As news slowed on the 24th and people joined their families for Christmas Eve celebrations, the National Security Agency (NSA) released hundreds of pages of heavily redacted reports detailing various ways in which its intelligence gathering violated U.S. law over the past decade.
The pages describe scenarios in which the agency unlawfully collected phone records, emails and other data on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals, then shared the information with unauthorized recipients. The reports also describe private data being stored on unsecured computers and data being retained long after law required it to be destroyed.
The series of quarterly reports to the President’s Intelligence Oversight Board, which begin in 2001 and end in 2013, were released in response to a Freedom of Information Act Lawsuit put forward by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
“The ACLU only knew what to ask for because of the Snowden leaks,” Jesselyn Radack with the Government Accountability Project, who has been working on Edward Snowden’s legal team, told Think Progress. “There’s been semantics games with the NSA not using regular definitions for words like ‘collection’ and ‘analysis,’ which makes it very difficult to find the documents we’re looking for. Now, at least we have a road map and we know names of specific programs to ask about.”
The surveillance reports detail both intentional and unintentional violations of U.S. law. The NSA concludes in an executive summary, however, that the time procedure was broken “involve unintentional technical or human error.” In some cases, for instance, poorly trained agents accidentally searched themselves instead of their intended target.
“NSA takes even unintentional errors seriously and institutes corrective action, typically involving at a minimum a combination of training and technical measures designed to prevent recurrences, the report says. “Data incorrectly acquired is almost always deleted, referred to as the 'purge' process.”
Many of the intentional violations included officials ordering the surveillance of their significant others. In one case, a member of military intelligence obtained the communications of his wife who was stationed in another country. His punishment was a demotion in rank, a 45-day extension on his service and his pay was reduced by half for two months.
In another instance, a civilian employee ordered intelligence be gathered on the telephone number of his foreign-national girlfriend for about a month. This employee retired before an investigation was completed.
In one 2012 case, an NSA analyst abused her powers and “searched her spouse’s personal telephone directory without his knowledge to obtain names and telephone numbers for targeting.” When her actions were discovered, the agency simply advised her to cease her activities.
“In the very few cases that involve the intentional misuse of a signals intelligence system, a thorough investigation is completed,” the report said. “NSA goes to great lengths to ensure compliance with the Constitution, laws and regulations.”
The released documents are not likely to be a comprehensive account of ways in which the NSA’s surveillance violated U.S. law; previous revelations suggest there is more information still undisclosed. Back in July, for instance, former NSA analyst Edward Snowden claimed that a common practice within the agency is to circulate nude photographs that are found during surveillance—and nothing to that effect was reported in the recently published documents.
Michigan has become the latest U.S. state to approve the controversial practice of testing welfare recipients for substance abuse. In a one-year pilot program signed into law Friday by Republican Gov. Rick Snyder, welfare recipients suspected of substance abuse will be required to submit to a drug test or lose their benefits eligibility for six months.
The legislation passed the Michigan House of Representatives earlier this month despite pushback from Democrats and criticism from some in the local press who say the concept unfairly stigmatizes the poor as drug addicts.
The suspicion-based program will be rolled out in three yet-to-be named counties. Under the law, welfare applicants will be screened for suspicion of drug abuse using an “empirically validated substance abuse screening tool,” which the legislation does not describe in detail.
As the AP reported Friday, recipients who test positive for controlled substances will be referred to state treatment programs and must pass a future drug test before having their benefits restored.
I grew up as a child on a rural farm , the closest neighbor was 2 miles from the house.
And i am thank full for my childhood because growing up i learned:
Discipline : when i fucked up i got my ass beat for it and when i ran i got a dose of 410 rock salt for it.
And as bad as that sounds , it was positive because i also learned the meaning of "respect".
Hard work : mowing a full acre of yard with a push mower and my great grandfather only giving me 5 dollars for it , loading hay bales on a pickup truck and clearing 30 acre field in one day and not getting a dime for it, moving cattle on horseback, driving a semi and running a tractor.
Responsibility : getting up every morning knowing there are , dogs,cats,chickens,hogs,horses,and cattle (Winter) that are depending on you to feed them everyday, not to mention with me it was upkeep of 300 acres of fence line most of it in a creek bottom through alot of timber.
Im now a local semi driver (home every night, off most weekends) that's my day job.
I have a blog ,facebook page, and a twitter acct for one reason , that's to wake people up and make them see the truth and when you grow up in a big city all you know is what your being told.
and i hope to change that with social media.
There, you have that much about me now.
Pirate Bay Has Been Raided and Taken Down
The popular file-sharing service Pirate Bay was taken down today following a raid in Sweden by police who seized servers and computers. The Pirate Bay portal went down Tuesday morning after Swedish police raided a server room in Stockholm over alleged copyright violations. In addition to its file-sharing section, Pirate Bay’s forum Suprbay.org was also down.
“There were a number of police officers and digital forensics experts there. This took place during the morning and continued until this afternoon. Several servers and computers were seized, but I cannot say exactly how many,” Swedish prosecutor Fredrik Ingblad told Radio Sweden.
Pirate Bay may not be the only target. According to TorrentFreak, other sites related to file sharing such as EZTV, Zoink, and Torrage went down today as well, though it’s not yet known if they were also raided.
Founded in 2003, Pirate Bay has been in the legal crosshairs for years, but has managed to stay afloat despite efforts by governments, anti-piracy groups and the music and film industries to close it down. Today’s raid comes after a number of recent events have occurred around the service, putting it in the spotlight once again.
Im sure without a doubt there are plenty of copies of this for 2 reasons:
(1) If your predecessors were convicted and sentenced to 3.5 yrs and you knew the Swedish Authorities were watching you .
(2) If you write all those pages you never want to have to write them again, because you lost them maybe someone hacked you or your hard drive just happens to burn up, or any other reason that makes or should make it a habit to "Back Your Shit Up".
The murders perpetrated by members of Charles Manson's "Family" were inspired in part by Manson's belief in Helter Skelter, an apocalyptic war he believed would arise from tension over racial relations between blacks and whites. This "chimerical vision"—as it was termed by the court that heard Manson's appeal from his conviction for the Tate/LaBianca killings involved reference to music of The Beatles (particularly songs from the album The Beatles, also known as The White Album) and to the New Testament's Book of Revelation.