Saturday, May 6, 2017

Trump Vindicated?: NSA Ends Mass Surveillance Of Citizens -- Says Reuters


(Stillness in the Storm Editor) According to mainstream news sources (Reuters), the NSA mass surveillance programs have ended. But given how much duplicity is legally sanctioned, can we trust the NSA's word?

Recall that the government considers citizens enemies of the state, and have stated as much in various acts, bills and legal policies. Furthermore, the use of deception to protect Unacknowledged Special Access programs is legally codified—government agents can lie to the public and make up cover stories—as the following excerpt from the Special Access Program Supplement to the National Industrial Security Program Manual states:
Program Cover stories. (UNACKNOWLEDGED Program). Cover stories may be established for unacknowledged programs in order to protect the integrity of the program from individuals who do not have a need to know. Cover stories must be believable and cannot reveal any information regarding the true nature of the contract. (Source)
In other words, we probably can't trust the media or government. They can legally deceive us for reasons of "national security," and they often do just that. 

Related Project MOCKINGBIRD: Ongoing Covert Control of the Media -- Propaganda, Cointelpro, CIA, Mass Mind Control and Surveillance

But perhaps, in this case, there is a reason to suppose things have changed. However, in order for us to know, we must seek for confirmation in the world. If the NSA has truly stopped their spying program, there should be signs that become apparent. Until then, we would do well not to assume an agency that has a history of deception is all of a sudden turning a new leaf. 


- Justin

Related Four Easy Ways to Stop Your Cell Phone from Spying on You

Source - Your News Wire

by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, April 29th, 2017

The NSA has announced plans to stop all forms of surveillance on American citizens, vindicating President Trump who was victim of illegal wiretapping by the agency.




Reuters announced on Friday that the agency no longer have the ability to wiretap without a warrant the digital communications of Americans who mention a foreign intelligence target.

Reuters reports:
The decision to stop the once-secret activity, which collected messages sent to or received from people believed to be living overseas, arrives as a sudden and unexpected triumph for privacy advocates who were long critical of the program, which U.S. officials had defended as both lawful and important to national security.

The halt is among the most substantial changes to U.S. surveillance policy in years and comes as issues of digital privacy remain contentious across the globe following the 2013 disclosures of broad NSA spying activity by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

“NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target,” the agency said in a statement.

“Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target.”
NSA also said it would delete the “vast majority” of internet data collected under the surveillance program “to further protect the privacy of U.S. person communications.”




by Dustin Volz, April 29th, 2017 

The U.S. National Security Agency said on Friday it had stopped a form of surveillance that allowed it to collect without a warrant the digital communications of Americans who mentioned a foreign intelligence target in their messages, marking an unexpected triumph for privacy advocates long critical of the practice.

The decision to stop the once-secret activity, which involved messages sent to or received from people believed to be living overseas, came despite the insistence of U.S. officials in recent years that it was both lawful and vital to national security.

The halt is among the most substantial changes to U.S. surveillance policy in years and comes as digital privacy remains a contentious issue across the globe following the 2013 disclosures of broad NSA spying activity by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.




"NSA will no longer collect certain internet communications that merely mention a foreign intelligence target," the agency said in a statement. "Instead, NSA will limit such collection to internet communications that are sent directly to or from a foreign target."

NSA also said it would delete the "vast majority" of internet data collected under the surveillance program "to further protect the privacy of U.S. person communications."

The decision is an effort to remedy privacy compliance issues raised in 2011 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, a secret tribunal that rules on the legality of intelligence operations, sources familiar with the matter said.

The court recently approved the changes, NSA said in its statement.

The NSA is not permitted to conduct surveillance within the United States. The so-called "about" collection went after messages that mentioned a surveillance target, even if the message was neither to nor from that person.

That type of collection sometimes resulted in surveillance of emails, texts and other communications that were wholly domestic. The NSA will continue to collect communications directly involving intelligence targets.

Friday's announcement came as a surprise to privacy advocates who have long argued that "about" collection was overly broad and ran afoul of the U.S. Constitution's protections against unreasonable searches.



Julian Sanchez, a privacy and surveillance expert with the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank, called the decision "very significant" and among the top priorities of surveillance reform among civil liberties groups.

"Usually you identify a specific individual to scrutinize their content; this was scrutinizing everyone's content to find mentions of an individual," Sanchez said.

Other privacy advocates seized on the change to advocate for additional reforms to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The part of the law under which the banned surveillance occurred, known as Section 702, is due to expire at the end of the year unless Congress reauthorizes it.

Democratic Senator Ron Wyden said in a statement he would introduce legislation "banning this kind of collection in the future."

A U.S. government official familiar with the matter said the change was motivated in part to ensure that Section 702 is renewed before it sunsets on Dec. 31, 2017. FISA has come under increased scrutiny in recent months amid unsubstantiated claims by President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the Obama White House improperly spied on Trump or his associates.

Pieces of differing bits of digital traffic are often packaged together as they travel across the internet. Part of the issue with "about" collection stemmed from how an entire packet of information would be vacuumed up if one part of it contained information, such as an email address or phone number, connected to a foreign target.




NSA told the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board as recently as last year that changes to "about" collection were not "practical at this time," according to a report from the government watchdog.

News of the surveillance activity being halted was first reported on Friday by The New York Times, which first revealed its existence in 2013, two months after Snowden leaked intelligence documents to journalists.

found on Kauilapele's Blog
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