on the Echelon listening system, our calls, emails, text messages go through a database-driven detection system that is triggered by a list of key-words and phrases. If enough of these are triggered, the item in question is flagged for further investigation. Once your message is flagged, and suspicion is aroused, you might find your activities to be under the spotlight.

Echelon was introduced during the Cold War, and isn't a secret; hasn't been for decades.

Leads me to the supposition/theory that this whole scenario that is kicking up such a stink today, may be another orchestrated attempt to frighten the crap out of people, and turn us all into secretive, scared, "reds-under-the-bed" non-dissenters.

What say you?


[-] 1 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

Thats why the new buildings to house all this are being built in Utah. The current building in Maryland isnt big enough.

[-] 0 points by gameon (-51) 6 years ago

New buildings in Utah just for this.

[-] 2 points by WSmith (2698) from Cornelius, OR 6 years ago

A Modern-Day Stasi State

Thanks to whistleblower Edward Snowden, we now know that an army of private contractors can monitor anyone’s phone calls and e-mails.

Tim Shorrock | June 11, 2013

When I first heard that the source for Glenn Greenwald’s blockbuster stories on the National Security Agency was a contractor working for Booz Allen Hamilton, I felt a surge of vindication. After all, I’ve been writing about the murky world of intelligence contracting for a decade, and here was finally a sign of how extensively the government has outsourced its most secretive operations. Plus at the center of the scandal was a company that I have long identified as one of the most important companies in the intelligence-industrial complex.

Edward Snowden, who is only 29, worked for Booz Allen at the NSA as an infrastructure analyst and telecommunications systems officer. His time there and at other private contractors included stints at NSA listening posts in Hawaii and Japan, and his job gave him access to some of the NSA’s most classified operations. They included a massive surveillance program called PRISM that monitors virtually all global Internet traffic on a real-time basis, and a telephone-monitoring program that gives the NSA access to millions of phone records of calls, including domestic ones, routed through telecom provider Verizon.

From his vantage point, he learned that the NSA monitors Americans “even if you’re not doing anything wrong.” From “just sitting at my desk,” Snowden said he had the “authority to wiretap anyone…” “If I wanted to see your e-mails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your e-mails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.” He also discovered that the NSA is “using the system to go back in time to discover everything you’ve done.”

All of this is terrifying stuff that confirms much of what has been revealed about NSA surveillance by Bill Binney and his fellow NSA whistleblowers Tom Drake and Kirk Wiebe, who I recently profiled in The Nation.

Some news reports have focused on how such a “low level” contract employee could possibly have access to such secret material. But to me the greater revelation is what he has said about his employer. Thanks to Snowden, we now know that Booz Allen operates at the highest levels of the world’s most powerful intelligence-gathering organization and is engaged in operations that many Americans believe are unconstitutional and dangerous. We can only assume that the other companies at these heights—a list that includes SAIC, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, CSC, CACI, ManTech and many others—are doing the same.

Read more: A Modern-Day Stasi State | The Nation http://www.thenation.com/article/174746/modern-day-stasi-state#ixzz2W4P8per7

Follow us: @thenation on Twitter | TheNationMagazine on Facebook


[-] 1 points by Theeighthpieceuv8 (-32) from Seven Sisters, Wales 6 years ago

I think most here are relatively naive. Because most, despite the recent IRS political attacks, will conclude that the Fed will NOT insert key words into data mining programs to root out political dissidence or enhance their political position. You know, because that's the kind of faith you have in this administration. I also think most will likely ignore the enhanced ability of law enforcement to root out criminal behavior, fully assured by His Majesty, our Lord Protector, that these emails will not be used as evidence against them. The point is, the potential for abuse is extreme and I think one would have to be extremely naive to think that such surveillance is limited to the scope of the Patriot Act.

[-] 1 points by BradB (2693) from Washington, DC 6 years ago

wow..... the ONLY reason that anyone is spying on anyone is because the Spy-ers need a job....

It's dog eat dog time

[-] -1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

wow vorizon has an information advantage

and their a privately owned company without the peoples jurisdiction over their actions

[-] -2 points by martinspitz (-40) 6 years ago

How would it be possible to monitor all the phone conversations that go on daily, and back them up? The space and time required would be astronomical. It makes little sense. There's 300 million Americans and many use a phone at least once a day.

[-] 1 points by arturo (3169) from Shanghai, Shanghai 6 years ago

It does seem like a lot, doesn't it. I would guess its done automatically, and that the information is substantially compressed.

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 6 years ago

"FILM THE POLICE" B. Dolan ft. Toki Wright, Jasiri X, Buddy Peace, Sage Franc

as long as we're talking about information gathering