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Tag: spying

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 “My understanding is that EOs may be superseded by federal statute, but EOs may not override statute.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

Developer of Anonymous Tor Software Leaves Country to Avoid FBI

Data securityBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

One of Tor’s core software developers has left the United States because she doesn’t want to expose users to potential spying.

CNN reports that the FBI wants Isis Agora Lovecruft to testify in a criminal hacking investigation.

But fearing she’ll be coerced to undermine Tor, which allows Internet users to hide their locations, she left the U.S. for Germany.

“I was worried they’d ask me to do something that hurts innocent people — and prevent me from telling people it’s happening,” she said in an exclusive interview with CNNMoney.

The FBI declined to comment.

FBI Spies on Russian Intelligence by Bugging Binders with Listening Devices

spy graphic

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI resorted to Cold War spy tactics to eavesdrop on Russian intelligence agents in New York City, planting listening devices into binders full of “confidential” information, according to court documents revealed this week.

The covert action came to light in court filings in the trial of Evgeny Buryakov, who is accused of posing as a Russian bank employee. Federal prosecutors said Buryakov was really working for the Russian foreign intelligence agency, SVR, CNN reports. 

According to court documents, Buryakov thought he was meeting with an energy company analyst in 2012, but he actually was communicating with an undercover FBI agent.

The agent supplied the bugged binders to Buryakov in 2013, allowing the FBI to eavesdrop on hours of conversations among Russian intelligence.

The recordings “make clear” that the men “were operating as SVR officers by receiving taskings from Moscow, gathering responsive information and sending it back to SVR headquarters,” the court documents say.

Donald Trump’s Call for Spying on U.S. Muslims Recalls Darker Times in FBI

Donald Trump, via Twitter

Donald Trump, via Twitter

By Juan Cole
Truthdig.com

As Donald Trump supporters beat a ‘Black Lives Matter’ protester at his rally in Birmingham, Ala., Trump himself reminded us of the dark days when a paranoid J. Edgar Hoover had the FBI monitor the Rev. Martin Luther King and black Churches of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Trump said in Birmingham, “I want surveillance of certain mosques . . . We’ve had it before, we’ll have it again. … We have a situation where ISIS has raised its ugly head again and we have to chop off that head like they’re chopping off heads.”  He also said he would send Syrian refugees back to Syria if he were elected.  Many Syrian refugees have fled because they would be killed in their homeland.

The African-American protester was beaten, kicked and pulled down, with 8 or 9 people on top of him, as he was called a “monkey” and the N-word.  You wonder if they were wearing brown shirts. The Trump campaign later said it did not condone the behavior, but we haven’t heard Trump himself publicly denounce it. During the altercation, Trump said from the podium, “Yeah, you can get him out. Yeah, get him out. Get him the hell out of here.”

Trump’s desire to spy on American congregations recalls Cointelpro and other domestic surveillance programs of the 1960s that led to massive abuses and in some ways led to Watergate under Nixon.

To read more click here. 

Germany Accused of Spying on FBI, Arms Companies And European Countries

spy graphicBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Germany’s foreign intelligence agency, BND, is accused of spying on the FBI and U.S. arms companies, according to a German radio station.

The Associated Press reports on the radio station’s claims:

The station claimed that Germany’s BND also spied on the International Criminal Court in The Hague, the World Health Organization, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius and even a German diplomat who headed an EU observer mission to Georgia from 2008 to 2011.

It provided no source for its report, but the respected German weekly Der Spiegel also reported at the weekend that the BND targeted phone numbers and email addresses of officials in the United States, Britain, France, Switzerland, Greece, the Vatican and other European countries, as well as at international aid groups such as the Red Cross.

The BND is accused of using phone numbers and email addresses of officials in the U.S and a slew of European countries.

Germany strongly criticized the U.S. two years ago after reports surfaced that America was eavesdropping on the German officials, including Chancellor Angela Merkel.

U.S. Government Loses Terrorism Fighting Tools As Patriot Act Provisions Expire

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. government has fewer tools to fight terrorism after key provisions of the Patriot Act expired late Sunday despite a last-minute push by some Senators.

CNN reports that the expiration ends the NSA’s controversial bulk data collection program. The NSA had been collecting phone metadata on millions of Americans.

Law enforcement also won’t be able to get roving wiretaps to track suspects who frequently change phones. Now they will have to get individual warrants – a timely, burdensome task that could mean some suspects slip away, law enforcement officials said.

Attorney General Loretta Lynch warned last week that the U.S. would face a “serious lapse” in national security without these tools.

The Senate is expected to debate restoring some of the expired authorities later this week.

ACLU Raises Concerns About FBI Secretly Using Aircraft to Keep Eye on Baltimore Riots

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI has acknowledged that it sent aircraft into the sky to watch over rioting in Baltimore.

The news comes after numerous sightings of aircraft over the city.

The FBI told the Baltimore Sun that the aircraft was intended to monitor criminal activity.

“The aircraft were specifically used to assist in providing high-altitude observation of potential criminal activity to enable rapid response by police officers on the ground,” Amy Thoreson, an FBI spokeswoman, said. “The FBI aircraft were not there to monitor lawfully protected first amendment activity.”

The ACLU was not happy and filed a request for records for more information.

“These are not your parents’ surveillance aircraft,” said Jay Stanley, an ACLU analyst. “Today planes can carry new surveillance technologies, like cell phone trackers and high resolution cameras that can follow the movements of many people at once.

“These are not the kinds of things that law enforcement should be using in secret.”

MassLive: Justice Department Is Wrong to Work with CIA on Spying on Americans

By MassLive
Editorial

If the CIA and the Justice Department were to get married, what kind of kids might the odd couple have?

One answer: Spies who’d believe that they possess the legal smarts to talk their way out of nearly anything.

When The Wall Street Journal reported late last year that the Justice Department was operating airplanes that flew across the land carrying devices mimicking cell towers scooping up details about the mobile phones of innocent citizens below – normal people who were accused of nothing, suspected of nothing, all in the name of tracking a few criminal suspects – we said in this space that the program was fundamentally anti-democratic. It was, plainly stated, un-American.

To have the authorities flying over the land and sweeping up information about the citizenry – even if it was in the name of locating a few bad actors – treated ordinary people like outlaws. We asked at the time – and we’ll ask again now – what becomes of the data that the Justice Department gathers? Who has access to it? How long is it retained?

Now comes a new report in the Journal detailing the CIA’s work with Justice. The U.S. Department of Justice is supposed to be working to enforce the law, not seeking to find novel ways to spy on the people. And our nation’s Central Intelligence Agency, established in 1947, was created to watch over the doings in foreign lands, not to aid Justice in spying on the American citizens.

To read more click here.

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