newz4all commented on the blog post Betting for the Little People: Timmeh Geithner Departure Watch
Wiretapping figures up for 2010
The number of court-approved wiretaps rose 34 percent last year, though an unspecified amount of the increase was the result of changed reporting procedures.
According to a report by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, federal wiretaps rose 82% in 2010 from the previous year while state applications rose 16%. Combined, 3,194 wiretaps were authorized — 1,207 by federal judges, 1,987 by state judges.
The report says the increases resulted, at least in part, from enhanced efforts to ensure that federal and state authorities were aware of their reporting responsibilities. The report says a new procedure with independent reporting by judges and prosecutors resulted in more accurate numbers.
newz4all commented on the blog post The Fed Gives JP Morgan Chase Another Multi-Billion Dollar Bailout
OT and apologies if this has been covered / discussed previously
Microsoft admits “Patriot” Act can access EU-based cloud data
At the Office 365 launch, Gordon Frazer, managing director of Microsoft UK, gave the first admission that cloud data — regardless of where it is in the world — is not protected against the USA PATRIOT Act.
Frazer explained that, as Microsoft is a US-headquartered company, it has to comply with local laws (the United States, as well as any other location where one of its subsidiary companies is based).
Though he said that “customers would be informed wherever possible”, he could not provide a guarantee that they would be informed — if a gagging order, injunction or US National Security Letter permits it.
He said: “Microsoft cannot provide those guarantees. Neither can any other company“. ( emp in original )
Wired.com catches up with reporting first done here on this blog:
Fishy Chips: Spies Want to Hack-Proof Circuits
In 2010, the US military had a problem. It had bought over 59,000 microchips destined for installation in everything from missile defense systems to gadgets that tell friend from foe. The chips turned out to be counterfeits from China, but it could have been even worse. Instead of crappy Chinese fakes being put into Navy weapons systems, the chips could have been hacked, able to shut off a missile in the event of war or lie around just waiting to malfunction.
The Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency, the spy community’s way-out research arm, is looking to avoid a repeat. The Trusted Integrated Circuit program is Iarpa’s attempt to keep foreign adversaries from messing with our chips — and check the circuits for backdoors once they’ve been made.
The US has been worried about its foreign-sourced chips in its supply chain for a while now.
A selection of Professor Juan Cole’s contributions to Salon in 2005 and 2006 deemed concerning enough for the Bush establishment to invite CIA surveillance.
Evidently, with a voice as influential as Professor Cole’s, calling the focal point of an administration’s foreign policy “a colossal misadventure” makes waves; the White House and the CIA may not have taken heed of his writing, but – if recent reports are to be believed – it certainly caught their attention.
The US Senate Intelligence Committee is reviewing whether the CIA and the Bush White House may have tried to smear Juan Cole, a University of Michigan professor who writes a popular blog on Middle Eastern issues.
“Depending on what we find, we may take further action,” US Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), who heads the committee, said in a statement.
A U-M senior official said in a statement that “the university will be closely watching developments in this case” and has a commitment to the “principle of academic freedom.”
“Professor Cole is a renowned Middle East scholar and popular teacher,” Phil Hanlon, U-M provost and executive vice president for academic affairs said last week. “He is a longtime valued member of the university community.”
Vermont Attorney General disappointed by health care privacy ruling
States cannot stop drug manufacturers and data-mining companies from using information about the prescription drugs individual doctors like to prescribe, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday.
Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for the court, said the Vermont law violates the speech rights of the data-mining and pharmaceutical companies.
The Vermont law prevents the sale of information about individual doctors’ prescribing records without the doctors’ permission.
Stopping the Government from Reading Your E-Mail
Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont is now trying to give email new protections by upgrading the main federal Internet privacy law.
New “Patriot” Act Controversy: Is Washington Collecting Your Cell-Phone Data?
US Senate Intelligence Committee is weighing fresh concern about the sweeping nature of domestic spying using one controversial section of the “Patriot” Act. This particular part of that law is notable because it has been divisive for years, and because over that time period President Obama has quietly moved from a Senator skeptical of the provisions to an enthusiastic spy chief whose Administration embraces them.
Last Tuesday the committee met to consider the worries of some members, mostly Democrats, who say the Justice Department has drafted a breathtakingly broad interpretation of Section 215 of the “Patriot” Act.
James Risen: USA Government Prying Into My Private Phone Records
writes Risen. “I have learned from an individual who testified before a grand jury… that the Government had shown this individual copies of telephone records relating to calls made to and from me.”
a senior law enforcement official said, “It’s time for you to get some new cell phones,” because phone calls of reporters were being tracked as part of a “widespread” CIA leak investigation.
Barrett Brown Comment Is Free @ The Guardian UK
A sinister cyber-surveillance scheme exposed
Hacked emails from security contractor HBGary reveal a disturbing public-private partnership to spy on web users
In February 2011, the hackers’ collective Anonymous released 70,000 emails from security contractor HBGary, which revealed that CEO Aaron Barr had offered the firm’s services to mount cyber-attacks against WikiLeaks and others on behalf of corporate clients.
After having spent several months studying those emails and otherwise investigating the industry depicted therein, I have revealed my summary of a classified US intelligence programme known as Romas/COIN, as well as its upcoming replacement, known as Odyssey. The programme appears to allow for the large-scale monitoring of social networks by way of such things as natural language processing, semantic analysis, latent semantic indexing and IT intrusion. At the same time, it also entails the dissemination of some unknown degree of information to a given population through a variety of means – without any hint that the actual source is US intelligence.
Altogether, the existence and nature of Romas/COIN should confirm what many had already come to realise over the past few years, in particular: the US and other states have no intention of allowing populations to conduct their affairs without scrutiny.
7:10 Rumors swirled last night that Barrett Brown, the writer often described as a “spokesman” for Anonymous until recently, had come up with a startling revelation that would appear today in the NYT and the Guardian and maybe elsewhere. I haven’t had time to check yet if anything has appeared in the media so far but this morning’s email (he says to only a dozen reporters) brings this intro from Brown: “The following document will be posted on the Project PM wiki, http://wiki.echelon2.org/wiki/Main_Page, within 24 hours; a shorter summary will go up on The Guardian’s website at some point afterward. This particular e-mail is going out to a dozen or so reporters who I believe to be equipped to run with it. The New York Times and a few other outlets were provided with this last night. Further details concerning the program described may be found by searching through the HBGary e-mails with this viewer: http://search.hbgary.anonleaks.ch/. Any outlet or individual is free to run this in whole or in part. If anyone has any questions, let me know.”
Here’s his opening: “For at least two years, the US has been conducting a secretive and immensely sophisticated campaign of mass surveillance and data mining against the Arab world, allowing the intelligence community to monitor the habits, conversations, and activity of millions of individuals at once. And with an upgrade scheduled for later this year, the top contender to win the federal contract and thus take over the program is a team of about a dozen companies which were brought together in large part by Aaron Barr – the same disgraced CEO who resigned from his own firm earlier this year after he was discovered to have planned a full-scale information war against political activists at the behest of corporate clients. The new revelation provides for a disturbing picture, particularly when viewed in a wider context.” He warns that this apparatus could be used within the US and elsewhere in the world. Details to come.
US conducting ‘mass surveillance’ against Arab world: report
5 WikiLeaks Revelations Exposing the Rapidly Growing Corporatism Dominating American Diplomacy Abroad
One of WikiLeaks’ greatest achievements has been to expose the exorbitant amount of influence that multinational corporations have over Washington’s diplomacy.
1. US officials work as salespeople for Boeing.
2. US diplomats by day — Monsanto henchmen by night.
3. Pharmaceuticals + US diplomats = best friends forever.
4. Washington ‘hearts’ abusive mining companies in Peru.
5. Diplomats as corporate spies.
In almost all of the cables, the US government interprets the enemies of corporate power as being enemies of the United States.
As a result, leftist activists and community organizers, particularly those who threaten corporate profits, are regularly targeted.
Unions, environmentalists and indigenous communities that challenge multinationals are consistently regarded with disdain and viewed as hostile villains.
The US government’s propensity at conflating threats to corporate interests as threats to US interests should alarm anyone who values democracy.
btw is it just us but has mainstream media ANYWHERE completely stopped reporting on any of the Wikileaks ????
For American Citizen, OOPS, Anarchist, Details of Life As A Target of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
“But first, it makes me laugh,” he said. “It’s just a big farce that the government’s created such paper tigers. Al Qaeda and real terrorists are hard to find. We’re easy to find. It’s outrageous that they would spend so much money surveilling civil activists, and anarchists in particular, and equating our actions with Al Qaeda.”
The result, said Michael German, a former FBI agent now at the American Civil Liberties Union, has been a zeal to investigate political activists who pose no realistic threat of terrorism.
“You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find terrorism. Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many communities,” Mr. German said. “So they end up pursuing people who are critical of the government.”
Manning / Assange revealed to the world the many horrible crimes committed by the jack booted thugs and scum and we all should be very very thankful. and grand juries should be completely done away with – the state mis-uses to crush its citizenery.
WikiLeaks Probe Ramps Up One Year After Bradley Manning’s Arrest
A year after Army Pfc. Bradley Manning was arrested on suspicion of leaking classified info to WikiLeaks, the government is shifting its probe of the whistle-blowing organization into higher gear.
Two weeks ago, a grand jury meeting in a courtroom in the Eastern District Court of Virginia heard testimony for at least two days from at least three people subpoenaed by federal prosecutors. The jury has been convened to consider whether to approve the prosecution of WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange. A subpoena delivered to a Manning associate in the Boston area says that prosecutors are investigating “possible violations of federal criminal law involving, but not necessarily limited to, conspiracy to communicate or transmit national defence information in violation of” the Espionage Act.
americans are not the only citizens on the planet being screwed into the ground by the surveillance state:
USA to Store European Passenger Data for 15 Years
Draft of Washington-EU deal leaked shows agreement ‘violates basic European principles’
The personal data of millions of passengers who fly between the US and Europe, including credit card details, phone numbers and home addresses, may be stored by the US department of homeland security for 15 years.
The 15-year retention period is likely to prove highly controversial as it is three times the five years allowed for in the EU’s PNR (passenger name record) regime to cover flights into, out of and within Europe.
newz4all commented on the blog post Is Mukasey Suggesting We Ignored Information Mohammed al-Qahtani Gave Us?
Marcy – did you see the new information on Chiquita and the Colombia FTA that you have written about previously?
cannot wait until the usa and current administration signs that “free” trade agreement with that “emerging market” !!
newz4all commented on the blog post Is Mukasey Suggesting We Ignored Information Mohammed al-Qahtani Gave Us?
Germany Limits Information Exchange with US Intelligence
Angela Merkel’s government has come under pressure following the deaths of German Islamists in Waziristan through American drone strikes.
Berlin has responded by restricting the type of information that German intelligence agencies may pass on to their US counterparts.
newz4all commented on the blog post Democracy and Now Capitalism Are Failing Ideologically; But What Comes Next?
“The truth is, I believe that there will very well be violence in the streets in America,” she says. “And I think the only thing we can do to stop it is by creating employment. Social unrest comes from people who can’t take care of themselves. If we become a populace of the permanently unemployed, and Wall Street keeps going up, and multinational corporations keep making money, but Americans are unable to work and take care of their families, there is going to be social unrest.”
Think Progress with a very handy listing of how dirty and incompetent and a complete tool Republican Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus really is. wow.
Wisconsin Republican County Clerk Claims She Misplaced 7,500 Votes For Justice Prosser, Her Former Boss
The evidence shows that Nickolaus is a partisan GOP operative, but the evidence also reveals a long history of incompetence on her part. Here is what we know about Kathy Nickolaus:
* Prosser is Nickolaus’ Former Boss: Throughout the 1990s, Nickolaus worked for the Wisconsin State Assembly’s Republican Caucus.
* Nickolaus Received Immunity For Testimony On A Campaign Scandal: In 2001, the partisan caucuses in the state legislature were investigated for alleged illegal use of state resources to secretly run campaigns. Nickolaus received immunity in return for her testimony about her role in this scandal.
* Nickolaus Has Blown Vote Counts In The Past:
* Nickolaus Was Audited After She Moved Official Data To Her Personal Computers:
newz4all commented on the blog post Bill Keller: True = False, But Better False Than Left or Right
let’s give keller one of atrios’ Wanker of the Day awards, shall we??
Wanker of the Day awarded to bill keller for being a Wanker.
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