Australia’s surveillance agency offered to share information collected about ordinary Australian citizens with its major intelligence partners, according to a secret 2008 document leaked by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The document shows the partners discussing whether or not to share “medical, legal or religious information”, and increases concern that the agency could be operating outside its legal mandate, according to the human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC.
The Australian intelligence agency, then known as the Defence Signals Directorate (DSD), indicated it could share bulk material without some of the privacy restraints imposed by other countries, such as Canada.
The latest just released from Snowden’s trove of docs.
13:19 // 1 week ago
When the media and members of Congress say the NSA spies on Americans, what they really mean is that the FBI helps the NSA do it, providing a technical and legal infrastructure that permits the NSA, which by law collects foreign intelligence, to operate on U.S. soil. It’s the FBI, a domestic U.S. law enforcement agency, that collects digital information from at least nine American technology companies as part of the NSA’s Prism system. It was the FBI that petitioned the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to order Verizon Business Network Services, one of the United States’ biggest telecom carriers for corporations, to hand over the call records of millions of its customers to the NSA.
But the FBI is no mere errand boy for the United States’ biggest intelligence agency. It carries out its own signals intelligence operations and is trying to collect huge amounts of email and Internet data from U.S. companies — an operation that the NSA once conducted, was reprimanded for, and says it abandoned.
Essentially doing the work the NSA can’t do and working together to ultimately put together the massive surveillance programs we’ve learned about over the last few months.
There’s also this: The United States government says Americans have no right to challenge the NSA (er, FBI) surveillance. As a huge fighter for freedoms myself, this is all outrageous.
15:29 // 2 weeks ago
To be clear: Our intelligence capabilities, and the dedication of the men and women who work in the U.S. intelligence community, including at the NSA, are beyond compare. Their contributions and sacrifices are a significant reason we have enjoyed relative security since 9/11.
No one disputes the need for careful, thorough intelligence gathering. Nor is it a secret that we collect information about what is happening around the world to help protect our citizens, our allies and our homeland. So does every intelligence service in the world.
While our capabilities are unmatched, the U.S. government is not operating unrestrained. We are not listening to every phone call or reading every e-mail. Far from it. There are legal limits to what the NSA can and cannot do, and the recent disclosures and additional documents the government has declassified prove just how seriously the NSA takes these limits.
The promise comes at a time when the administration is facing criticism from numerous countries around the world for alleged spying and as a mass rally against government spying takes place in D.C.
14:12 // 1 month ago
Operating with almost no public notice, the FBI has spent more than $3 million to operate a fleet of small drone aircraft in domestic investigations, according to a report released Thursday by a federal watchdog agency.
Hmm. This is all what seems to be in compliance with the FAA ruling from last year that the U.S. government can test flying drones in the States by 2015. A more recent article by McClatchy states “327 drones already have been licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly over U.S. soil” and the “FAA expects that number to increase to 30,000 by 2020.” Whew.
This Yahoo article from last year says “small drones—or unmanned aerial systems, as their fans prefer to call them—have been tightly regulated by the FAA since 2007.” Wonder if the FBI was an organization part of the drones the FAA regulated back in 2007?
11:00 // 2 months ago
Since 2010 the National Security Agency has been exploiting its huge collections of data to create sophisticated graphs of some Americans’ social connections that can identify their associates, their locations at certain times, their traveling companions and other personal information, according to newly disclosed documents and interviews with officials.
The agency was authorized to conduct “large-scale graph analysis on very large sets of communications metadata without having to check foreignness” of every e-mail address, phone number or other identifier, the document said. Because of concerns about infringing on the privacy of American citizens, the computer analysis of such data had previously been permitted only for foreigners.
The agency can augment the communications data with material from public, commercial and other sources, including bank codes, insurance information, Facebook profiles, passenger manifests, voter registration rolls and GPS location information, as well as property records and unspecified tax data, according to the documents. They do not indicate any restrictions on the use of such “enrichment” data, and several former senior Obama administration officials said the agency drew on it for both Americans and foreigners.
This is merely old information, rehashed with new and official information through more revelations reported by the NYTimes. It’s essentially to wake people up - we all use social networks - and to show how the government and the NSA collects our information that we share on social media, creating extensive maps and graphs.
10:00 // 2 months ago