House Narrowly Rejects Proposal To End NSA Surveillance In 205-217 Vote

House Narrowly Rejects Proposal To End NSA Surveillance In 205-217 Vote (ZeroHedge, July 24, 2013)

Moments ago, an unlikely grouping between a 33-year old Republican, Rep-Justin Amash, and an 84-year old Democrat, Rep-John Conyers, resulted in a House vote, that if passed, would have suspended the NSA’s “indiscriminate collection of phone records” and effectively ended the program’s statutory authority. Yet despite significant lobbying by the White House, security experts and representative on both sides of the aisle, the vote came within a startlingly close 12 votes of passage. A majority of Democrats, 111, voted for Amash’s amendment despite the full court press while 83 Democrats voted no. The GOP vote was 94-134. That the vote did not pass is not surprising. However, that it came to just 12 votes of passage is the stunning development and shows a sea change of how Congress approaches both personal privacy and the broader implications of the Patriot Act. All of it thanks to the action of one man who at last check was still stuck in the transit terminal in Moscow.

From The Hill:

Wednesday’s vote came after the White House and lawmakers who support the NSA’s surveillance activities launched a major offensive against Amash’s measure after it was granted a vote Monday evening.

Read moreHouse Narrowly Rejects Proposal To End NSA Surveillance In 205-217 Vote

NSA Holds ‘Top Secret’ Meeting To Stop Powerful Anti-Spying Amendment

NSA Holds “Top Secret” Meeting to Stop Powerful Anti-Spying Amendment (Liberty Blitzkrieg, July 23, 2013):

In case you aren’t aware, there is a very significant amendment set for a vote in the House of Representatives tomorrow. The amendment was authored by libertarian-Republican of Michigan Justin Amash, and it is to be attached to the Defense Appropriations Bill (which provides funding for the NSA). It is a bipartisan amendment, co-sponsored by Michigan Democrat John Conyers, and it would remove funding for NSA programs using the Patriot Act for blanket collection of phone records and metadata from phone service providers.

Here is a summary as it appears on the House of Representatives website:

Ends authority for the blanket collection of records under the Patriot Act. Bars the NSA and other agencies from using Section 215 of the Patriot Act to collect records, including telephone call records, that pertain to persons who are not subject to an investigation under Section 215.

The amendment’s supporters have even set up a web page dedicated to spreading the word and I strongly suggest you check it out at www.defundthensa.com

While I know many people will tend to dismiss such amendments by saying “it doesn’t matter,” I would say that if it “doesn’t matter” then why did NSA chief Keith Alexander hold a secret meeting today to lobby against it? Because it matters.

From the Huffington Post:

WASHINGTON — The National Security Agency called for a “top secret” meeting with members of the House on Tuesday to lobby against the first House amendment to challenge the agency’s authority to cull broad swaths of communications data, according to an invitation circulated in Congress.

NSA head Gen. Keith Alexander scheduled a last-minute, members-only briefing in response to the amendment, according to an invitation distributed to members of Congress this morning and forwarded to HuffPost.

The invitation warned members that they could not share what they learned with their constituents or others. “The briefing will be held at the Top Secret/SCI level and will be strictly Members-Only,” reads the invite.

Read moreNSA Holds ‘Top Secret’ Meeting To Stop Powerful Anti-Spying Amendment

Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which ‘Bonesaw’ Makes A Mockery Of PRISM)

Meet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which “Bonesaw” Makes A Mockery Of PRISM)

With his revelations exposing the extent of potential, and actual, pervasive NSA surveillance over the American population, Edward Snowden has done a great service for the public by finally forcing it to answer the question: is having Big Brother peek at every private communication and electronic information, a fair exchange for the alleged benefit of the state’s security. Alas, without further action form a population that appears largely numb and apathetic to disclosures that until recently would have sparked mass protests and toppled presidents, the best we can hope for within a political regime that has hijacked the democratic process, is some intense introspection as to what the concept of “America” truly means.

However, and more importantly, what Snowden’s revelations have confirmed, is that behind the scenes, America is now actively engaged in a new kind of war: an unprecedented cyber war, where collecting, deciphering, intercepting, and abusing information is the only thing that matters and leads to unprecedented power, and where enemies both foreign and domestic may be targeted without due process based on a lowly analyst’s “whim.”

It has also put spotlight on the man, who until recently deep in the shadows, has been responsible for building America’s secret, absolutely massive cyber army, and which according to a just released Wired profile is “capable of launching devastating cyberattacks. Now it’s ready to unleash hell.”

Meet General Keith Alexander, “a man few even in Washington would likely recognize”, which is troubling because Alexander is now quite possibly the most powerful person in the world, that nobody talks about. Which is just the way he likes it.

Read moreMeet The Man In Charge Of America’s Secret Cyber Army (In Which ‘Bonesaw’ Makes A Mockery Of PRISM)

And Now We Learn: NSA Foiled NYSE Terrorist Plot

NSA Foiled NYSE Terrorist Plot, We Now Learn (ZeroHedge, June 18, 2013):

To think it only took the world’s most (in)famous whistleblower to get the NSA to disclose that it had heroically managed to prevent terrorist attacks involving the New York Stock Exchange (we supposed they refer to the Manhattan-based TV studio and not the actual exchange where the servers are now housed in Mahwah, NJ) and the NY Subway. Because whereas there was a time in the past when the various US secret services would scurry at the opportunity to disclose their expertise to the general public, now it is a false negative that is supposed to disprove a positive (pervasive spying on the US population is good for you because…). Of course it takes one non-false positive to disprove a false negative, namely the Boston Bombers, who as far as we recall, used cell phones to communicate. But so much for details: now please praise the NSA, and also comply with the Administration’s push to rescind the second amendment. Or is Obama no longer pushing for “arms control”?

From NBC:

National Security Agency surveillance programs helped disrupt plots to bomb the New York Stock Exchange and the New York subway system, an FBI official told Congress on Tuesday.

The official, Deputy Director Sean Joyce, said that the programs also linked an American citizen in Chicago to the 2008 terror attacks on hotels in India and to a plot to bomb the offices of a Danish newspaper that published a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad.

Gen. Keith Alexander, the NSA director, told the committee that the programs had helped stop more than 50 “potential terrorist events” since the Sept. 11 attacks. He said he would provide classified details of all of them to the committee Wednesday.

Read moreAnd Now We Learn: NSA Foiled NYSE Terrorist Plot

22 Nauseating Quotes About The NSA Spying Scandal

22 Nauseating Quotes From Hypocritical Establishment Politicians About The NSA Spying Scandal (Economic Collapse, June 12, 2013):

Establishment politicians from both major political parties are rushing to defend the NSA and condemn whistleblower Edward Snowden.  They are attempting to portray Edward Snowden as a “traitor” and the spooks over at the NSA that are snooping on all of us as “heroes”.  In fact, many of the exact same politicians that once railed against government spying during the Bush years are now staunchly defending it now that Obama is in the White House.  But it isn’t just Democrats that are acting shamefully.  Large numbers of Republican politicians that love to give speeches about “freedom” and “liberty” are attempting to eviscerate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  The government is not supposed to invade our privacy and investigate us unless there is probable cause to do so.  Apparently many of our politicians misunderstood when they read the novel 1984 by George Orwell.  It wasn’t supposed to be an instruction manual.  We should be thanking Edward Snowden for exposing the deep corruption that is eating away at our own government like cancer.  Now the American people need to pick up the ball and start demanding answers, because without a doubt we are going to see establishment politicians from both major political parties try to shut this scandal down.  Establishment Democrats and establishment Republicans both love the Big Brother surveillance grid that the U.S. government has constructed, and they are both making it abundantly clear that they will defend the NSA to the very end.

The following are 22 nauseating quotes from hypocritical establishment politicians that show exactly how they feel about the NSA spying scandal…

Read more22 Nauseating Quotes About The NSA Spying Scandal

Pentagon Creates 13 Offensive Cyber Teams For Worldwide Attacks


National Security Agency Director Gen. Keith Alexander

Pentagon creates 13 offensive cyber teams for worldwide attacks (RT, March 13, 2013):

The head of the United States Cyber Command says the US is developing 40 new teams of cyber-agents that will both protect America’s critical infrastructure from hackers and as well as launch attacks against the country’s adversaries.

Gen. Keith Alexander, who leads both the Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, told the US Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday that the 40 online support teams should be ready for action by 2015, with 13 of those units existing specifically to attack other countries.

Alexander has been reluctant to go into detail about how the newly-designed teams will engage in cyber battle with America’s enemies, but he did say that the 13 squads of offensive fighters won’t be sitting around waiting for hackers from abroad to strike first. The NSA chief described the groups as ‘‘defend-the-nation’’ teams but also stressed that their role will be one that puts them on both sides of the action.

Read morePentagon Creates 13 Offensive Cyber Teams For Worldwide Attacks

NSA Boss: The Internet Should Be Adapted To Allow For Oversight By The National Security Agency

Flashback.

Law Professor: Counter Terrorism Czar Told Me There Is Going To Be An i-9/11 And An i-Patriot Act


NSA Boss Wants More Control Over the ‘Net (Technology Review, July 27, 2012):

The Internet should be adapted to allow for oversight by the National Security Agency, the organization’s boss says.

The U.S. Internet’s infrastructure needs to be redesigned to allow the NSA to know instantly when overseas hackers might be attacking public or private infrastructure and computer networks, the agency’s leader, General Keith Alexander, said today.

Alexander spoke at the annual Def Con computer hacking conference in Las Vegas. It was a symbolic appearance that he said was motivated by a need to interest the hacker community in helping to make the Internet more secure.

Alexander, who is also commander of the U.S. Cyber Command, described the Internet as “at great risk from exploitation, disruption, and destruction.”

In recent years, many Internet users have become familiar with the idea that websites can be knocked offline by denial of service attacks, such as those employed by online activist groups such as Anonymous. “My concern is that it’s going to flow into destructive attacks that could have consequences for our critical national infrastructure and the Internet itself,” said Alexander.

Read moreNSA Boss: The Internet Should Be Adapted To Allow For Oversight By The National Security Agency

US Cyber Command: War In World’s Fifth Battlespace

us-cyber-command_logo

On May 21 U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced the activation of the Pentagon’s first computer command. And the world’s first comprehensive, multi-service military cyber operation.

U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), initially approved on June 23, 2009, attained the status of what the Pentagon calls initial operations capability eleven months afterward. It is to be fully operational later this year.

CYBERCOM is based at Fort Meade, Maryland, which also is home to the National Security Agency (NSA). The head of the NSA and the related Central Security Service is Keith Alexander, U.S. Army lieutenant general on the morning of May 21 but promoted to four-star general before the formal launching of Cyber Command later in the day so as to become its commander.

The U.S. Senate confirmed Alexander for his new position on May 7. In written testimony presented to Congress earlier, he stated that in addition to the defense of computer systems and networks, “the cyber command would be prepared to wage offensive operations as well….” [1] Two days before his confirmation the Associated Press reported that Alexander “said the U.S. is determined to lead the global effort to use computer technology to deter or defeat enemies.” [2] The conjunction “and” would serve the purpose better than “or.”

The day Alexander assumed his new command Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn “called the establishment of U.S. Cyber Command at Fort Meade, Md., today a milestone in the United States being able to conduct full-spectrum operations in a new domain,” adding that the “cyber domain…is as important as the land, sea, air and space domains to the U.S. military, and protecting military networks is crucial to the Defense Department’s success on the battlefield.” [3]

Read moreUS Cyber Command: War In World’s Fifth Battlespace