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States of Emergency: The Object of American Studies

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Tag: Surveillance


NSA Court Judges Invest in Verizon While Surveillance Warps Law and Journalism

We must never be surprised when we learn once again that our lawmakers and law interpreters are in bed with the country’s largest corporations—this is how the American government now operates.

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 READ MORE



Russia Offers 3.9 Million Ruble Bounty for Help Identifying ‘Users of Tor’

Russia’s interior ministry has offered 3.9 million rubles (about $111,000) to anyone who can develop software capable of identifying users of the anonymous Internet browsing platform, The Guardian reports.

Posted on Jul 26, 2014 READ MORE



President Obama Needs to Cancel Executive Order 12333

There’s a chance you’re being watched right now.

Posted on Jul 23, 2014 READ MORE



The Future Is Not Ours (and Neither Is the Past)

The famed fog of war is nothing compared to the fog of the future or, as I’ve often said, I’d be regularly riding my jetpack in traffic through the spired city of New York, as I was promised in my childhood. Our urge to predict the future is unsurpassed. Our ability to see it as it will be: next to nil.

Posted on Jul 21, 2014 READ MORE



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‘We Need’ People Like Edward Snowden, U.N. Human Rights Commissioner Says

U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay said in a news conference Wednesday that Edward Snowden is a defender of human rights and should not be prosecuted.

Posted on Jul 16, 2014 READ MORE



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German Official Says Manual Typewriters May Be the Answer to NSA Spying

The idea has since been dismissed by other German politicians, but on a morning talk show, Patrick Sensburg, who is leading the Bundestag’s investigation into NSA surveillance, said the government has considered using non-electronic typewriters.

Posted on Jul 15, 2014 READ MORE


Pandora’s Terminal

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Posted on Jul 13, 2014 READ MORE



Aaron Swartz Can’t Fight the New Cybersecurity Bill, So We Must Do It

A year-and-a-half after Swartz killed himself because of pressure from felonies he faced over alleged “cyber crimes,” the Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act is set to give the government the power to collect and share content from emails, texts or other written communications without a warrant, ACLU adviser Gabe Rottman says.

Posted on Jul 13, 2014 READ MORE


Muslim NSA Targets Named in Snowden Leaks Speak About Surveillance

A spreadsheet leaked by NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden enabled Glenn Greenwald’s The Intercept to reveal the identities of five prominent Muslim Americans who were spied on by the National Security Agency, chiefly, it appears, for their political work and religious affiliation. Greenwald comments in an interview with “Democracy Now!”

Posted on Jul 10, 2014 READ MORE



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NSA’s Misguided Mission

Even those who believe the National Security Agency’s vacuum-cleaner surveillance of electronic communications does not trample privacy rights should be troubled by this practical implication: If you try to know everything, you end up knowing nothing.

Posted on Jul 7, 2014 READ MORE



Hospitals Are Mining Patients’ Credit Card Data

Medical centers are jumping aboard the bandwagon of privacy invasion as they buy data on millions of patients both to anticipate when they’ll get sick and for their own financial purposes.

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 READ MORE



Demonstrated: NSA Spies More on Ordinary Users Than Legal Targets

A four-month investigation by The Washington Post revealed that ordinary Internet users, both Americans and non-Americans, “far outnumber legally targeted foreigners in the communications intercepted by the National Security Agency from U.S. digital networks.”

Posted on Jul 6, 2014 READ MORE


Hillary Clinton: I Don’t Give Snowden Credit for the Privacy Debate

The former secretary of state tells The Guardian in a video interview that if whistle-blower Edward Snowden is “serious” about joining the debate over “the tension between privacy and security,” he can come home. “But that’s his decision,” she adds.

Posted on Jul 5, 2014 READ MORE



Orwell’s Dystopian Future Is Almost Here: A Conversation With Glenn Greenwald

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald, best known for his reporting on the U.S. surveillance state, told me that in the year since he first met whistle-blower Edward Snowden, he went back and re-read Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984.”

Posted on Jul 3, 2014 READ MORE



AP/Jose Luis Magana

One Court, Indivisible, Votes Liberty and Justice For All

Wednesday’s unanimous Supreme Court decision affirming the right to privacy is a reminder that support as well as opposition to civil liberty these days can come from unexpected quarters.

Posted on Jun 26, 2014 READ MORE



News of the World Hacking Trial: Brooks Cleared, Coulson Guilty

Rebekah Brooks is officially off the hook. For those who might not know, or might have lost track of this story in the whirl of the spin cycle, Brooks is the former editor of Rupert Murdoch’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid in the United Kingdom.

Posted on Jun 24, 2014 READ MORE



Drafted by the National Security State

This country has changed a lot since I joined ROTC in 1981, was fingerprinted, typed for blood, and otherwise poked and prodded. Nowadays, in Fortress America, every one of us is, in some sense, government issue in a surveillance state gone mad.

Posted on Jun 13, 2014 READ MORE



Wireless Cellphone Tracking Ruled Unconstitutional

A federal appeals court decided Wednesday that investigators must obtain a search warrant from a judge to acquire cellphone tracking data that is often used as evidence to show suspects were in the vicinity of where a crime occurred.

Posted on Jun 12, 2014 READ MORE



Vodafone Reveals Government Wiretaps

The Britain-based multinational telecommunications company confirmed that a small number of governments have direct access to the information coursing through its networks.

Posted on Jun 6, 2014 READ MORE



Spying a Difference Among Democrats in ‘Silicon Beach’ Congressional Race

To evaluate contenders for Rep. Henry Waxman’s seat, I looked at an issue that is central to American life today: domestic spying by the federal government.

Posted on May 31, 2014 READ MORE



The Last Commencement Address: Surveilling the Class of 2014

Internet Class of 2014, I’m in awe of you! To this giant, darkened auditorium filled with sparkling screens of every sort, welcome!

Posted on May 29, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Can Finally Sleep at Night

NBC has released a score of snippets from the network’s interview with Edward Snowden (posted after the jump), and one of the main takeaways is this, in the leaker’s own words: “I may have lost my ability to travel, but I’ve gained the ability to go to sleep at night and to put my head on the pillow and feel comfortable that I’ve done the right thing even when it was the hard thing. And I’m comfortable with that.”

Posted on May 28, 2014 READ MORE


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Posted on May 24, 2014 READ MORE


‘Left, Right & Center’: VA Scandal, China’s Cyber War and NSA Spying

Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer and the other “Left, Right & Center” panelists discuss the Veterans Affairs hospital scandal, the Justice Department’s announcement that it will charge Chinese military officials with stealing business secrets from U.S. corporations, and reports in The New York Times that the NSA acknowledges corporate spying.

Posted on May 23, 2014 READ MORE



NSA Row Sparks Rush for Encrypted Email

A new push to encrypt email, keeping messages free from government snooping, is gaining momentum.

Posted on May 18, 2014 READ MORE



CapitaLetters Review of ‘No Place to Hide’

Glenn Greenwald’s new book makes a compelling case about the rightness of Edward Snowden’s actions.

Posted on May 15, 2014 READ MORE



gabitogol (CC BY 2.0)

Former NSA and CIA Director Michael Hayden Gleefully Admits: We Kill People Based on Metadata

Since the very first Snowden leak a year ago, one of the more common refrains from defenders of the program is “but it’s just metadata, not actual content, so what’s the big deal?”

Posted on May 12, 2014 READ MORE



U.S. Gov’t Agency, UPS Accidentally Send Drone Parts to College Student

Well, oops, UPS. A logistical glitch, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is attributing to a delivery snafu by UPS, caused parts of a drone designed to monitor marine life and ocean conditions to end up far from its intended destination.

Posted on May 6, 2014 READ MORE



Apple Removed Encryption Protection for Email Attachments, Researcher Says

The tech giant withheld safeguards from parties seeking access to users’ email attachments in the latest versions of its operating system for the iPad and iPhone, contrary to claims made on its website, an independent security research firm based in Germany reports.

Posted on May 3, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Accepts Ridenhour Prize, Defends Whistle-Blowers

The NSA whistle-blower accepted the prize for “truth-telling” Wednesday afternoon and spoke via a Web stream.

Posted on May 1, 2014 READ MORE



They Are Watching You

It is here at the Border Security Expo 2014 that U.S. Homeland Security officials, local law enforcement, and border forces from all over the world talk contracts with private industry representatives, exhibit their techno-optimism, and begin to hammer out a future of ever more hardened, up-armored national and international boundaries.

Posted on Apr 24, 2014 READ MORE


Daniel Ellsberg, Thomas Drake and Jesslyn Radack Tell It Like It Is at Whistle-Blowers’ Summit

Unfortunately for our shaky democracy, the U.S. has needed serious and frequent help in exposing the misuse and abuse of government power in recent years. Fortunately for our democracy, people like Daniel Ellsberg, Edward Snowden, Thomas Drake and Jesslyn Radack have been paying attention.

Posted on Apr 23, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Quizzes Vladimir Putin About Mass Surveillance in Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin held a Q-and-A session Thursday to field questions from the public, joke about annexing Alaska (nope—it’s “too cold”) and answer Edward Snowden’s query about Russia’s surveillance practices.

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 READ MORE



NYPD Pressured to Eliminate Controversial Muslim Spying Program (Video)

After the closure of a police unit that indiscriminately investigated American Muslims, civil rights groups want the NYPD to eliminate all traces of the operation.

Posted on Apr 16, 2014 READ MORE



nolifebeforecoffee (CC BY 2.0)

What the Proposed NSA Reforms Wouldn’t Do

All the plans purport to end the bulk phone records collection program, but there are big differences.

Posted on Apr 15, 2014 READ MORE



Pulitzer Committee Vindicates NSA Reporters With Highest Honor

“What splendid courage!” Truthdig Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer said upon hearing the announcement. “By recognizing the astounding threat posed by the NSA to the basic freedoms our government is sworn to observe, the award effectively honors Edward Snowden and, through his example, other brave whistle-blowers.”

Posted on Apr 14, 2014 READ MORE



Edward Snowden Says NSA Spied on Amnesty International and Other Human Rights Groups

Former NSA contractor-turned-whistle-blower Edward Snowden made a virtual visit to a Council of Europe summit in Strasbourg, France, on Tuesday to claim that the American security agency had spied on human rights organizations, including Amnesty International.

Posted on Apr 8, 2014 READ MORE


Obama Eavesdropping

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Posted on Apr 1, 2014 READ MORE


NSA Reform

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Posted on Mar 29, 2014 READ MORE


Phone Guy

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Posted on Mar 27, 2014 READ MORE



Tech Giants Knew About NSA Surveillance

The senior lawyer for the National Security Agency said Wednesday that U.S. technology companies such as Yahoo and Google were fully in the know about the spy agency’s widespread collection of their customers’ data, contrary to claims they made at the time those programs became publicly known.

Posted on Mar 23, 2014 READ MORE



Twitter Stopped Encryption Project: Report

Twitter has stopped a project that would have encrypted direct messages between users, according to anonymous sources speaking to The Verge.

Posted on Mar 19, 2014 READ MORE



How ‘Revolution’ Became an Adjective

For the last several years, the word has been hanging around backstage on the national television talk-show circuit waiting for somebody, anybody—visionary poet, unemployed automobile worker, late-night comedian—to cue its appearance on camera.

Posted on Mar 17, 2014 READ MORE


Torture ‘Was the Last Straw for Me,’ CIA Rebel Ray McGovern Says

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Sen. Dianne Feinstein picks a fight with the CIA on spying and torture, Fukushima turns 3, how to protect yourself from private and government surveillance, and the handful of American families who have all the power.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE


Torture ‘Was the Last Straw for Me,’ CIA Rebel Ray McGovern Says

This week on Truthdig Radio in association with KPFK: Sen. Dianne Feinstein picks a fight with the CIA on spying and torture, Fukushima turns 3, how to protect yourself from private and government surveillance, and the handful of American families who have all the power.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE



Mark Zuckerberg Dropped President Obama a Line to Complain About NSA Surveillance

Because when you’re the 20-something bajillionaire CEO of Facebook, you can do this kind of thing: Mark Zuckerberg revealed, via a post on the social networking site he built, of course, that he called President Obama to air his grievances about the government’s privacy issues.

Posted on Mar 13, 2014 READ MORE


Edward Snowden Says He Would ‘Absolutely’ Do It Again

The NSA whistle-blower told an audience at the SXSW festival/conference via video chat, “Would I do it again? Absolutely yes.” He added: “I took an oath to defend the Constitution, and I felt the Constitution was being violated on a massive scale.”

Posted on Mar 10, 2014 READ MORE



The NSA Has an Advice Columnist

An NSA official writing under the pen name “Zelda” advises spies on everything from “co-workers falling asleep on the job, sodas being stolen from shared fridges, [and] supervisors not responding to emails,” Peter Maass reports at The Intercept. But the most interesting exchange involves a staffer who complains his or her boss continuously spies on employees.

Posted on Mar 8, 2014 READ MORE


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