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Tag: NSA

House Bill Would Prohibit Secret Collection of Americans’ Records Without Approval of Surveillance Court

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The U.S. House is considering a bill that would restrict the ability of the FBI and NSA to secretly collect records of U.S. citizens, the Missoulian reports.

The bill, introduced on Thursday by John Waslh, D-Mont., would ban the collection of telephone, financial and e-mail records without the approval of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

That would require a case to be made for targeting a individual on the basis that the person is tied to international terrorism or foreign intelligence.

“As I’ve been traveling around the state … this is an issue that I’m hearing about from Montanans, about the government trampling on our civil liberties,” Walsh told the Missoulian. “I said that when I came here, I wanted to identify problems, find a fix for the problem and solve that problem.”

 

Government Activist Wins Battle to Parody NSA, Homeland Security with T-Shirts

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A government activist named Dan McCall has been selling T-shirts that make fun of the NSA and Homeland Security by using the official seals.

One shirt read, “U.S. Department of Homeland Stupidity.” Another: “The NSA: The only part of government that actually listens.”

After discovering the re-appropriated logos, the federal agencies tried to get McCall to stop and even accused him of committing a crime, the Washington Post reports.

But now both agencies have reached a settlement with McCall, conceding that he has a right to parody the government, even if he is using the official logos.

 

CNN Editorial: Stop NSA Assaults on Constitutional Rights of Americns

istock illustration

By CNN
Editorial Page

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated.

This is the beginning of the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and defines one of the most important rights we have against a potentially tyrannical government.

Throughout history, governments have used the confiscation of private property, as well as bullying and surveillance techniques, to keep populations under control and maintain a continuous threat against those who would dare criticize them.

The explicit enshrinement of the right to be left alone is one of the crucial features that has defined America as such a unique and moral nation.

In recent years, however, this right, like so many others, has come under attack by the overzealous powers that be in Washington, eager to sacrifice liberty in the name of security, and using fear as a weapon to make us forget the importance of being free.

In 2013, the revelation that the National Security Agency was collecting and storing the metadata from the phone calls and e-mails of millions of American citizens — without any suspicion of criminal activity — served as a striking wake-up call for the country.

Americans do not like to think of their government as some Orwellian leviathan, engaging in surveillance tactics that we only expect to see in oppressive autocracies. That such surveillance could be going on in what is ostensibly the freest nation in the world is a chilling thought indeed.

To read more click here.

 

FBI Director Comey Shares Views of Surveillance in Post-NSA America

James Comey

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

James Comey was on a mission in 2004.

A deputy attorney general at the time, Comey rushed to the bedside of then-Attorney General John Ashcroft to notify him that the White House was trying to reauthorize a warrantless eavesdropping program, the Buffalo News reports.

Comey, who is now the director of the FBI, advised his boss not to sign anything.

“I’ve long been a big fan of the rule of law,” Comey said during a visit to Buffalo on Tuesday. “To me, the intelligence programs that are the most firmly rooted in all three branches of our government are the best.”

What’s he think of the controversial NSA program?

“Folks can disagree with the policy and reasonable people do disagree as to whether the federal government should have such a database,” he told reporters. “What can’t be said is that this is some type of rogue, lawless conduct. This was our government operating as it was designed.”

NSA’s Widespread Surveillance Even Includes Members of Congress, Their Staff Members

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Not even members of Congress are immune to the NSA’s wide surveillance reach.

During a House Judiciary Committee meeting Tuesday, Deputy Attorney General James Cole admitted that the NSA “probably” collects phone records of lawmakers and their staff, the National Journal reports.

But Justice Department official said the information isn’t used without a reason to search.

“We’re not allowed to look at any of those, however, unless we have reasonable, articulable suspicion that those numbers are related to a known terrorist threat,” Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said.

Top Secret Documents: NSA Targets Data from Smartphone Apps Like Angry Birds

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Just in case a terrorist is passing time playing Angry Birds, the NSA is trying to establish the technology to siphon information from the communication networks on smartphone apps, the Guardian reports, citing top secret documents.

The information is useful because it allows the agency to mine large quantities of cell phone data.

But the surveillance is catching strong criticism from civil liberty groups that say the federal government is using the threat of terrorism as a pretext for collecting troves of personal data.

The documents do not indicate the extent of the collection efforts.

Snowden Says U.S. Authorities Want to Kill Him After Their Anonymous Remarks in Media

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

NSA leaker Edward Snowden claimed Sunday that U.S. officials “want to kill me,” the Daily Mail reports.

In an interview with a German TV station, Snowden cited an anonymous Pentagon official quoted as saying, “I would love to put a bullet in his head.” An NSA analyst was quoted as saying he would kill Snowden.

The 30-year-old, who took refuge in Moscow to avoid treason charges, said he does not want to return to the U.S. because he wouldn’t receive a fair trial.

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Firm That Vetted Snowden, Navy Yard Shooter Accused of Bilking Taxpayers Out of Millions of Dollars

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The contractor that vetted NSA leaker Edward Snowden and the Navy Yard shooter has cheated taxpayers out of millions of dollars for unfinished background checks, the Washington Times reports, citing a Justice Department filing.

In fact, investigators allege USIS received $11.7 million in performance awards from 2008 to 2010.

But that work was never finished, the DOJ reported.

USIS engaged in the practice of dumping in order to meet budgeted goals and, therefore, increase its revenue and profits,” Justice Department attorneys James Dubois and Melissa Handrigan wrote in the complaint.