Sunday, June 30, 2013

when the time comes, you use this information to protect your agency which serves the president who serves the establishment...,

HuffPo | Russ Tice, a former intelligence analyst who in 2005 blew the whistle on what he alleged was massive unconstitutional domestic spying across multiple agencies, claimed Wednesday that the NSA had ordered wiretaps on phones connected to then-Senate candidate Barack Obama in 2004.

Speaking on "The Boiling Frogs Show," Tice claimed the intelligence community had ordered surveillance on a wide range of groups and individuals, including high-ranking military officials, lawmakers and diplomats.

"Here's the big one ... this was in summer of 2004, one of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator for Illinois," he said. "You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now would you? It's a big white house in Washington, D.C. That's who they went after, and that's the president of the United States now."

Host Sibel Edmonds and Tice both raised concerns that such alleged monitoring of subjects, unbeknownst to them, could provide the intelligence agencies with huge power to blackmail their targets.

"I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on," Tice said.

the insider threat program

mcclatcheydc | Even before a former U.S. intelligence contractor exposed the secret collection of Americans’ phone records, the Obama administration was pressing a government-wide crackdown on security threats that requires federal employees to keep closer tabs on their co-workers and exhorts managers to punish those who fail to report their suspicions.

President Barack Obama’s unprecedented initiative, known as the Insider Threat Program, is sweeping in its reach. It has received scant public attention even though it extends beyond the U.S. national security bureaucracies to most federal departments and agencies nationwide, including the Peace Corps, the Social Security Administration and the Education and Agriculture departments. It emphasizes leaks of classified material, but catchall definitions of “insider threat” give agencies latitude to pursue and penalize a range of other conduct.

Government documents reviewed by McClatchy illustrate how some agencies are using that latitude to pursue unauthorized disclosures of any information, not just classified material. They also show how millions of federal employees and contractors must watch for “high-risk persons or behaviors” among co-workers and could face penalties, including criminal charges, for failing to report them. Leaks to the media are equated with espionage.

“Hammer this fact home . . . leaking is tantamount to aiding the enemies of the United States,” says a June 1, 2012, Defense Department strategy for the program that was obtained by McClatchy.
The Obama administration is expected to hasten the program’s implementation as the government grapples with the fallout from the leaks of top secret documents by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who revealed the agency’s secret telephone data collection program. The case is only the latest in a series of what the government condemns as betrayals by “trusted insiders” who have harmed national security.

“Leaks related to national security can put people at risk,” Obama said on May 16 in defending criminal investigations into leaks. “They can put men and women in uniform that I’ve sent into the battlefield at risk. They can put some of our intelligence officers, who are in various, dangerous situations that are easily compromised, at risk. . . . So I make no apologies, and I don’t think the American people would expect me as commander in chief not to be concerned about information that might compromise their missions or might get them killed.

sibel edmonds: classified woman

theamericanconservative | Sibel Edmonds is no stranger to longtime TAC readers. I wrote an article exploring some of her claims back in January 2008, a blog item in August 2009, and Kara Hopkins and I did an interview with her for the November 2009 issue of the magazine. It was featured on the cover as “Who’s Afraid of Sibel Edmonds?

Edmonds has recently written a book entitled Classified Woman detailing her journey from FBI translator to whistleblower, finally emerging as an outspoken advocate of free speech and transparency in government through her founding of the National Security Whistleblowers’ Coalition and her always informative Boiling Frogs Post website.

As Edmonds ruefully notes, her tale of high level mendacity has always found a better reception in the European and Asian media than in the United States, though her odyssey has included an appearance on “60 Minutes” in October 2002 and a feature article in Vanity Fair called “An Inconvenient Patriot” in September 2005. Two senators, Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy, became interested in her case early on and found her a credible witness, as did a U.S. Department of Justice IG’s report. She speculates that that her ostracism by the Fourth Estate, and also by congressmen who were ostensibly engaged in elevating government ethics, is due to the fact that both Republicans and Democrats were parties to the criminal behavior that she describes. In one particularly delicious account of high level shenanigans she recounts how an interview with Congressman Henry Waxman’s House Oversight and Government Reform staff was stopped abruptly when a staffer asked her if any Democrats were involved. “We have to stop here and not go any further. We don’t want to know,” he intoned after she confirmed that the malfeasance was not strictly GOP.

I will not even try to reconstruct all the twists and turns that Edmonds describes in her 341 pages, but rest assured that she has the ability to surprise one with new revelations, even for readers like myself who have been following her case. Edmonds’s tale is basically about high level incompetence at the FBI both before and after 9/11, including hiring translators who could not speak the language they were translating or who were former employees of the organizations being investigated, leading to deliberately falsified translations. The translators and their supervisors would engage in go-slows, sabotage of work already done, and padding of accounts within the department to create a backlog of work and red ink, thus encouraging budget increases and more resources to rectify the shortfalls. Laptops and files containing classified information regularly disappeared. Attempts to report security problems were routinely ignored as all levels within the bureau because no one wanted to make anyone look bad. One Edmonds supervisor described the translation department as “drowned in corruption, incompetence, nepotism, you name it…” but then proceeded to do nothing about it. Bear in mind that this was after 9/11, when the government was on high alert and allegedly fully focused on security issues.

Friday, June 28, 2013

the real enemy (you 99%'s) must be subdued and kept in your place...,

History will view Snowden very kindly
medialens | Reports of Washington's anger directed at surveillance whistleblower Edward Snowden indicate a basic truth about power. Noam Chomsky has expressed it as the underlying problem for genuine democracy, even in so-called 'free' societies:

'Remember, any state, any state, has a primary enemy: its own population.' (Noam Chomsky, Understanding Power, edited by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel, The New Press, 2002, p. 70.)

Anyone who steps out of line, especially if they defy authority's attempts to apprehend them, risks severe punishment. All the more so because it is important to publicly discipline miscreants, lest the threat of a 'bad' example become a contagion sweeping through society.

Snowden was denounced by Dick Cheney, the warmongering former US vice-president, as a 'traitor' and a possible spy for China. Senator Dianne Feinsten, chair of the US Senate intelligence committee, told reporters that Snowden had committed an 'act of treason'. There was 'undisguised fury' amongst many US politicians at Snowden's slipping away from Hong Kong and arriving at Moscow airport where he continued to evade detection. General Keith Alexander, director of the National Security Agency, complained that Snowden 'is clearly an individual who's betrayed the trust and confidence we had in him. This is an individual who is not acting, in my opinion, with noble intent.'

Given the source of such accusations – largely senior officials in the current and previous US administrations - rational observers will be unimpressed. As Norman Solomon correctly points out:

'The state of surveillance and perpetual war are one and the same. The U.S. government's rationale for pervasive snooping is the "war on terror," the warfare state under whatever name.'

Solomon issues a warning:

'The central issue is our dire shortage of democracy. How can we have real consent of the governed when the government is entrenched with extreme secrecy, surveillance and contempt for privacy?'

Washington and its allies, sold to the public by the media as 'the international community', are well aware of the stakes. The general population must be subdued and kept in its place. Obama and his officials in the government, and the US intelligence community, need to assert strenuously that Snowden's exposure of the massive US secret surveillance programme aids and abets 'the enemy', and damages international relations.

marijuana dispensaries becoming exclusive domain of the 1%

HuffPo | Once a business proposition that required little more than a few thousand dollars and some gardening equipment, selling medical marijuana is quickly becoming a dream fit only for deep-pocketed entrepreneurs.

Regulations in states that only recently legalized medical marijuana are mandating that would-be dispensary operators set aside large amounts of cash before even applying for a license, tipping the scales in favor of businesspeople with money to burn. Drawn-out licensing processes being devised in those states mean permits to run dispensaries will likely only go to those able to afford a cadre of consultants and lawyers.
Five years ago, Ean Seeb helped open Colorado dispensary Denver Relief with “four thousand dollars and half a pound of cannabis.”

“I don’t think that would ever happen again,” said Seeb, who now works as a dispensary consultant. “Somebody who just has a good idea but little capital would find it difficult to impossible to go into the business today.”

Seeb said he is counseling clients in Massachusetts, where only 35 dispensary licenses will be granted starting later this year, to set aside at least $2 million before even considering going into the medical marijuana industry. Not only are state fees related to the permitting process likely to total over $100,000 for many dispensaries, but the merit-based process for obtaining a license is also expected to privilege those who can demonstrate they have excess cash to secure an abundant supply of cannabis. Fist tap Arnach.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Booz-Allen - the world's most profitable spy organization

Businessweek | Booz Allen and its competitors are able to keep landing contracts and keep growing, critics charge, not because their expertise is irreplaceable but because their Rolodexes are. Name a retired senior official from the NSA or the CIA or the various military intelligence branches, and there’s a good chance he works for a contractor—most likely Booz Allen. Name a senior intelligence official serving in the government, and there’s a good chance he used to work for Booz Allen. (ODNI’s Sanders, who made the case for contractors, is now a vice president at the firm, which declined to make him available for an interview.) McConnell and others at Booz Allen are quick to point out that the contracting process has safeguards and oversight built in and that it has matured since the frenzied years just after Sept. 11. At the same time, the firm’s tendency to scoop up—and lavishly pay—high-ranking intelligence officers once they retire suggests the value it places on their address books and in having their successors inside government consider Booz Allen as part of their own retirement plans.

Rich contractor salaries create a classic public-private revolving door. They pull people from government intelligence, deplete the ranks, and put more experience and knowledge in the private sector, which makes contractors even more vital to the government. “Now you go into government for two or three years, get a clearance, and migrate to one of the high-paying contractors,” says Steven Aftergood, who heads the Project on Government Secrecy at the Federation of American Scientists. That’s what Snowden did. “You have to have a well-developed sense of patriotism to turn that money down,” Aftergood says.

As a result, says Golden, the headhunter, a common complaint in spy agencies is that “the damn contractors know more than we do.” That could have been a factor in the Snowden leak—his computer proficiency may have allowed him to access information he shouldn’t have been allowed to see. Snowden is an anomaly, though. What he did with that information—copying it, getting it to the press, and publicly identifying himself as the leaker—cost him his job and potentially his freedom, all for what appear so far to be idealistic motives. The more common temptation would be to use knowledge, legally and perhaps not even consciously, to generate more business.

In the wake of the Snowden leak, Congress is paying more attention to contractors like Booz Allen and the role they play in intelligence gathering. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle say that the ease with which Snowden was able to gain access to and divulge classified information highlights the need for greater oversight of contractors’ activities. “I’m just stunned that an individual who did not even have a high school diploma, who did not successfully complete his military service, and who is only age 29 had access to some of the most highly classified information in our government,” Senator Susan Collins (R-Me.) told reporters on Capitol Hill on June 11. “That’s astonishing to me, and it suggests real problems with the vetting process. The rules are not being applied well or they need to be more strict.”

Changing them, however, may be easier said than done. “At the very highest level, whether at the White House or the Pentagon, there will always be a contractor in the room,” says Golden. “And the powers that be will turn around and say, ‘That’s a brilliant plan, how do we make that work?’ And a contractor will say, ‘I can do that.’ ”


topdocumentaryfilms | It is no secret that CIA is engaged in criminal activities around the world, some of which are quite deadly, some of which are quite provocative in the sense of laying the groundwork for large scale military conflict, and it’s happening in a lot of countries. This is not unique to the United States. The United States learned some of this from the British who learned it in turn during the 19th century when they were a dominant imperial power around the world. They cut their teeth on this stuff.

The other major powers are definitely engaged and capable of these same types of operations, and small powers as well. Israel is an example. The CIA grew out of the OSS, which had been established during World War II. Its earliest years are interesting because the new president, Harry Truman, did not trust the OSS because he felt it was too dominated by parts of the Democratic Party that he didn’t align himself with, so he abolished the OSS. Then they first created a smaller intelligence agency from the remains of the old OSS called the Central Intelligence Group. And that was focused on analyzing intelligence. It wasn’t a covert operations agency.

In one inbox would come all information whether it was from intercepted communications, or satellite photography, or defector reports, or clandestine reports, embassy… it would all come to that one person, and that person would be “accountable.” One person would be accountable for looking at that stuff, pouring through it, and if it were important, assuming it was a good analysis, that could end up on the president’s desk the next morning, unadulterated synthesis of information.

About two years after that, many of the agents who had worked on the covert operation side, the paramilitary warfare operations, black operations, that sort of thing, were reestablished in an outfit called the Office of Policy Coordination. This “office” eventually grew to have about 5,000 agents in the early Cold War years, and the existence of this office was itself entirely top secret. It had no open existence at all, and it wasn’t until some years later that the Office of Policy Coordination was folded into the CIA, and the CIA became an agency. CIA had both a clandestine black operations arm and an intelligence analysis arm.
The OPC was set up to organize propaganda, economic warfare, preventive direct action, sabotage, demolition, subversion against hostile states, including assistance to underground resistance groups and support of indigenous anti-communist elements in threatened countries of the free world.

What happened at the end of World War II when Truman disbanded the OSS? The covert operators were in the wilderness for a little while, and some of them had been leading Wall Street bankers and lawyers, and there’s a certain logic there because prior to the war, the people engaged in international trade and international law were a relatively small number of people, and they were the specialists in international affairs for the United States; so for example, the man who was later to become chief of covert operations, black operations, for the CIA was a man named Frank Wisner, quite a prominent Wall Street lawyer.

7 Myths about Edward Snowden - Free Bonus! Myth 8: The Democratic Party cares deeply about civil liberties.

thenation | So many questions! How much of our personal information can the NSA get at, with and without a warrant? What exactly does “server” mean on that NSA PowerPoint slide? Is Snowden in Moscow, Havana, Quito, none of the above? Tracking the fast-evolving scandal of NSA surveillance and whistleblower Edward Snowden requires a bullshit-detector cranked up to eleven. Though the NSA-Snowden affair is scarcely three weeks old, all manner of official folklore and panic-infused idées reçues have already glommed on, limpet-like, to media accounts, often deforming the story beyond recognition. Below is your handy myth-stripping guide to understanding this critical news item.

wozniak: snowden is a hero

dailybeast | The Apple co-founder tells Lloyd Grove why he supports the NSA leaker, how the agency hasn’t ‘done one thing valuable for us’ in regard to Prism—and why the Internet wasn’t supposed to be this way.

Computer whiz Steve Wozniak is more than a little distressed that the technology he helped develop nearly four decades ago is being used on a massive scale to invade people’s privacy.

He’s especially troubled by the secret intrusions into the private emails of American citizens by the National Security Agency—secret, that is, until the recent detailed revelations of the NSA’s Prism program of electronic surveillance by a 29-year-old NSA contractor turned fugitive named Edward Snowden.

“I think he’s a hero,” said the 62-year-old Wozniak, who co-founded Apple Computer with Steve Jobs and invented the Apple I and Apple II personal computers that launched a technological revolution. “He’s a hero to my beliefs about how the Constitution should work. I don’t think the NSA has done one thing valuable for us, in this whole ‘Prism’ regard, that couldn’t have been done by following the Constitution and doing it the old way.”

Sitting down with me on Tuesday at the Ford Motor Co. campus in Dearborn, Michigan, during the “Go Further With Ford” 2013 Trend Conference, Wozniak added: “I don’t think terrorism is war. I think terrorism is a crime. And by using the word ‘war’ we’ve managed to use all these weird ways to say the Constitution doesn’t apply in the case of a war. And I think Edward Snowden is a hero because this came from his heart. And I really believe he was giving up his whole life because he just felt so deeply about honesty, about spying on Americans, and he wanted to tell us.”

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession...,

thenation |  In early 2010, journalist and satirist Barrett Brown was working on a book on political pundits, when the hacktivist collective Anonymous caught his attention. He soon began writing about its activities and potential. In a defense of the group’s anti-censorship operations in Australia published on February 10, Brown declared, “I am now certain that this phenomenon is among the most important and under-reported social developments to have occurred in decades, and that the development in question promises to threaten the institution of the nation-state and perhaps even someday replace it as the world’s most fundamental and relevant method of human organization.”

By then, Brown was already considered by his fans to be the Hunter S. Thompson of his generation. In point of fact he wasn’t like Hunter S. Thompson, but was more of a throwback—a sharp-witted, irreverent journalist and satirist in the mold of Ambrose Bierce or Dorothy Parker. His acid tongue was on display in his co-authored 2007 book, Flock of Dodos: Behind Modern Creationism, Intelligent Design and the Easter Bunny, in which he declared: “This will not be a polite book. Politeness is wasted on the dishonest, who will always take advantage of any well-intended concession.”

But it wasn’t Brown’s acid tongue so much as his love of minutiae (and ability to organize and explain minutiae) that would ultimately land him in trouble. Abandoning his book on pundits in favor of a book on Anonymous, he could not have known that delving into the territory of hackers and leaks would ultimately lead to his facing the prospect of spending the rest of his life in prison. In light of the bombshell revelations published by Glenn Greenwald and Barton Gellman about government and corporate spying, Brown’s case is a good—and underreported—reminder of the considerable risk faced by reporters who report on leaks.

In February 2011, a year after Brown penned his defense of Anonymous, and against the background of its actions during the Arab Spring, Aaron Barr, CEO of the private intelligence company HBGary, claimed to have identified the leadership of the hacktivist collective. (In fact, he only had screen names of a few members). Barr’s boasting provoked a brutal hack of HBGary by a related group called Internet Feds (it would soon change its name to “LulzSec”). Splashy enough to attract the attention of The Colbert Report, the hack defaced and destroyed servers and websites belonging to HBGary. Some 70,000 company e-mails were downloaded and posted online. As a final insult to injury, even the contents of Aaron Barr’s iPad were remotely wiped.

The HBGary hack may have been designed to humiliate the company, but it had the collateral effect of dropping a gold mine of information into Brown’s lap. One of the first things he discovered was a plan to neutralize Glenn Greenwald’s defense of Wikileaks by undermining them both. (“Without the support of people like Glenn, wikileaks would fold,” read one slide.) The plan called for “disinformation,” exploiting strife within the organization and fomenting external rivalries—“creating messages around actions to sabotage or discredit the opposing organization,” as well as a plan to submit fake documents and then call out the error.” Greenwald, it was argued, “if pushed,” would “choose professional preservation over cause.”
Other plans targeted social organizations and advocacy groups. Separate from the plan to target Greenwald and WikiLeaks, HBGary was part of a consortia that submitted a proposal to develop a “persona management” system for the United States Air Force, that would allow one user to control multiple online identities for commenting in social media spaces, thus giving the appearance of grassroots support or opposition to certain policies.  Fist tap Dale.

u.s. rulers fear the american people

ICH | What the disclosures of former CIA contractor Edward Snowden show perhaps above all else is just how petrified the leaders of the United States have become - of ordinary citizens both in the US and around the world. When we say “leaders” we mean the ruling elite - the top one percent of the financial-corporate-military-industrial complex and its bought- and paid-for politicians. 

The international manhunt by the US authorities for Snowden, which has accelerated with his flight to Moscow to evade extradition from Hong Kong, is indicative of the desperation in Washington’s elitist establishment to quash him and what he is revealing about their despotic rule.

Today, the US has evolved into a dystopia, not a democracy, where obscene wealth and privilege stand in the face of massive poverty and misery. One indicator of this abysmal inequality is the fact that the 400 richest Americans have more material wealth than 155 million of their fellow citizens combined. Another datum: some 50 million Americans - a sixth of the population - are surviving on food handouts. Unemployment, homelessness, suicide rates, prescription drug addiction, rampant gun crime all speak in different ways of social meltdown.

American society is collapsing from the sheer weight of its decrepit capitalist economy. The social system is unsustainable. It is like a distended rotten sack that is coming apart at the seams from inexorable burgeoning pressure. This is not unique to the US. All around the world, people are rebelling against the inequity of crony capitalism - there is only one form of capitalism - from Europe to the Arab Middle East, from Turkey to Brazil.

But the US is a phenomenal case in point of collapsing capitalist society. It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, within living memory; the US was regarded as the economic paradigm of the world. Now it more and more resembles a giant sprawling ghetto of unremitting poverty that is interspersed with a few gated rich communities, the latter populated by the top one percent of society.

it's like shearing a piglet: there's a lot of squealing, but there's little wool

reuters | In his first public comments since the fugitive flew in on Sunday, he appeared to make light of the affair around Edward Snowden, whose flight from U.S. authorities is becoming an increasing embarrassment for President Barack Obama. Asked by a journalist about the affair, he smiled fleetingly.

"I myself would prefer not to deal with these issues. It's like shearing a piglet: there's a lot of squealing, but there's little wool," he told a news conference in Finland.

His refusal to hand back Snowden risked deepening a rift with the United States that has also sucked in China and threatens relations between countries that may be essential in settling global conflicts including the Syrian war.

Putin said the 30-year-old American was in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport and, not having gone through passport control, was free to leave.

"The sooner he chooses his final destination, the better it would be for us and for himself," Putin said.
Snowden has applied for asylum in Ecuador but Quito has said it is still considering the application and the United States is trying to persuade the governments of countries where he might head to hand him over. His plans remain unclear.

"He has not crossed the state's border, and therefore does not need a visa. And any accusations against Russia (of aiding him) are ravings and rubbish," Putin said in response to a question at a news conference during a visit to Finland.

Washington has gone to great lengths to try to ensure Snowden has nowhere to go to seek refuge. But Putin said Russia had no extradition treaty with the United States and suggested Moscow would expel Snowden only if he were a criminal.

"Thank God, Mr Snowden committed no crimes on the territory of the Russian Federation," Putin said in the garden of a presidential residence, with Finnish President Sauli Niinisto beside him.

Putin said he hoped relations with the United States would not be affected by the affair but his words seemed to rebuff U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, speaking only hours earlier.

"It is accurate there is not an extradition treaty between Russia and the United states, but there are standards of behaviour between sovereign nations," Kerry said, in Jeddah.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

volodya not scurred...,

NYTimes |  Speaking at a news conference while on an official visit to Finland, Mr. Putin offered no new information on where Mr. Snowden might be headed from the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. But he said Mr. Snowden had broken no Russian laws and that Russian security officials had not made contact with him.

“The Russian special services are not engaged with him and will not be engaged,” Mr. Putin said, according to the government-financed Russia Today news site.

“On the territory of the Russian Federation, Mr. Snowden, thank God, did not commit any crime,” Mr. Putin said in an Interfax news agency account of his remarks. “As for the issue of the possibility of extradition,” Mr. Putin said, according to Interfax, “we can give only send back some foreign nationals to the countries with which we have the relevant international agreements on extradition. With the United States we have no such agreement.”

Mr. Putin spoke hours after the Russian foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, chastised the United States for its demands regarding Mr. Snowden, whose successful effort, so far, to elude his American pursuers has captivated global attention, showed the limits of American power and strained American relations with Russia and China.

Mr. Snowden has been charged with violating American espionage laws by revealing secret information on intelligence-gathering. He and his allies describe him as whistleblower whose revelations have exposed the United States government’s invasion of privacy around the world.

Mr. Lavrov said Mr. Snowden had not crossed the Russian border, which appeared to be a technical way of saying he was in an international passenger transit area. But Mr. Putin was far more direct.

china: this chess, not checkers...,

NYTimes |  In Beijing, people with knowledge of how China handled Mr. Snowden’s exit from Hong Kong were claiming a tactical victory for China, saying that the government had acted in China’s best interests, and in the long-term interests of its relationship with the United States.

“What did the United States expect China to do? Hand him over? That would be very stupid,” said Sun Zhe, director of the Center for U.S.-China Relations at Tsinghua University. “This was the best China could do.”

According to a Chinese journalist who often talks with Hong Kong government and mainland Chinese officials in Hong Kong, the Chinese authorities organized an ad hoc group, led by Yang Jiechi, a former foreign minister and now a state councilor, to handle the Snowden matter. The group answered to President Xi Jinping, the journalist said.

The Chinese mainland authorities decided to keep a distance from Mr. Snowden personally to ensure that if Mr. Snowden eventually ended up in American hands he would not be able to disclose what Chinese officials said to him, the journalist said.

Beijing determined early on that Mr. Snowden would have to leave Hong Kong, and should not be allowed to stay to go through a protracted legal battle in the Hong Kong courts to resist the United States extradition demand, the journalist said. “That would have lasted years, and then the United States would also wonder what he was telling China,” the journalist said. “What would the United States prefer?”

The Hong Kong government also hit back at American criticisms, saying that the United States had received ample warning that its request for Mr. Snowden’s detention was incomplete.

black folks who favor panoptic surveillance have forgotten who the deep state targets with these tools...,

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

breakingbrown | A recent Pew Research poll shows that blacks are more willing to accept curbs to privacy than others polled.

According to the poll, 45 percent of Americans say the government should be able to “go further than it is” to increases security, while 55 percent of blacks are accepting of additional curbs to privacy. In all, 52 percent of those polled said broad based monitoring of Americans should not occur.  Among blacks, only 44 percent of those polled found the extra measures unacceptable.

Among all adults, 62 percent said investigating possible threats was more important. The figure was 60 percent among whites, 67 percent among nonwhites and 75 percent among African Americans.

Overall, 56 percent of Americans consider the NSA’s accessing of telephone call records of millions of Americans through secret court orders “acceptable”, according to the poll.

But this posture among blacks is curious given the impact of the surveillance state on the civil rights movement. MSNBC’s Chris Hayes brought up this point during his Tuesday show, describing how Martin Luther King was harassed by the FBI.

“They stalked his every move, broke into and bugged his office, they bugged his hotel rooms and they wiretapped his phones,” Hayes said.

“But there’s a pretty major sticking point, and that is the as long as it’s not abused part, because history tells us that is not actually a thing. A nonabused massive government surveillance apparatus. That is not what Dr. Martin Luther King tells us.”

“When you construct a massive surveillance apparatus, history tells us that it will be brought to bear not just on ‘the enemy,’ but on the people who threaten society’s power structure,” he added, “on whoever exists at the political margins, whether it’s Martin Luther King Jr. or some Occupy Boston protesters. It’s not some Orwellian abstraction. It’s America’s history and America’s recent history.”

a fine and flaming rant on strange partisan pairings in the wake of deep state disclosures...,

1. 'Remember That Time the NSA Listened to U.S. Troops Have Phone Sex With Loved Ones Back Home?'

2. 'Whistleblowers Are Not Protected, Mr. Goss' by Sibel Edmonds

3. 3 NSA veterans speak out on whistle-blower: We told you so

4. 'Whistleblower Coming In Cold From the F.B.I.'

5. 'Edward Snowden's Exposure Of Our State Secrets Should Warrant His Death -- Plain And Simple...'

6. 'Fox News' Ralph Peters: 'Bring Back The Death Penalty' For Edward Snowden (VIDEO)'

7. 'Glenn Beck, Michael Moore call NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a hero'

nsa whistleblowers roundtable on snowden...,

usatoday | When a National Security Agency contractor revealed top-secret details this month on the government's collection of Americans' phone and Internet records, one select group of intelligence veterans breathed a sigh of relief.

Thomas Drake, William Binney and J. Kirk Wiebe belong to a select fraternity: the NSA officials who paved the way.

For years, the three whistle-blowers had told anyone who would listen that the NSA collects huge swaths of communications data from U.S. citizens. They had spent decades in the top ranks of the agency, designing and managing the very data-collection systems they say have been turned against Americans. When they became convinced that fundamental constitutional rights were being violated, they complained first to their superiors, then to federal investigators, congressional oversight committees and, finally, to the news media.

To the intelligence community, the trio are villains who compromised what the government classifies as some of its most secret, crucial and successful initiatives. They have been investigated as criminals and forced to give up careers, reputations and friendships built over a lifetime.

Today, they feel vindicated.

did michael hastings get whacked?

HuffPo | The peculiar circumstances of journalist Michael Hastings' death in Los Angeles last week have unleashed a wave of conspiracy theories.

Now there's another theory to contribute to the paranoia: According to a prominent security analyst, technology exists that could've allowed someone to hack his car. Former U.S. National Coordinator for Security, Infrastructure Protection, and Counter-terrorism Richard Clarke told The Huffington Post that what is known about the single-vehicle crash is "consistent with a car cyber attack."

Clarke said, "There is reason to believe that intelligence agencies for major powers" -- including the United States -- know how to remotely seize control of a car.

"What has been revealed as a result of some research at universities is that it's relatively easy to hack your way into the control system of a car, and to do such things as cause acceleration when the driver doesn't want acceleration, to throw on the brakes when the driver doesn't want the brakes on, to launch an air bag," Clarke told The Huffington Post. "You can do some really highly destructive things now, through hacking a car, and it's not that hard."

"So if there were a cyber attack on the car -- and I'm not saying there was," Clarke added, "I think whoever did it would probably get away with it."

Authorities have said that it may take weeks to determine a cause of death for Hastings, but that no foul play is suspected.

Hastings was driving a 2013 Mercedes C250 coupe when he crashed into a tree on Highland Ave. in Los Angeles at approximately 4:30 am on June 18. Video posted online showed the car in flames, and one neighbor told a local news crew she heard a sound like an explosion. Another eyewitness said the car's engine had been thrown 50 to 60 yards from the car. There were no other vehicles involved in the accident.

michael hastings panicked final email...,

rsn | ournalist Michael Hastings wrote an email to his colleagues hours before he died last week in which he said his "close friends and associates" were being interviewed by the FBI and he was going to "go off the radar for a bit." The 33-year-old journalist said he was "onto a big story," according to KTLA that publishes a copy of the email that Hastings sent at around 1 p.m. Monday June 17. Hastings died at around 4:30 a.m. Tuesday morning in a fiery one-vehicle car crash. Staff Sgt. Joseph Biggs, who knew Hastings from Afghanistan, supplied a copy of the email to the network.

"It alarmed me very much," Biggs, who was blind-copied on the email, said. "I just said it doesn't seem like him. I don't know, I just had this gut feeling and it just really bothered me." The FBI has denied Hastings was under investigation. But WikiLeaks published a message on Twitter last week that said Hastings contacted the organization's lawyers hours before he died, "saying the FBI was investigating him."
The email with the subject "FBI Investigation, re: NSA" reads:
Hey [redacted] the Feds are interviewing my "close friends and associates." Perhaps if the authorities arrive "BuzzFeed GQ," er HQ, may be wise to immediately request legal counsel before any conversations or interviews about our news-gathering practices or related journalism issues.

Also: I'm onto a big story, and need to go off the radat for a bit.

All the best, and hope to see you all soon.


healthy and safe, whereabouts unknown...,

aljazeera | Edward Snowden has been reported to be "healthy and safe" by Julian Assange but his whereabouts remain a mystery as the US hunted the architect of one of the biggest intelligence leaks in history.

The WikiLeaks founder on Monday said Snowden and a WikiLeaks staff member travelling with him, Sarah Harrison, were "healthy and safe and in contact with their legal team".

However, he added that he could not give information on their whereabouts. Snowden reportedly left Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday, and was said on Monday to have exited on a flight to Cuba. However, journalists travelling on the same plane said his seat was empty.

Strong objections
The White House later said it believed Snowden was still in Russia, said it expected the Russian government to send him back to the US and lodged "strong objections" to Hong Kong and China for letting him go.
A spokesman said on Monday evening that Snowden's exit from Hong Kong "unquestionably'' damaged US-China relations, and that officials believed he was still in Russia and should be handed over.

Snowden has been charged by the US of espionage and spying after revealing to Western newspapers how the US's National Security Agency spies on the internet and phone activities of millions of people. The programme, named Prism, is authorised by a secret court.

US Secretary of State John Kerry said during a visit to India that it would be "deeply troubling" if Moscow defied the US over Snowden, and said the fugitive "places himself above the law, having betrayed his country".

The nsa's metastasised intelligence-industrial complex is ripe for abuse

By September 2013, the NSA's new data centre will employ around 200 technicians, occupying 1m sq ft and use 65 megawatts of power.
guardian | Let's be absolutely clear about the news that the NSA collects massive amounts of information on US citizens – from emails, to telephone calls, to videos, under the Prism program and other Fisa court orders: this story has nothing to do with Edward Snowden. As interesting as his flight to Hong Kong might be, the pole-dancing girlfriend, and interviews from undisclosed locations, his fate is just a sideshow to the essential issues of national security versus constitutional guarantees of privacy, which his disclosures have surfaced in sharp relief.

Snowden will be hunted relentlessly and, when finally found, with glee, brought back to the US in handcuffs and severely punished. (If Private Bradley Manning's obscene conditions while incarcerated are any indication, it won't be pleasant for Snowden either, even while awaiting trial.) Snowden has already been the object of scorn and derision from the Washington establishment and mainstream media, but, once again, the focus is misplaced on the transiently shiny object. The relevant issue should be: what exactly is the US government doing in the people's name to "keep us safe" from terrorists?

Prism and other NSA data-mining programs might indeed be very effective in hunting and capturing actual terrorists, but we don't have enough information as a society to make that decision. Despite laudable efforts led by Senators Ron Wyden and Mark Udall to bring this to the public's attention that were continually thwarted by the administration because everything about this program was deemed "too secret", Congress could not even exercise its oversight responsibilities. The intelligence community and their friends on the Hill do not have a right to interpret our rights absent such a discussion.

The shock and surprise that Snowden exposed these secrets is hard to understand when over 1.4 million Americans hold "top secret" security clearances. When that many have access to sensitive information, is it really so difficult to envision a leak?

We are now dealing with a vast intelligence-industrial complex that is largely unaccountable to its citizens. This alarming, unchecked growth of the intelligence sector and the increasingly heavy reliance on subcontractors to carry out core intelligence tasks – now estimated to account for approximately 60% of the intelligence budget – have intensified since the 9/11 attacks and what was, arguably, our regrettable over-reaction to them.

The roots of this trend go back at least as far as the Reagan era, when the political right became obsessed with limiting government and denigrating those who worked for the public sector. It began a wave of privatization – because everything was held to be more "cost-efficient" when done by the private sector – and that only deepened with the political polarization following the election of 2000. As it turns out, the promises of cheaper, more efficient services were hollow, but inertia carried the day.

Today, the intelligence sector is so immense that no one person can manage, or even comprehend, its reach

old crusty nsa whistleblower goes on record talking out of school....,

boilingfrogspost | NSA whistleblower Russel Tice told Peter B. Collins on Boiling Frog Post News (the website of high-level FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds): Complete podcast of interview available at this link.


Tice: Okay. They went after–and I know this because I had my hands literally on the paperwork for these sort of things–they went after high-ranking military officers; they went after members of Congress, both Senate and the House, especially on the intelligence committees and on the armed services committees and some of the–and judicial. But they went after other ones, too. They went after lawyers and law firms. All kinds of–heaps of lawyers and law firms. They went after judges. One of the judges is now sitting on the Supreme Court that I had his wiretap information in my hand. Two are former FISA court judges. They went after State Department officials. They went after people in the executive service that were part of the White House–their own people. They went after antiwar groups. They went after U.S. international–U.S. companies that that do international business, you know, business around the world. They went after U.S. banking firms and financial firms that do international business. They went after NGOs that–like the Red Cross, people like that that go overseas and do humanitarian work. They went after a few antiwar civil rights groups. So, you know, don't tell me that there's no abuse, because I've had this stuff in my hand and looked at it. And in some cases, I literally was involved in the technology that was going after this stuff. And you know, when I said to [former MSNBC show host Keith] Olbermann, I said, my particular thing is high tech and you know, what's going on is the other thing, which is the dragnet. The dragnet is what Mark Klein is talking about, the terrestrial dragnet. Well my specialty is outer space. I deal with satellites, and everything that goes in and out of space. I did my spying via space. So that's how I found out about this.

Collins: Now Russ, the targeting of the people that you just mentioned, top military leaders, members of Congress, intelligence community leaders and the–oh, I'm sorry, it was intelligence committees, let me correct that–not intelligence community, and then executive branch appointees. This creates the basis, and the potential for massive blackmail.

Tice: Absolutely! And remember we talked about that before, that I was worried that the intelligence community now has sway over what is going on. Now here's the big one. I haven't given you any names. This was is summer of 2004. One of the papers that I held in my hand was to wiretap a bunch of numbers associated with, with a 40-something-year-old wannabe senator from Illinois. You wouldn't happen to know where that guy lives right now, would you? It's a big white house in Washington, DC. That's who they went after. And that's the president of the United States now.

u.s. seemingly unwaware of the irony of accusing snowden of spying...,

newyorker | The United States government charged former intelligence analyst Edward Snowden with spying on Friday, apparently unaware that in doing so it had created a situation dripping with irony.

At a press conference to discuss the accusations, an N.S.A. spokesman surprised observers by announcing the spying charges against Mr. Snowden with a totally straight face.

“These charges send a clear message,” the spokesman said. “In the United States, you can’t spy on people.”
Seemingly not kidding, the spokesman went on to discuss another charge against Mr. Snowden—the theft of government documents: “The American people have the right to assume that their private documents will remain private and won’t be collected by someone in the government for his own purposes.”

“Only by bringing Mr. Snowden to justice can we safeguard the most precious of American rights: privacy,” added the spokesman, apparently serious.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Double-0 has charged more under espionage act than all other preznits combined...,

slate | The U.S. government charged former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with three felonies, including two under the Espionage Act. He now becomes the eighth person to be charged under the Espionage Act under Obama, according to Firedoglake. That is more than double all previous presidents combined. Prior to Obama’s administration only three people who leaked information had been charged under the 1917 statute that was never really intended for leakers. The arguments that Obama uses now to use that statute to go after those who reveal information were first brought up by Ronald Reagan’s administration when it went after a Navy civilian analyst who leaked photographs to a British military magazine. But now the practice has become widespread.

The Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald wonders how these prosecutions are even “remotely defensible” coming from a president who vowed to usher in an era of transparency in Washington. Sure, Snowden may have broken the law, writes Greenwald, but he hardly committed “espionage.” He didn’t sell secrets to foreign governments, or try to profit from them in any way. Snowden simply blew the whistle on something he saw. “The irony is obvious,” writes Greenwald, “the same people who are building a ubiquitous surveillance system to spy on everyone in the world, including their own citizens, are now accusing the person who exposed it of ‘espionage.’”

david gregory needs to be shot with hot pee...,

dailycaller | “I think it’s pretty extraordinary that anybody who would call themselves a journalist would publicly muse about whether or not other journalists should be charged with felonies,” Greenwald said. “The assumption in your question, David, is completely without evidence — the idea I’ve aided and abetted him in any way. The scandal that arose in Washington before our stories began was about the fact that the Obama administration is trying to criminalize investigative journalism by going through the emails and records of AP reporters, accusing a Fox News journalist of the theory you just embraced — being a co-conspirator in felonies for working with sources. If you want to embrace that theory, it means every investigative journalist in the United States who works with their sources [and] receives classified information is a criminal. And it’s precisely those theories and precisely that climate that has become so menacing in the United States. It’s why the New Yorker’s Jean Mayer said investigative reporting has come to a ‘standstill,’ her word, as a result of the theories you just referenced.”

Gregory reacted to Greenwald’s reply by questioning whether or not what Greenwald was engaging in was journalism and that he was only asking a question.

“Well, the question of who’s a journalist may be up to a debate with regard to what you are doing and of course anybody who was watching this understands what I was doing,” Gregory said. “And that question has been raised by lawmakers, as well. I’m not embracing anything. But obviously, I take your point.”

clare daly not slobbering over barry o'bama...,

memory hole: does anybody else remember a purported dormitory killer with a hard x-ray emitter?

guardian | Crawford, an industrial mechanic for General Electric, met Feight, an outside GE contractor with mechanical and engineering skills, through work, authorities said. Feight designed, built and tested the remote control, which they planned to use to operate an industrial X-ray system mounted on a truck.

According to the indictment, the investigators had a confidential undercover source in place within weeks after learning of Crawford's attempts to solicit money and later an undercover investigator introduced by the source. They recorded meetings and conversations, and in December investigators got court authorisation to tap Crawford's phones, the indictment said.

In June 2012 the undercover investigator brought Crawford X-ray tubes to examine for possible use in the weapon, followed by their technical specifications a month later. At a November meeting with undercover investigators, Crawford brought Feight. Both said they were committed to building the device and named the group "the guild", the indictment said.

Investigators gave Feight $1,000 to build the control device and showed the men pictures of industrial X-ray machines they said they could obtain.

They planned to provide him access to an actual X-ray system to assembly with the remote control. According to court documents, the sealed indictment was filed the same day and both men were arrested.
A GE spokesman, Shaun Wiggins, said the company was informed on Tuesday of Crawford's arrest and he was suspended from his job. The company had no information that any employees' safety was compromised or that alleged illegal acts were committed at his workplace.

the story of the ringworm children...,

scribd | In 1951, the director general of the Israeli Health Ministry, Dr. Chaim Sheba flew to America and returned with 7 x-ray machines, supplied to him by the American army. They were to be used in a mass atomic experiment with an entire generation of Sephardi youths to be used as guinea pigs. Every Sephardi child was to be given 35,000 times the maximum dose of x-rays through his head. For doing so, the American government paid the Israeli government 300 million Israeli liras a year.The entire Health budget was 60 million liras. The money paid by the Americans is equivalent to billions of dollars today. To fool the parents of the victims, the children were taken away on "school trips" and their  parents were later told the x-rays were a treatment for the scourge of scalpal ringworm. 6,000 of the children died shortly after their doses were given, while many of the rest developed cancers that killed them over time and are still killing them now. While living, the victims suffered from disorders such as epilepsy, amnesia, Alzheimer's disease, chronic headaches and psychosis.

Yes, that is the subject of the documentary in cold terms. It is another matter to see the victims on the screen.To watch the Moroccan lady describe what getting 35,000 times the dose of allowable x-rays in her head feels like: "I screamed make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. Make the headache go away. But it never went away."

Friday, June 21, 2013

top lives off the yield of the bottom: tax havens and the men who stole the world...,

resilience | In his influential book Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole The World Nicholas Shaxson tells us that if you thought the open face of global capitalism was bad enough, the murky and secret world of tax havens is even worse. If this comes as an introduction to the offshore industry the book lets us know that we should have started worrying, no less been doing something about tax avoidance for a long time now.

Jonny Gordon-Farleigh: Your book Treasure Islands: Tax Havens and the Men who Stole the World was first published in 2010 and has since been an extremely important contribution to our understanding of a secret, hidden and misrepresented part of our global economy: tax havens. What has happened since then in terms of the scale and complexity of tax avoidance schemes and how have governments responded?

Nicholas Shaxson: That’s a big question. I would say that different things have happened in different countries but what has been a common factor in most has been that public deficits and austerity measures have focused minds on tax revenues. There has been a real change in the public mood and receptiveness to the issue of tax avoidance and that it’s a problem more serious than we thought. In the Go-Go years before the boom, in places such as the UK, the attitude was “I’m alright, Jack,” and people didn’t seem to worry about it. Now, the general public are also realising that tax havens are much more central to the global economy than anyone had previously imagined. They had previously been seen as an exotic sideshow to the main event but, increasingly, the public is realising that tax havens are at the heart of the mainstream global economy. On some measures half of all cross-border trade is conducted on paper through tax havens. Tax havens are not so much about Mafiosi and drug dealers, even though there is plenty of that still about, but most fundamentally about banks and financial intermediaries. That’s the context.

Now politicians, if we take the example of the UK, are being led by the public mood. It’s remarkable to see a Conservative prime minister making such statements about tax avoidance, which had previously been considered legal and therefore little wrong with the practice. The shift in public mood means politicians are being forced to condemn tax avoidance and are certainly making the right noises. Also, the OECD — a club of rich countries that had previously jealously protected this awful system of secret information exchange that is very favourable to tax havens and corporate taxation that is very favourable to tax avoiders — now suddenly seem much more open to looking for real alternatives. A closed door is now open, at least a bit. This has not yet translated into any serious policies but there are some incremental changes that have been made such as openings into Swiss bank secrecy, even though there’s still a long way to go there.

On the other side of the equation, though, the offshore system has been growing under its own momentum for decades. It is a self-reinforcing process where countries compete with each other to offer the best tax loopholes or secrecy facilities. This race-to-the-bottom dynamic is still firmly in place. So there are two opposing forces: one is the offshore system pushing ahead through its own momentum, and then the public mood pushing in the other direction. I wouldn’t say anything more than that things are beginning to change. A true rollback of offshore abuses needs much more sustained public pressure.

the study of culturally induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data

skepticalscience | Agnotology is the study of ignorance and how it's produced. For example, examining how misinformation can generate misconceptions about climate change. An interesting (and influential, at least in my case) paper on this topic is Agnotology as a teaching tool: Learning climate science by studying misinformation by Daniel Bedford, a professor at Weber State University, Utah. Bedford suggests how how examining and refuting misinformation is actually a powerful way to teach climate science, sharpen critical thinking skills and raise awareness of the scientific method. He then illustrates this with case studies applied in his own college classroom. This paper opened my eyes to the educational opportunities in addressing misinformation - an approach I adopted in the chapters "Understanding Climate Change Denial" and "Rebuttals to Climate Myths" in the textbook Climate Change Science: A Modern Synthesis.

Recently, David Legates, Willie Soon and William Briggs published a paper in the journal Science & Education, Learning and Teaching Climate Science: The Perils of Consensus Knowledge Using Agnotology. The paper comments extensively on Bedford's agnotology paper. Unfortunately, it comprehensively misrepresents Bedford's arguments. Consequently, Daniel Bedford and I have co-authored a response to Legates' paper that was just published in Science & Education: Agnotology, Scientific Consensus, and the Teaching and Learning of Climate Change: A Response to Legates, Soon and Briggs. For those without library access, our paper is unfortunately behind a pay-wall. However, the full pre-press version of our paper is available here.

In our response, we examine the scientific consensus on climate change and briefly look at the results from our recent Consensus Project paper. We explore the consensus gap - the large discrepancy between public perception of consensus and the 97% reality. We also clarify that while there is a scientific consensus on the basic fact of human-caused global warming, this doesn't mean there is overwhelming agreement of every aspect of climate science. Legates misrepresents this point by misquoting Bedford's paper. We examine one of the reasons for the consensus gap - two decades of a persistent misinformation campaign focused on casting doubt about the consensus.

Next, we get to the real meat of agnotology-based learning - exploring the educational opportunities in addressing misinformation in the classroom. Correcting misperceptions are an important part of education - it's not all about downloading new information into students' brains. Over two decades of research have found that refutational style lectures are one of the most effective ways of correcting misperceptions.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

you holding out for something better?

HBR | I was 10 years old when the Berlin Wall came down — old enough to grasp that something important was happening, but not really old enough to understand exactly what was happening. Like a lot of kids born around that age, the specter of communism has never seemed like that much of a threat. We would hear stories about how horrific life was living under conditions such as these; but only in the context of something that had already failed. It's only through history and books or films that my generation has a grasp of what life must have been like.

Just recently, I had the chance to watch the German film, The Lives of Others, which won the 2007 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. Not only is it a remarkable story, but it gave me the best glimpse I've had yet of what day-to-day life must have been like in a state like East Germany. The infamous East German secret police, the Stasi, managed to infiltrate every pay of German life, from factories, to schools, to apartment blocks — the Stasi had eyes and ears everywhere. When East Germany collapsed in 1989, it was reported to have over 90,000 employees and over 170,000 informants. Including the part-time informants, that made for about one in every 63 East Germans collaborating to collect intelligence on their fellow citizens.

You can imagine what that must have meant: people had to live with the fact that every time they said something, there was a very real chance that it was being listened to by someone other than for whom they intended. No secret police force in history has ever spied on its own people on a scale like the Stasi did in East Germany. In large part because of that, those two words — "East Germany" — are indelibly imprinted on the psyche of the West as an example of how important the principles of liberal democracy are in protecting us from such things happening again. And indeed, the idea that it would happen seems anathema to most people in the western world today — almost unthinkable.

And yet, here we are. In terms of the capability to listen to, watch and keep tabs on what its citizens are doing, the East German government could not possibly have dreamed of achieving what the United States government has managed to put in place today.

The execution of these systems is, as you'd expect, very different. The Germans relied upon people, which, even if not entirely effective, must have been absolutely terrifying: if for no other reason than you weren't sure who you could and could not trust. There was always that chance someone was reporting back on you. It might have been a colleague. A neighbor. A shop keeper. A school teacher. Not knowing whether someone you couldn't see was listening to what you had to say, or whether those that you could see might be passing it back to the authorities — that must have taken an incredibly heavy toll on people.

But as any internet entrepreneur will tell you, relying entirely on people makes scaling difficult. Technology, on the other hand, makes it much easier. And that means that in many respects, what has emerged today is almost more pernicious; because that same technology has effectively turned not just some, but every single person you communicate with using technology — your acquaintances, your colleagues, your family and your friends — into those equivalent informants.