Sunday, 9 June 2013

More on the NSA leaks



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http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/06/09/nsa-contractor-booz-allen-hamilton-rushes-to-distance-itself-from-staffer-who-leaked-top-secret-docs/?partner=yahoo

David Vincent Conway: Defense Contractor with first Sterling Software and eventually with Northrupp Grumman, worked for DIA's Michael Ennis. He sent a bizarre email to me from the desk of CIA's Colonel Terry Markham, CIA Langley during the time when the harassment was stepped up. Conway, his pals, and the law "enforcement" officials perpetrating abuse on his abuse should have been prosecuted. They could and should still be prosecuted.


WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO:

Pardon Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden is a national hero and should be immediately issued a a full, free, and absolute pardon for any crimes he has committed or may have committed related to blowing the whistle on secret NSA surveillance programs.

Created: Jun 09, 2013

SIGNATURES NEEDED BY JULY 09, 2013 TO REACH GOAL OF 100,000

96,815

TOTAL SIGNATURES ON THIS PETITION

3,185__._,_.___

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We Need a Plan





... and NOT Obama's plan.


http://www.siotw.org/modules/news_english/item.php?itemid=138

We Need a Plan     

 

Whether we like or not we are in a war with Islam. While it is mostly a non-violent within America, it is still a war. As their goal is to conquer us. Islam is quickly expanding across the America, and it is very clear that we are losing at this present time. Muslims are beating us, by using our own rules against us. So in order strike back (all within the law of course), we must get more organized and develop a plan. Talking about the internal threat of Islam is not enough. We must try to counter the top five reasons we are losing this war.

5. Far too many non-Muslims are uniformed on Islam, or are just unaware of what is going on in regards to Islam in America. It is our job to continue to show the evidence of the internal threat of Islam. Many of us have been doing this, but we also need to recruit more non-Muslims to join us. I know it gets frustrating sometimes, but we cannot give up. If you ever feel like giving up just take a look at a picture of your loved ones, then visualize the horrors that take place across the Islamic world. I know it is not pleasant, but doing this should motive you again.

4. These days it is politically incorrect to speak out against Islam. Only time and the continued evidence against Islam will change this. In the meantime continue to speak out. If someone calls you a racist, ask them what race Islam is? If you are called a bigot, ask them if Jews were bigots for opposing Nazism? Or if black people were bigots for opposing the KKK? Sometimes there are times in life where people have to stand up for themselves. This is one of them.

3. Muslims lie like there is no tomorrow, and will say anything in an attempt to try to get non-Muslims to back off. This is what I call the information war, and Muslims have mastered it. When and wherever you see Muslims repeating the Islam is a religion of peace falsehood, counter it. Whether it be in a chat room, on in an article in an online paper. If it is an online paper, just leave a comment at the bottom. Also point out to any non-Muslims that are reading, that Islam instructs Muslims to lie. The comment sections of online publications are a great way to reach new people.

2. The MSM protects Islam and if we had them on our side, things would be much different. The country would have turned on Islam along time ago, and Muslims would be discouraged from coming here. What we have to do with the MSM is counter their claims as well. Once again, if you see an article that whitewashes Islam leave a comment at the bottom of it. If there is no comment section available, look for the contact information and write to the editors. Show them the facts, and let them know we are sick of them covering for Islam. Let them know we are more concerned with protecting life as we know it, than being politically correct. We will not let America die because of the PC virus.

1. Islam's greatest strength is obviously it's religion status, and our government adds to that by being so protective of it. Obviously sending anything to White House now is a waste of time. But we need to start educating our officials from the ground up. So please take the time to send some articles on this issue to your local representatives at least once a week. Another thing we can do is point out that Islam is much more than a religion, that it is a complete way of life that includes political and military components as well. We need to mention that according to the Islamic scriptures the political aspect stands for non-Muslims as well. I know this is no a way to live, but as of right now we have no other choice. We have to do the job our government is not doing. (Any other suggestions are of course welcome.)

Source



 



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Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations





Steve posted: "This Just In. The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows • Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not exp"
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New post on Fellowship of the Minds

Edward Snowden: the whistleblower behind the NSA surveillance revelations

by Steve

1This Just In.

The 29-year-old source behind the biggest intelligence leak in the NSA's history explains his motives, his uncertain future and why he never intended on hiding in the shadows

• Q&A with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden: 'I do not expect to see home again'

The individual responsible for one of the most significant leaks in US political history is Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors, including Booz Allen and Dell.

The Guardian, after several days of interviews, is revealing his identity at his request. From the moment he decided to disclose numerous top-secret documents to the public, he was determined not to opt for the protection of anonymity. "I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong," he said.

Snowden will go down in history as one of America's most consequential whistleblowers, alongside Daniel Ellsberg and Bradley Manning. He is responsible for handing over material from one of the world's most secretive organisations – the NSA.

In a note accompanying the first set of documents he provided, he wrote: "I understand that I will be made to suffer for my actions," but "I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."

Despite his determination to be publicly unveiled, he repeatedly insisted that he wants to avoid the media spotlight. "I don't want public attention because I don't want the story to be about me. I want it to be about what the US government is doing."

He does not fear the consequences of going public, he said, only that doing so will distract attention from the issues raised by his disclosures. "I know the media likes to personalise political debates, and I know the government will demonise me."

Despite these fears, he remained hopeful his outing will not divert attention from the substance of his disclosures. "I really want the focus to be on these documents and the debate which I hope this will trigger among citizens around the globe about what kind of world we want to live in." He added: "My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them."

He has had "a very comfortable life" that included a salary of roughly $200,000, a girlfriend with whom he shared a home in Hawaii, a stable career, and a family he loves. "I'm willing to sacrifice all of that because I can't in good conscience allow the US government to destroy privacy, internet freedom and basic liberties for people around the world with this massive surveillance machine they're secretly building."

'I am not afraid, because this is the choice I've made'

Three weeks ago, Snowden made final preparations that resulted in last week's series of blockbuster news stories. At the NSA office in Hawaii where he was working, he copied the last set of documents he intended to disclose.

He then advised his NSA supervisor that he needed to be away from work for "a couple of weeks" in order to receive treatment for epilepsy, a condition he learned he suffers from after a series of seizures last year.

As he packed his bags, he told his girlfriend that he had to be away for a few weeks, though he said he was vague about the reason. "That is not an uncommon occurrence for someone who has spent the last decade working in the intelligence world."

On May 20, he boarded a flight to Hong Kong, where he has remained ever since. He chose the city because "they have a spirited commitment to free speech and the right of political dissent", and because he believed that it was one of the few places in the world that both could and would resist the dictates of the US government.

In the three weeks since he arrived, he has been ensconced in a hotel room. "I've left the room maybe a total of three times during my entire stay," he said. It is a plush hotel and, what with eating meals in his room too, he has run up big bills.

He is deeply worried about being spied on. He lines the door of his hotel room with pillows to prevent eavesdropping. He puts a large red hood over his head and laptop when entering his passwords to prevent any hidden cameras from detecting them.

Though that may sound like paranoia to some, Snowden has good reason for such fears. He worked in the US intelligence world for almost a decade. He knows that the biggest and most secretive surveillance organisation in America, the NSA, along with the most powerful government on the planet, is looking for him.

Since the disclosures began to emerge, he has watched television and monitored the internet, hearing all the threats and vows of prosecution emanating from Washington.

And he knows only too well the sophisticated technology available to them and how easy it will be for them to find him. The NSA police and other law enforcement officers have twice visited his home in Hawaii and already contacted his girlfriend, though he believes that may have been prompted by his absence from work, and not because of suspicions of any connection to the leaks.

"All my options are bad," he said. The US could begin extradition proceedings against him, a potentially problematic, lengthy and unpredictable course for Washington. Or the Chinese government might whisk him away for questioning, viewing him as a useful source of information. Or he might end up being grabbed and bundled into a plane bound for US territory.

"Yes, I could be rendered by the CIA. I could have people come after me. Or any of the third-party partners. They work closely with a number of other nations. Or they could pay off the Triads. Any of their agents or assets," he said.

"We have got a CIA station just up the road – the consulate here in Hong Kong – and I am sure they are going to be busy for the next week. And that is a concern I will live with for the rest of my life, however long that happens to be."

Having watched the Obama administration prosecute whistleblowers at a historically unprecedented rate, he fully expects the US government to attempt to use all its weight to punish him. "I am not afraid," he said calmly, "because this is the choice I've made."

He predicts the government will launch an investigation and "say I have broken the Espionage Act and helped our enemies, but that can be used against anyone who points out how massive and invasive the system has become".

The only time he became emotional during the many hours of interviews was when he pondered the impact his choices would have on his family, many of whom work for the US government. "The only thing I fear is the harmful effects on my family, who I won't be able to help any more. That's what keeps me up at night," he said, his eyes welling up with tears.

'You can't wait around for someone else to act'

Snowden did not always believe the US government posed a threat to his political values. He was brought up originally in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. His family moved later to Maryland, near the NSA headquarters in Fort Meade.

By his own admission, he was not a stellar student. In order to get the credits necessary to obtain a high school diploma, he attended a community college in Maryland, studying computing, but never completed the coursework. (He later obtained his GED.)

In 2003, he enlisted in the US army and began a training program to join the Special Forces. Invoking the same principles that he now cites to justify his leaks, he said: "I wanted to fight in the Iraq war because I felt like I had an obligation as a human being to help free people from oppression".

He recounted how his beliefs about the war's purpose were quickly dispelled. "Most of the people training us seemed pumped up about killing Arabs, not helping anyone," he said. After he broke both his legs in a training accident, he was discharged.

After that, he got his first job in an NSA facility, working as a security guard for one of the agency's covert facilities at the University of Maryland. From there, he went to the CIA, where he worked on IT security. His understanding of the internet and his talent for computer programming enabled him to rise fairly quickly for someone who lacked even a high school diploma.

By 2007, the CIA stationed him with diplomatic cover in Geneva, Switzerland. His responsibility for maintaining computer network security meant he had clearance to access a wide array of classified documents.

That access, along with the almost three years he spent around CIA officers, led him to begin seriously questioning the rightness of what he saw.

He described as formative an incident in which he claimed CIA operatives were attempting to recruit a Swiss banker to obtain secret banking information. Snowden said they achieved this by purposely getting the banker drunk and encouraging him to drive home in his car. When the banker was arrested for drunk driving, the undercover agent seeking to befriend him offered to help, and a bond was formed that led to successful recruitment.

"Much of what I saw in Geneva really disillusioned me about how my government functions and what its impact is in the world," he says. "I realised that I was part of something that was doing far more harm than good."

He said it was during his CIA stint in Geneva that he thought for the first time about exposing government secrets. But, at the time, he chose not to for two reasons.

First, he said: "Most of the secrets the CIA has are about people, not machines and systems, so I didn't feel comfortable with disclosures that I thought could endanger anyone". Secondly, the election of Barack Obama in 2008 gave him hope that there would be real reforms, rendering disclosures unnecessary.

He left the CIA in 2009 in order to take his first job working for a private contractor that assigned him to a functioning NSA facility, stationed on a military base in Japan. It was then, he said, that he "watched as Obama advanced the very policies that I thought would be reined in", and as a result, "I got hardened."

The primary lesson from this experience was that "you can't wait around for someone else to act. I had been looking for leaders, but I realised that leadership is about being the first to act."

Over the next three years, he learned just how all-consuming the NSA's surveillance activities were, claiming "they are intent on making every conversation and every form of behaviour in the world known to them".

He described how he once viewed the internet as "the most important invention in all of human history". As an adolescent, he spent days at a time "speaking to people with all sorts of views that I would never have encountered on my own".

But he believed that the value of the internet, along with basic privacy, is being rapidly destroyed by ubiquitous surveillance. "I don't see myself as a hero," he said, "because what I'm doing is self-interested: I don't want to live in a world where there's no privacy and therefore no room for intellectual exploration and creativity."

Once he reached the conclusion that the NSA's surveillance net would soon be irrevocable, he said it was just a matter of time before he chose to act. "What they're doing" poses "an existential threat to democracy", he said.

A matter of principle

As strong as those beliefs are, there still remains the question: why did he do it? Giving up his freedom and a privileged lifestyle? "There are more important things than money. If I were motivated by money, I could have sold these documents to any number of countries and gotten very rich."

For him, it is a matter of principle. "The government has granted itself power it is not entitled to. There is no public oversight. The result is people like myself have the latitude to go further than they are allowed to," he said.

His allegiance to internet freedom is reflected in the stickers on his laptop: "I support Online Rights: Electronic Frontier Foundation," reads one. Another hails the online organisation offering anonymity, the Tor Project.

Asked by reporters to establish his authenticity to ensure he is not some fantasist, he laid bare, without hesitation, his personal details, from his social security number to his CIA ID and his expired diplomatic passport. There is no shiftiness. Ask him about anything in his personal life and he will answer.

He is quiet, smart, easy-going and self-effacing. A master on computers, he seemed happiest when talking about the technical side of surveillance, at a level of detail comprehensible probably only to fellow communication specialists. But he showed intense passion when talking about the value of privacy and how he felt it was being steadily eroded by the behaviour of the intelligence services.

His manner was calm and relaxed but he has been understandably twitchy since he went into hiding, waiting for the knock on the hotel door. A fire alarm goes off. "That has not happened before," he said, betraying anxiety wondering if was real, a test or a CIA ploy to get him out onto the street.

Strewn about the side of his bed are his suitcase, a plate with the remains of room-service breakfast, and a copy of Angler, the biography of former vice-president Dick Cheney.

Ever since last week's news stories began to appear in the Guardian, Snowden has vigilantly watched TV and read the internet to see the effects of his choices. He seemed satisfied that the debate he longed to provoke was finally taking place.

He lay, propped up against pillows, watching CNN's Wolf Blitzer ask a discussion panel about government intrusion if they had any idea who the leaker was. From 8,000 miles away, the leaker looked on impassively, not even indulging in a wry smile.

Snowden said that he admires both Ellsberg and Manning, but argues that there is one important distinction between himself and the army private, whose trial coincidentally began the week Snowden's leaks began to make news.

"I carefully evaluated every single document I disclosed to ensure that each was legitimately in the public interest," he said. "There are all sorts of documents that would have made a big impact that I didn't turn over, because harming people isn't my goal. Transparency is."

He purposely chose, he said, to give the documents to journalists whose judgment he trusted about what should be public and what should remain concealed.

As for his future, he is vague. He hoped the publicity the leaks have generated will offer him some protection, making it "harder for them to get dirty".

He views his best hope as the possibility of asylum, with Iceland – with its reputation of a champion of internet freedom – at the top of his list. He knows that may prove a wish unfulfilled.

But after the intense political controversy he has already created with just the first week's haul of stories, "I feel satisfied that this was all worth it. I have no regrets."

 

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CAIR Demands School Accommodate Muslim Prayers, Attacks Off-Site Voluntary Bible Lesson





burkasrugly posted: "We Christians need to start pushing back on this kind of thing. We need to break the 'magic spell' they have over the Useful Idiots in our media, government, and community."
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New post on actjonesboroar

CAIR Demands School Accommodate Muslim Prayers, Attacks Off-Site Voluntary Bible Lesson

by burkasrugly

Reblogged from The Counter Jihad Report:

Click to visit the original post

Townhall, By Kyle Olson:

How is the radical Council on American-Islamic Relations bending public school policy to its will?

Two stories from Michigan tell the tale.

From a CAIR press release:

The Michigan chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI) said today that a Detroit-area school district has apologized for handing out permission slips for Bible study classes to elementary school students.

Read more… 221 more words

We Christians need to start pushing back on this kind of thing. We need to break the 'magic spell' they have over the Useful Idiots in our media, government, and community.
burkasrugly | June 9, 2013 at 8:40 pm | Categories: Radical Islam | URL: http://wp.me/p1t1Gt-1fU

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Solving the mystery of PRISM




 

** PRISM is a kick-ass GUI that allows an analyst to look at, collate, monitor, cross-check different data types provided to the NSA from Interret companies located inside the United States. ** ====================================================================

Solving the mystery of PRISM

June 7, 2013, at 11:40 PM

  http://theweek.com/article/index/245360/solving-the-mystery-of-prism

 

 

 

What exactly is PRISM? How does it work? Who uses it?

 

Let's assume that the companies whose data is sucked in by a National Security Agency tool called PRISM are denying their knowledge of the word and its associations in good faith. And let us also accept their denials that they've someone given the NSA "direct access" to their servers.

 

So where are we?

 

First, the term "PRISM." The fact something at the NSA is called "PRISM" is unclassified.

 

There are many types of nicknames and words that the NSA uses. Some refer to collection tools. Some refer to data processing tools. The NSA has a specific name for data processing tools. They call them "SIGADs," short of "signals activity designator." PRISM is a SIGAD. It is a data processing tool.

 

Other NSA nicknames refer to databases. "Marina" is a database for metadata collected from telephone records. These two classes of words are not classified, but their association with a particular technology or a dataset is classified. That is, Marina=telephone metadata -- classified. I think, but don't know, that the Verizon metadata contained in the FISC order we saw goes into the Marina database.

 

Generally, the NSA assigns short alphanumerical designators to the hundreds of collection cells that focus on particular targets.

 

Associating one of these alphanumerics with its target or analytical group is classified.

 

On top of this, for especially sensitive programs, like those involving analysis and collection of domestic telephone or e-mail metadata, or those involving offensive cyberwarfare, the NSA creates "special access programs"

that are identified by a code word, an unclassified nickname, and a digraph.

The existence of these SAPs and their code words are classified TOP SECRET.

Sometimes, small NSA collection cells access particularly sensitive or advanced collection platforms, like, say, tiny flying bugs. These technologies are not shared with every NSA collection cell; the technologies themselves are classified. (I don't know if NSA actually uses tiny flying bugs).

 

So: an analyst sits down at a desk. She uses a tool, like PRISM, to analyze information collected and deposited in a database, like CONTRAOCTAVE. Then she uses another tool, perhaps CPE (Content Preparation Environment), to write a report based on the analysis. That report is stored in ANOTHER database, like MAUI. MAUI is a database for finished intelligence products.

 

If the analyst was analyzing the content of telephone traffic, he or she would access the desired traffic stream through the use of a "selector,"

which is the NSA's term for production lines. A system called XKEYSCORE processes most of the SIGINT traffic that comes into the NSA by way of various collection platforms, and compartmentalizes it by selector. A selector might be "RUSFOR," which would stand for Russian foreign ministry intercepts. Or something like that. Recorded signals intercepts are stored in a database called PINWALE.

 

This is all very complicated, and that is on purpose. But this brief tutorial is important. PRISM is a kick-ass GUI that allows an analyst to look at, collate, monitor, cross-check different data types provided to the NSA from Internet companies located inside the United States.

 

The programs that use PRISM are focused, as the government said yesterday, on foreign intelligence. A lot of foreign intelligence apparently runs through American companies and American servers.

 

The chain of action works like this.

 

Under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, the NSA and the Attorney General apply for an order allowing them to access a slice of the stuff that a company like Facebook keeps on its servers. Maybe this order is for all Facebook accounts opened up in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Maybe there are 50 of them. Facebook gets this order. Now, these accounts are being updated in real-time. So Facebook somehow creates a mirror of the slice of stuff that only the NSA can access. The selected/court-ordered accounts are updated in real-time on both the Facebook server and the mirrored server. PRISM is the tool that puts this all together. Facebook has no idea what the NSA is doing with their data, and NSA doesn't tell them.

 

The companies came online at different points, according to the documents we've seen, maybe because some of them were reluctant to provide their data and others had to find a way to standardize their data in a way that PRISM could understand. Alternatively, perhaps PRISM updates itself regularly and is able to accept more and more types of inputs.

 

What makes PRISM interesting to us is that it seems to be the ONLY system that the NSA uses to collect/analyze non-telephonic non-analog data stored on American servers but updated and controlled and "owned" by users overseas. It is a domestic collection platform USED for foreign intelligence collection. It is of course hard to take a Facebook account in isolation and not incidentally come into contact with an account that is owned by an American. I assume that a bunch of us have Pakistani Facebook friends. If the NSA is collecting on that account, and I were to initiate a Facebook chat, the NSA would suck up my chat. Supposedly, the PRISM system would flag this as an incidental overcollect and delete it from the analyst's workspace. Because the Internet is a really complicated series of tubes, though, this doesn't always happen. And so the analyst must sometimes "physically" segregate the U.S. persons data.

 

What happens if I, in America, tell my Pakistani friend via Facebook chat that I am going to bomb a bridge? We don't know precisely what happens when, in the course of a foreign intelligence intercept, a US person creates evidence of their complicity with terrorism. The analyst must be able to distinguish between relevant and non-relevant communication. If the analyst catches my threat, then he or she will immediately initiate a procedure that sends the information to the FBI, which begins its own investigation of me.

The NSA does not continue to collect on me. The FBI does -- and probably uses the NSA tip as probable cause to obtain a FISA order to start collecting data using a PRISM-type tool of its own.

 

What if the location of the other person is unknown? The NSA has a tool called AIRHANDLER that helps them geolocate the origin of these special signals.

 

Here is an important thing to know: everything the NSA analyst does leaves an audit trail. And the NSA has a staff of auditors who do nothing but sample the target folders for over-collects.

 

There are many unknowns, of course, and many places where the system could break down. We do not know the minimization rules. They are highly classified. We do not know how long minimized data sits in storage. We don't know how many NSA analysts are trained to handle US persons data, or HOW they are trained. We don't know the thresholds to determine what the NSA finds to be relevant enough. We don't know how long the NSA can collect on a target without getting a FISA order, though we do know that they can start collecting without one if the circumstances demand it.

 

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Report recommends changes for translator that altered Bible to appease Muslims





creeping posted: "An update on this post, New Bible appeases Muslims, yanks 'Father,' Jesus as 'Son of God' via Wycliffe pledges to comply with an audit panel's recommendations on controversial Bible translation practices After a year's work, a World Evangelical Allian"
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Report recommends changes for translator that altered Bible to appease Muslims

by creeping

An update on this post, New Bible appeases Muslims, yanks 'Father,' Jesus as 'Son of God' via Wycliffe pledges to comply with an audit panel's recommendations on controversial Bible translation practices After a year's work, a World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) panel has released its report on the Muslim-context translation practices of Wycliffe Bible Translators and its […]

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