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Tag: NSA

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.

Yahoo Conducted Surveillance for Federal Government by Scanning Emails

computer-photoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Yahoo searched hundred of millions of incoming emails for the federal government in 2015, the Associated Press reports. 

Citing three former Yahoo employees, the report states that the NSA or FBI demanded that the internet company search for a string of letters, numbers or other characters.

To conduct the surveillance, Yahoo built a software program.

Google said Tuesday that it has not received similar surveillance demands, and if it did, the response would be, “No way.” Microsoft said it has “never engaged in secret scanning of email traffic.”

Twitter and Facebook also responded that they have not received similar requests.

Documents Show Feds Tried to Discredit Snowden Using His Own Email

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Newly declassified documents show that Edward Snowden first raised concerns with the NSA before he leaked the information.

In one letter, Snowden questioned whether an presidential executive order allowing the spying program could supersede federal law, the Daily Mail reports.

 “I’m not entirely certain, but this does not seem correct, as it seems to imply Executive Orders have the same precedence as law,” Snowden wrote in the e-mail. “My understanding is that EOs may be superseded by federal statute, but EOs may not override statute. Am I incorrect in this? Between EOs and laws, which have precedence?”

The new documents lend credibility to Snowden’c claims that he repeatedly tried to raise concerns about the NSA’s surveillance of Americans.

Other Stories of Interest

Feds Ramp Up Searches of U.S. Citizens’ Data without a Warrant

nsa_sealBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The feds are increasing searches of U.S. citizens’ data, a new transparency reports shows.

The report says 4,672 surveillance queries were made on citizens, a two-fold increase since the 2013 report.

The report includes queries made by the CIA and NSA, but not the FBI.

Those agencies are able to access the database without a warrant.

Some critics have suggested the warrantless access amounts to a violation of privacy of U.S. citizens.

Also included in the report is the revelation that more than 48,000 were targeted by National Security Letters.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI Cyber Division Chief Advises Companies Not to Pay Ransom

http://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2016/05/04/fbi-cyber-division-chief-advises-companies-not-to-pay-ransom-for-release-of-data/

Justice Department Program to No Longer Use Terms ‘Felons,’ ‘Convicts’

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/may/4/justice-dept-no-longer-use-terms-felon-convict/

Justice Department: North Carolina’s Bathroom Is Discriminatory

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2016/05/04/north-carolinas-bathroom-law-discriminatory-justice-department-says/83938546/

Border Patrol Agents Rescued a 2-Year-Old Abandoned Toddler

http://www.kvue.com/news/local/border-patrol-agents-find-abandoned-toddler/170282724

Ex-Secret Service Agent Reveals Why JFK Didn’t Want Wife Photographed in Bikini

https://www.yahoo.com/celebrity/exclusive-former-secret-service-agent-clint-hill-133532738.html