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Index » Regional/Local » USA/Canada » Those lovable NSA/GCHQ/CSEC/DGSE/ASD/CIA guys Page: 1, 2, 3 ... 16, 17, 18  Next
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Red_Dragon
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 8:47am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

AFAIK, the stuff was just being stored in case they *wanted* to investigate a particular phone's activity. That wouldn't take too much in the way of resources. Now going thru every call, looking for evidence of wrongdoing, that's crazy talk a jobs program!

 
fyt
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 8:39am

 islander wrote:
And how do you sort it and put resources on evaluating it. 
 
AFAIK, the stuff was just being stored in case they *wanted* to investigate a particular phone's activity. That wouldn't take too much in the way of resources. Now going thru every call, looking for evidence of wrongdoing, that's crazy talk!
oldviolin
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:40am

 Red_Dragon wrote:

You mean, this guy?

 
Indeed I do...{#Lol}
Red_Dragon
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:38am

 oldviolin wrote:

I guess most folks can't quite process that notion, what with the bumbling nonsense that counts for priorities these days...hence the cover.
Next thing you know somebody sets themselves up as the savior of mankind and that will be the candle on the cake...
I figure we all just do the best we can at any given moment in any given circumstance and let the light shine that fake candle to burning shame...

 
You mean, this guy?
cc_rider
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:38am

 Red_Dragon wrote:

shocked! you're shocked!

 
Why yes, yes I am.
oldviolin
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:34am

 cc_rider wrote:

What? Are you implying our government, or more precisely the corporations that own our government, want us to live in fear? That's crazy talk.

 
I guess most folks can't quite process that notion, what with the bumbling nonsense that counts for priorities these days...hence the cover.
Next thing you know somebody sets themselves up as the savior of mankind and that will be the candle on the cake...
I figure we all just do the best we can at any given moment in any given circumstance and let the light shine that fake candle to burning shame...
Red_Dragon
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:28am

 cc_rider wrote:

What? Are you implying our government, or more precisely the corporations that own our government, want us to live in fear? That's crazy talk.

 
shocked! you're shocked!
cc_rider
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:19am

 oldviolin wrote:

It doesn't matter if it is or not if the fear is planted in the notion that it could or might be...Results are the same.

 
What? Are you implying our government, or more precisely the corporations that own our government, want us to live in fear? That's crazy talk.
islander
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:18am

 oldviolin wrote:

It doesn't matter if it is or not if the fear is planted in the notion that it could or might be...Results are the same.

 
True, I expected to just do some simple math and show that it was a preposterous idea. But it turned out that it was not such a hard thing to do on a physical level. Our .gov has wasted far more on far less. I do think it's likely that they are doing  a lot of stuff they shouldn't be, and it's time to reign them in a bit. I'm all for safety and security, but we've shifted a bit to far to the police state side of that pendulum arc. I'm ready to head back to the middle (with an over correction that will eventually lead us back here again). 
Red_Dragon
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:16am

 islander wrote:


I started out ready to call BS on this. But just doing some back of the napkin math on ~3 billion phone calls per day you would need 30 Petabytes of storage dedicated just for the recording (and that is assuming very limited redundancy).  It would take fewer than 100 Gig links for the data, and I'm assuming it would have to come from several sources so that's not unreasonable. I think the bigger question is still the usefulness - how do you identify anything usefull out of that much data?  And how do you sort it and put resources on evaluating it.  Still nothing there that says it isn't being done. hmmm....

 
Let Mr. Cerruti find that for you.
oldviolin
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:13am

 islander wrote:


I started out ready to call BS on this. But just doing some back of the napkin math on ~3 billion phone calls per day you would need 30 Petabytes of storage dedicated just for the recording (and that is assuming very limited redundancy).  It would take fewer than 100 Gig links for the data, and I'm assuming it would have to come from several sources so that's not unreasonable. I think the bigger question is still the usefulness - how do you identify anything usefull out of that much data?  And how do you sort it and put resources on evaluating it.  Still nothing there that says it isn't being done. hmmm....

 
It doesn't matter if it is or not if the fear is planted in the notion that it could or might be...Results are the same.
islander
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Posted: Mar 19, 2014 - 7:07am

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:

The problem with this is the potential for abuse, obviously. But my first reaction (other than that) is it's really cool. Conflicted? Sure. 

 

I started out ready to call BS on this. But just doing some back of the napkin math on ~3 billion phone calls per day you would need 30 Petabytes of storage dedicated just for the recording (and that is assuming very limited redundancy).  It would take fewer than 100 Gig links for the data, and I'm assuming it would have to come from several sources so that's not unreasonable. I think the bigger question is still the usefulness - how do you identify anything usefull out of that much data?  And how do you sort it and put resources on evaluating it.  Still nothing there that says it isn't being done. hmmm....
RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 18, 2014 - 1:33pm

 ScottFromWyoming wrote:
The problem with this is the potential for abuse, obviously. But my first reaction (other than that) is it's really cool. Conflicted? Sure.
 
"NSA Voicemail, how may I help you?"

There is that pesky concept of sovereignty again (as with drones). Some people don't even like their own gov to listen to their voice calls, let alone some foreign power...

Also, if that's a problem that somehow comes with doing business with a US company, there may be a price for such companies to pay (as has been the case with IBM for example in China), and ultimately for the US economy/reputation/credibility.
ScottFromWyoming
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Posted: Mar 18, 2014 - 12:08pm

 RichardPrins wrote:
NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls - The Washington Post
The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere.

In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary. (...)



 
The problem with this is the potential for abuse, obviously. But my first reaction (other than that) is it's really cool. Conflicted? Sure. 
RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 18, 2014 - 11:57am

NSA surveillance program reaches ‘into the past’ to retrieve, replay phone calls - The Washington Post
The National Security Agency has built a surveillance system capable of recording “100 percent” of a foreign country’s telephone calls, enabling the agency to rewind and review conversations as long as a month after they take place, according to people with direct knowledge of the effort and documents supplied by former contractor Edward Snowden.

A senior manager for the program compares it to a time machine — one that can replay the voices from any call without requiring that a person be identified in advance for surveillance.

The voice interception program, called MYSTIC, began in 2009. Its RETRO tool, short for “retrospective retrieval,” and related projects reached full capacity against the first target nation in 2011. Planning documents two years later anticipated similar operations elsewhere.

In the initial deployment, collection systems are recording “every single” conversation nationwide, storing billions of them in a 30-day rolling buffer that clears the oldest calls as new ones arrive, according to a classified summary. (...)


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Posted: Mar 16, 2014 - 8:12am

Senate Armed Services Committee hearing promotes cyberwarfare and illegal spying
By Ed Hightower, 15 March 2014

On Tuesday the US Senate Armed Services Committee held a hearing examining the Obama administration’s nominee to head the National Security Agency and the US Cyber Command, Vice Admiral Michael S. Rogers, who currently runs the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command.

Rogers’ testimony centered largely on rehabilitating the public perception of the NSA, which has been exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden for unconstitutional spying on virtually all US citizens, innumerable foreign nationals, and foreign heads of state. Throughout the hearing, the elephant in the room was the increasingly hostile American public. “Rebuilding trust,” fixing the “PR issues,” “increasing transparency,” “accountability and oversight,” participating in a “national dialogue” on the “tension between security and privacy,” these were the watchwords of the day.

Senator John McCain of Arizona expressed great concern about recent polls showing favorable public attitudes toward Edward Snowden and asked the nominee what he might do to counter these opinions, adding that he thought Rogers should go on a speaking tour to promote a more positive image of the military intelligence apparatus if he is confirmed. McCain suggested that Rogers whip up fear in the public about alleged Iranian cyber attacks on a US Navy network.

Rogers agreed with McCain’s absurd and self-serving claim that the special FISA court that hears requests for surveillance was not a rubber-stamp outfit, and provided sufficient oversight of spy agencies. He agreed with Senator Saxby Chambliss’ insistence that legislation granting blanket civil liability immunity to telecom firms supplying data to the NSA was “critical.”

Almost every single senator to question Rogers expressed fear of contractors like Edward Snowden. Democratic Senator Joe Manchin went so far as to say that in his home state of West Virginia, Snowden was certainly not viewed as a hero.

South Carolina’s arch-reactionary Lindsay Graham led the witness through a series of rehearsed questions and answers: Are we currently at war? YES. Could sections 215 and 702 of the PATRIOT act (those granting authority for bulk unwarranted phone and internet data collection) have prevented 9/11? YES. And Edward Snowden has aided the enemy? YES.

Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, a Democrat, suggested that the notion of war has become too vague, and the length and scope of the current war too broad. Nonetheless, Kaine voiced his agreement with the general framework of a police state under the euphemism of a “balance” of constitutional rights and national security.

The Cyber Command is the subdivision of the Pentagon in charge of both defensive and offensive operations involving telecommunications networks, falling under the US Strategic Command, headquartered at Offutt Air Force Base near Omaha, Nebraska. It currently has around 1,000 personnel at its headquarters in Fort Meade, Maryland, which shares space with the NSA. Cyber Command will have 1,800 personnel by the end of the year.

Last week, in testimony to the same committee, outgoing NSA director Keith Alexander urged the elevation of Cyber Command to “full combatant command status,” that is, the equivalent of a command apparatus covering an entire continental region, like CENTCOM or AFRICOM.

Alexander requested that the new Cyber Command have certain special privileges such as independent budget authority as well as control over its curriculum and training. These proposed changes would mirror the favored budgetary and training structures now enjoyed by the Special Operations Command (SoCom). Pentagon officials project that Cyber Command will have about 6,000 personnel by 2016. (...)


sirdroseph
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Posted: Mar 14, 2014 - 4:23am


RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 13, 2014 - 10:56am

Another credibility catch-22...
White House withholds thousands of documents from Senate CIA probe, despite vows of help

— The White House has been withholding for five years more than 9,000 top-secret documents sought by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence for its investigation into the now-defunct CIA detention and interrogation program, even though President Barack Obama hasn’t exercised a claim of executive privilege.

In contrast to public assertions that it supports the committee’s work, the White House has ignored or rejected offers in multiple meetings and in letters to find ways for the committee to review the records, a McClatchy investigation has found.

The significance of the materials couldn’t be learned. But the administration’s refusal to turn them over or to agree to any compromise raises questions about what they would reveal about the CIA’s use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists in secret overseas prisons.

The dispute indicates that the White House is more involved than it has acknowledged in the unprecedented power struggle between the committee and the CIA, which has triggered charges that the agency searched the panel’s computers without authorization and has led to requests to the Justice Department for criminal investigations of CIA personnel and Senate aides.

“These documents certainly raise the specter that the White House has been involved in stonewalling the investigation,” said Elizabeth Goitein, the co-director of the Brennan Center for Justice’s Liberty and National Security Program at the New York University Law School.

The committee and the CIA declined to comment.

In a statement to McClatchy, the White House confirmed that “a small percentage” of the 6.2 million pages of documents provided to the committee were “set aside because they raise executive branch confidentiality interests.”

The White House also said that it had worked closely with the committee “to ensure access to the information necessary to review the CIA’s former program.”

Speaking to reporters earlier during a White House event, Obama said that the administration has worked with the committee to ensure that its study is “well informed” and that he was committed to seeing the report declassified once a final version is completed. He said it wouldn’t be proper for him to comment directly on the battle between the CIA and the committee, except to say that CIA Director John Brennan had referred the issues to the “appropriate authorities and they are looking into it.”

The Democrat-controlled committee has largely kept silent about the tussle with the White House, even as some members have decried what they contend has been the CIA’s refusal to surrender key materials on the agency’s use under the Bush administration of interrogation methods denounced by the panel chairwoman as “un-American” and “brutal.”

The chairwoman, Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, made no mention of the White House documents during a blistering floor speech Tuesday in which she charged that the CIA may have undermined the Constitution and violated the law by searching computers used by her staff to compile the study. Brennan has denied her allegations and the White House has expressed continued confidence in his leadership of the CIA.

In question are some 9,400 documents that came to the committee’s attention in 2009, McClatchy has learned. It’s unclear whether the CIA first gave the committee staff access to the materials before the White House withheld them.

Obama, however, still hasn’t formally decreed that the documents are protected by executive privilege, McClatchy learned. Although the doctrine isn’t mentioned explicitly in the Constitution, the Supreme Court in 1974 recognized a limited power by the White House to withhold certain communications between high officials and close aides who advise and assist them.

The withholding of the documents “may not be a smoking gun” proving White House obstructionism, said Goitein, a former Senate Judiciary Committee legal adviser.

Among the other explanations: The White House might have determined that the documents are not relevant to the inquiry or that they are indeed covered by executive privilege but that the president has not yet been forced to assert the claim, she said.

“The most nefarious explanation is that they are not privileged and the White House simply doesn’t want to hand them over,” Goitein said. “Executive privilege is generally asserted after negotiations and brinksmanship behind the scenes. People put on paper what they want to be formalized, and these negotiations by their very nature are very informal.”

The committee, the CIA and the White House have held periodic talks on the materials since 2009. Their apparent failure to resolve the standoff prompted Feinstein to write several letters last year to Obama’s chief legal adviser, Kathryn Ruemmler, seeking a resolution, McClatchy has learned.

A White House official, who declined to be further identified as a matter of administration policy, said that Ruemmler responded to Feinstein’s letters, although information obtained by McClatchy indicated that she hadn’t.

It was not known if the materials came up during a visit that Ruemmler and White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough paid to Feinstein and the committee’s vice chairman, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., on Tuesday after Feinstein delivered her speech.

To date, the most explicit public reference to documents being withheld by the White House appears to have been made last August by Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., an Intelligence Committee member who has led calls for a full disclosure of the CIA interrogation program.

In written questions that he submitted for the confirmation process of former CIA General Counsel Stephen W. Preston to be the Pentagon’s top lawyer, Udall asked Preston what role he’d played in an agency decision to withdraw documents that initially had been provided to the committee staff.

“During the CIA’s document production of more than six million pages of records, the CIA removed several thousand CIA documents that the CIA believed could be subject to executive privilege claims by the president,” Udall wrote. “While the documents represent an admittedly small percentage of the total number of records produced, the documents – deemed responsive – have nonetheless not been provided to the committee.”

Preston responded that “a small percentage of the total number of documents was set aside for further review. The agency (CIA) has deferred to the White House and has not been substantially involved in subsequent discussions about the disposition of those documents.”

In a related episode in 2010 as described by Feinstein in her speech on Tuesday, the committee staff discovered that it was no longer able to access hundreds of documents that it previously had been able to read.

“This was done without the knowledge or approval of committee members or staff and in violation of our written agreements,” she said.

CIA personnel initially accused computer technicians of removing the documents and then asserted that they were pulled on the White House’s orders, Feinstein said. The White House denied issuing such orders, she said, and “the matter was resolved” with renewed administration and CIA pledges that there would be no further intrusions into the staff’s database.

Feinstein, however, did not say what happened to the documents.

The records being held by the White House are separate from materials generated by an internal CIA review of some 6.2 million pages of operational cables, emails and other top-secret documents made accessible to committee staff in a secret CIA electronic reading room in Northern Virginia. The committee approved a final draft of the $40 million, 6,300-page study in December 2012.

In his first significant comments on the scandal, Chambliss took to the Senate floor late Wednesday afternoon to launch an apparent counterattack on Feinstein’s speech.

“Although people speak as though we know all the pertinent facts surrounding this matter, the truth is, we do not,” said Chambliss, who pointed out that the committee’s Republican staff didn’t participate in investigating the detention and interrogation program.

“We do not have the actual facts concerning the CIA’s alleged actions or all of the specific details about the actions by the committee staff regarding the draft of what is now referred to as the Panetta internal document,” Chambliss said. “Both parties have made allegations against one another, and even speculated (on) each other’s actions, but there are still a lot of unanswered questions that must be addressed.”

“No forensics have been run on the CIA computers . . . at the CIA facility to know what actually happened either regarding the alleged CIA search or the circumstances under which the committee came into possession of the Panetta internal review document.”


Proclivities
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Posted: Mar 13, 2014 - 10:36am

 RichardPrins wrote:
 
 {#Mrgreen}

(...) Fortunately, WIRED is here with a solution: Cover your camera lens with a sticker.

It’s low-tech, to be sure. But it works.

A sticker is better than a Post-It, which can lose its adhesion and fall off. Gaffer tape works nicely, too, but can leave a residue. (...)



 
{#Yes} Yes, gaffers' tape has too much adhesion; painters' tape sticks well but doesn't leave residue.


RichardPrins
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Posted: Mar 13, 2014 - 10:33am

 Proclivities wrote:
or...
blue tape
 {#Mrgreen}

(...) Fortunately, WIRED is here with a solution: Cover your camera lens with a sticker.

It’s low-tech, to be sure. But it works.

A sticker is better than a Post-It, which can lose its adhesion and fall off. Gaffer tape works nicely, too, but can leave a residue. (...)


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