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Tag: NSA

Public Advocate Objected to FBI’s Unrestricted Access to NSA Data

Photo: Depositphotos

Photo: Depositphotos

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

In 2015, in her first appearance as a “friend of the court” representing the American public, Amy Jeffress, a former federal prosecutor, argued before the very secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, that the FBI was violating the Fourth Amendment by giving agents “virtually unrestricted” access to data from one of the NSA’s largest surveillance programs that included untold amounts of communications involving innocent Americans, reports Alex Emmons of the the website, Intercept.

One big problem is that while the program is supposed to target foreigners, it ends up capturing a large number of communications from Americans.

“There need be no connection to foreign intelligence or national security, and that is the purpose of the collection,” Emmons told Thomas Hogan, then the chief judge of the court. “So they’re overstepping, really, the purpose for which the information is collected.”

The ACLU released this information on Friday after obtaining it through the Freedom of Information Act, Intercept reports.

The peek behind the curtain shows the ongoing battle between keeping America safe and protecting peoples’ privacy and Constitutional rights.

 

Trump Sticks to His Unfounded Surveillance Claims Despite FBI, NSA Remarks

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

FBI Director James Comey, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Donald Trump and the White House are sticking to their unfounded claims that President Obama wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election, despite zero evidence from the FBI and NSA.

On Monday, FBI Director James Comey and NSA Director Mike Rogers both told the House Intelligence Committee that they’ve seen no evidence to back up Trump’s claims, which were first made in a March 4 tweet.

“There’s a lot more questions that need to be asked about what was being done in terms of surveillance,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said at a press briefing today. “Who was being surveilled? Why were they being surveilled? What were the techniques? I get that you guys want to know the end of the book right now, but we’re in the first chapter of this process.”

Hours earlier, Comey said, “The department has no information that supports those tweets.”

Trump continues to show little faith in the country’s intelligence agencies, repeating unfounded claims.

“I’ve seen nothing on the NSA side that we’ve engaged in such activity nor that anyone ever asked us to engage in such activity,” the NSA director said.

FBI’s Comey on Trump’s Claims About Obama: ‘I Have No Information That Supports Those Tweets’

FBI Director James Comey testifies Monday

FBI Director James Comey testifies Monday

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

FBI Director James Comey on Monday confirmed what everyone had been saying: The FBI and Justice Department has no information supporting President Donald Trump’s claims that President Barack Obama wiretapped his campaign.

“I have no Information that supports those tweets,” Comey told the U.S. House Committee on Intelligence.

The statement is likely to further embarrass and undermine the credibility of the president and his administration, which has often relied on media reports as a source of intelligence rather than turning to the U.S. intelligence agencies.

Adm. Michael Rogers, head of the National Security Agency, who sat next to Comey, also testified there was no evidence that British intelligence helped Obama wiretap Trump.

Earlier, Comey confirmed that the FBI is investigating concerns about the Russians meddling in the presidential election.

 

U.S. Intelligence Agencies Informed Trump of Salacious Allegations in Dossier

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

Donald Trump, via Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The nation’s intelligence services revealed to President-elect Donald Trump that they and Russia had salacious allegations about him in a 35-page dossier that included comprising personal information.

U.S. officials provided Trump, President Obama and congressional leaders with a two-page summary of the dossier after it became exceedingly clear that many news organizations had the information, the The Washington Post  reports. The FBI, CIA, Director of National Intelligence and the NSA agreed it was a good idea to inform Trump of the allegations. 

Trump denied the claims in the dossier, calling the information fake news and accusing intelligence agencies of Nazi-like tactics.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. said he told Trump that a “private security company” made the allegations and that U.S. spy agencies had “not made any judgment that the information in this document is reliable.”

“However, part of our obligation is to ensure that policymakers are provided with the fullest possible picture of any matters that might affect national security,” Clapper said.

FBI, NSA, CIA Expected to Expand Surveillance Powers Under Trump

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI, NSA and CIA are expected to receive expanded surveillance powers under President-elect Donald Trump and a Republican-controlled Congress, drawing opposition from privacy advocates and some lawmakers.

Trump’s first two appointment to law enforcement and intelligence agencies – Republican Senator Jeff Sessions for attorney general and Republican Representative Mike Pompeo for director of the Central Intelligence Agency – are proponents of expanded domestic government spying, Bloomberg Technology reports. 

Bloomberg wrote:

The fights expected to play out in the coming months — in Senate confirmation hearings and through executive action, legislation and litigation — also will set up an early test of Trump’s relationship with Silicon Valley giants including Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google. Trump signaled as much during his presidential campaign, when he urged a consumer boycott of Apple for refusing to help the FBI hack into a terrorist’s encrypted iPhone.

An “already over-powerful surveillance state” is about to “be let loose on the American people,” said Daniel Schuman, policy director for Demand Progress, an internet and privacy advocacy organization.

Former FBI Director Mueller Hired to Conduct Security Review of Booz Allen

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been hired by Booz Allan Hamilton, a firm whose employee was charged with stealing classified data from the NSA.

“We take the trust clients place in us seriously and are proud to support our country’s important national security missions,” Craig Veith, Booz Allen’s vice president for external relations, said in a statement, the Washington Post reports. “We are committed to doing our part to detect potential insider threats, which are complex and constantly evolving.”

The employee, Harold T. Martin, is accused of one of the largest thefts of classified material in U.S. history, allegedly stealing at least 50 terabytes of digital data – the equivalent of 500 million pages of information.

Mueller is tasked with reviewing the firm’s security processes.

Booz Allan is the same firm where Edward Snowden worked when he took sensitive information.

Ex-NSA Contractor Accused of Stealing ‘Breathtaking’ Amount of Secret Information

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former NSA contractor stole so much top secret government information that it could fill roughly 200 laptop computers.

In a court filing Thursday, federal prosecutors said the thefts were “breathtaking in its longevity and scale,” Tribune News Services reports. 

Harold T. Martin, III, faces additional charges under the Espionage Act, which could mean harsh penalties if convicted.

Prosecutors said the evidence is “overwhelming” and that Martin admitted he was illegally storing classified materials.

“Given the nature of his offenses and knowledge of national secrets, he presents tremendous value to any foreign power that may wish to shelter him within or outside of the United States,” prosecutors said.

Other Stories of Interest

NSA Contractor Charged with Stealing Highly Classified Information

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

The NSA headquarters in Maryland.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A former NSA contractor was secretly arrested in August by the FBI and is being investigated for possibly stealing and disclosing highly classified information.

Investigators are trying to determine whether the contractor, Harold T. Martin III, stole computer code the enables the agency to hack into the networks of foreign governments, the New York Times reports.

Martin was a contractor for Booz Allen Hamilton, where Edward Snowden also worked when he stole and disclosed a trove of documents that exposed surveillance programs.

Martin, who is from Glen Burnie, Md., was charged with theft of government property and the unauthorized removal or retention of classified documents.

The FBI arrested the 51-year-old at his home on Aug. 27.

The Times wrote:

According to court documents, the F.B.I. discovered thousands of pages of documents and dozens of computers or other electronic devices at his home and in his car, a large amount of it classified. The digital media contained “many terabytes of information,” according to the documents. They also discovered classified documents that had been posted online, including computer code, officials said. Some of the documents were produced in 2014.

But more than a month later, the authorities cannot say with certainty whether Mr. Martin leaked the information, passed them on to a third party or whether he simply downloaded them.