Posts Tagged ‘nsa’

Hitting Up the NSA for Records

September 1, 2013


This is by far the funniest thing to come out of the revelations of the NSA eavesdropping actions.

A recent court case found the lawyer for the defense bringing up an interesting notion. His client’s phone records could help clear him… now the NSA just has to produce them.

Isn’t this a nasty precedent? If the government does not come forward with the evidence the defense attorney could file for a mistrial.

The National Security Agency has spent years demanding that companies turn over their data. Now, the tables have turned.

Then the federal government filed a motion saying it would refuse, citing “national security” but some experts say the novel legal argument could encourage other lawyers to fight for similar access.

The defendant in the case maintains his innocence and claims cellphone location records would show he wasn’t at the scene of the crime.

The laws of evidence require that prosecutors turn over to the defense any records they have that might help prove a suspect’s innocence.

One expert said, “The NSA is not above the law. It’s a government agency, just like every other government agency. Just because it has this Harry Potter-like disappearing cloak, it’s still an agency that is subject to the law.”


Here’s a Twist

July 28, 2013

Every year the Def Con Hackers get together and hobnob with each other, academics, computer professionals and the relevant Federal Government personnel.

And it has a long and proud tradition of this “open forum” to discuss the matters that affect each group.

This year, however, the group is a little uncomfortable with the Feds dropping in. Yes, the NSA even makes the hackers nervous, if you get my drift.

With this little bit of news, I might have to attend this year.

Vegas can be so lovely at the beginning of August… well, if you’re indoors, anyway.

See for more details.

Happy Bastille Day!

July 14, 2013


I have been covering a lot of the circus going on around Edward Snowden and the NSA leaks but I have been searching, searching, for something meaningful from the ordeal.

Certainly what Snowden did took a great deal of guts and his future is far from certain but the media coverage – you know, those people who rarely cover much of anything that makes the Feds look really bad because “they are told to” – has been so heavy that I thought that surely it was only to cover something else going on.

All right, I have to admit to being a bit skeptical. Sure, something “good” can happen even in our heavily micro-managed world, but it seemed a little too well orchestrated to be a singular event.

Let’s face it, a lot of the information Snowden has published was released by other leakers earlier… though most of it did not get the press Snowden seems to be commanding.

Still, for the life of me, I could not find anything I could put my finger on.

Then I read a fascinating article by Jim W. Dean at PressTV. He contends that all these various whistle-blowers seem to overlook one of the major intelligence players in the world: Israel’s Mossad.

Their tentacles reach out into practically all corners of the globe but they have gotten no mention by the whistle-blowers.

It is an interesting observation.

Dean also advises that there is not much we can do except put fifty million in the streets in protest, just like they did in Egypt, just like they did in France in 1789. Yes, two-hundred-twenty-four years ago today, the Bastille fell and the French Revolution began.

From what I have seen in America – however – it seems unlikely we could get fifty thousand on the streets.

But Snowden said there will be more revelations. I don’t know if he’s saving the really good stuff for last or if he is just stringing us along as a mere distraction.

It is not just being a conspiracy theorist that causes me to wonder. It is based on history.

And we have so many distractions.

The Story So Far…

June 25, 2013


I think it should be fairly obvious to anyone that the Adventures of Edward Snowden were a pre-planned attack on Big Brother.

Snowden was not just a worker at Booz-Hamilton that “happened” across this unConstitutional surveillance… the basic data has been known for some time now.

He was not just some rube who thought he could make a name for himself as the pundits on Capitol Hill and the talking heads of the intelligence community would have us believe.


Edward Snowden is the modern day Robin Hood or Nathan Hale or whatever hero strikes your fancy.

Whether or not his actions result in any positive action by “waking up the people”, it IS what he intended from the very beginning.

He took the job at Booz-Hamilton specifically because he wanted the documentation. It was no spur-of-the-moment thing. He had already contacted the reporters who would print the stories two months before he even got the job!

And, now, we can construct a better time line.

I am not certain that Snowden knew Aaron Swartz but I am fairly confident that he knew of the fellow.

They were both interested in the Bradley Manning case – from things Snowden mentioned as well as some of the last work Swartz had done.

When Swartz was killed (oops!… I mean “suicided”) this past January, Snowden seems to have made up his mind and contacted the reporter. Once he was certain he had a way to disseminate the data, he went looking for a way into the system.

March – Snowden got his job at Booz-Allen and moved to Hawaii.

June – Snowden takes a “temporary leave” and flees the country.

The rest is pretty much public knowledge.

Perhaps I make too much of the death of Aaron Swartz as a motivating factor for Snowden but his comments about already understanding that he is likely to be killed for his actions speaks volumes.

If nothing else, his actions have shown us what a bunch of groveling losers and “yes men/women” we have in Congress.

And, for some odd reason, I am reminded of Clint Eastwood’s final line in “Gran Torino”:

“I sure hope this works.”

I hope so too.

Some NSA Eavesdropping Fun

June 24, 2013

A singular thought I just had.

I mean, since the NSA is going to get ahold of everything we write and send over the internet anyway…

Why not just “CC:” them on ALL your communications. Every email, every upload, every tweet – everything!

I wonder how long their servers can keep up with the flood?

Just a random thought…

Who are the real traitors? | Jim Quinn via ZeroHedge

June 20, 2013

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via Who are the real traitors? | Jim Quinn via ZeroHedge.

This post is a bit long but far more than worth reading it in its entirety. And it does matter what you think, but only THAT YOU THINK!

the Revelations Keep Coming

June 20, 2013


It has been sixty-eight years since the end of World War II and they are still arresting Nazi officers.

The idea is to keep it fresh in people’s minds so that sort of thing won’t happen again. It has not worked as well as the idea was supposed to.

Today, if it were not for a few brave souls, we would never have the full picture of what the NSA, CIA, FBI, and our “elected civil servants” are doing to us.

Most of the people given security clearances in this country maintain the secrecy, like they are supposed to, even when they know they are doing wrong. They stick to their word – like we are taught while young: our word is our bond – and they uphold it even unto their death.

But the lessons from the Nazi do not seem to resonate anymore. We believe we are living in a free and peace-loving country, so the actions our government demands of these people can be explained away by most people.

A few, however, have a more fundamental understanding of moral conviction and blow the whistle.

Are they traitors?


And, believe me, there were a number of Germans who stood up to Hitler and the SS. And, yes, they were imprisoned or executed but their moral conviction went beyond loyalty to a government involved in crimes against its own people as well as against humanity.

Lawyers can quibble the fine points for all I care but it seems rather fundamental: a government engaged in crime against its own people needs a little eye-opening, a little soul-searching whistle-blowing.

If these things are not cleaned up – and quickly – things could get much, much worse.

History shows it to be true and recent political unrest around the world shows it to be a very real possibility.

Manning, Snowden, and now the lies coming out about Flight 800, where the people were forced to lie about the crash by the CIA and FBI who are under a lot of heat from the revelations of Snowden already.

I wonder what will happen if even more people step up and spill their guts about other things our government has been doing IN OUR NAME for the last fifty years.

It could happen…

I’m sure there is more dirt we have not seen yet.

Just Another Voice in the Wilderness

June 19, 2013


I don’t have a lot of followers so I doubt my take on the news is reaching a lot of ears.

It seems to me with all the noise the NSA is making lately about all the fine work they have done preventing terrorist attacks, I thought we should mention just one thing: Boston Marathon.

IF the system worked the way it is touted to work, why did the bombing in Boston even happen?

The FBI and other agencies have said the brothers were already “suspect”, so who dropped the ball?

Perhaps if the NSA had not been so busy trying to surveil American citizens and our allies they might have been able to put a little more effort into that case.

Just sayin’…

Transparency and Treason

June 19, 2013


Obama keeps saying the NSA program is transparent… and it is. At least to the people actively involved in it.

To the rest of us, the actions that can be taken, who can take them, who authorizes it, who oversees it, how much it costs, who it affects, what are the steps of its implimentation, what is the operative time frame, and a few other minor details, are all CLASSIFIED.

And I am sorry to inform the President but “classified” is the opposite of “transparency”.

Just thought you might like to know, Mr. President.


In the comment section below a recent article about Snowden on Yahoo! news, one commenter mentioned that “treason” is defined as aiding and abetting the enemy.

And since Snowden is just trying to help Americans, the government is saying, in effect, that we, the people, are the enemy.

I think the simple comment summed up the entire situation admirably.

Just Another Opinion

June 17, 2013

[I just read another amusing article and had to comment…]

It seems that Dick Cheney – former Vice President who shoots people in the face (after he’s had a couple) without prosecution – has come out and boldly stated that Edward Snowden should definitely be considered a traitor.


Case closed, huh?

Except for the small voice in the back who says:

“But isn’t that just like the pot calling the kettle black?”

Just a thought…