noworldsystem.com


Senate OKs Telecom Immunity

Senate OKs Telecom Immunity

AP
February 12, 2008

The Senate voted Tuesday to shield from lawsuits telecommunications companies that helped the government eavesdrop on their customers without court permission after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

After nearly two months of stops and starts, the Senate rejected by a vote of 31 to 67 a move to strip away a grant of retroactive legal immunity for the companies.

President Bush has promised to veto any new surveillance bill that does not protect the companies that helped the government in its warrantless wiretapping program, arguing that it is essential if the private sector is to give the government the help it needs.

About 40 lawsuits have been filed against telecom companies by people alleging violations of wiretapping and privacy laws.

The Senate also rejected two amendments that sought to water down the immunity provision.

One, co-sponsored by Republican Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Democrat Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island, would have substituted the government for the telecoms in lawsuits, allowing the court cases to go forward but shifting the cost and burden of defending the program.

The other, pushed by California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, would have given a secret court that oversees government surveillance inside the United States the power to dismiss lawsuits if it found that the companies acted in good faith and on the request of the president or attorney general.

Read Full Article Here

 

Bush Admits Telecoms Spied

Raw Story
February 12, 2008

Fbiiraqisbein_mn

In Oval Office address, president pledges veto of any temporary FISA expansions

Well, he finally dropped the “allegedly.” President Bush at long last admitted what everyone has suspected for years — the nation’s telecommunications companies closely cooperated with the National Security Agency and his administration to implement large-scale spying on Americans.

Bush was praising the Senate for approving his long-sought update to a foreign surveillance law. Critics say the bill legalizes his warrantless wiretapping program, which was implemented outside the boundaries of the law, and frees phone and internet companies from any responsibility for violating customers’ privacy.

“The senate bill also provides fair and just liability protections for companies that did the right thing and assisted in defending America, after the attacks of Sept. 11,” Bush said.

As recently as his State of the Union address, Bush would only call for legal immunity for companies “believed to have assisted” in his so-called Terrorist Surveillance Program.

Bush’s admission came a day after his press secretary similarly acknowledged phone company cooperation. Also Tuesday, the Director of National Intelligence sought to suppress as “Top Secret” evidence of a phone conversation between a telecom company representative and a DNI lawyer.

Speaking from the Oval Office Wednesday morning, Bush threw down the gauntlet and issued a stern warning to the House. He admonished the chamber for failing to rubber-stamp the White House approved bill, which 18 Democrats joined every Republican and Joe Lieberman to do Tuesday. Democrats in the House, on the other hand, approved a bill updating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance without granting legal immunity.

Bush has pleged to veto any bill without immunity, and he said Tuesday that he would not accept any more temporary FISA extensions. By midnight Saturday, when a stop-gap extension expires, Bush said he will get what he wants or do nothing to stop what he says are vital gaps in intelligence collection re-open.

On the eve of a vote to give telephone companies immunity for their alleged participation in the National Security Agency’s warrantless wiretap program, White House spokesperson Dana Perino admitted that the companies actually spied.

Because they were patriotic.

“The telephone companies that were alleged to have helped their country after 9/11 did so because they are patriotic and they certainly helped us and they helped us save lives,” Perino told reporters at Tuesday’s press briefing.

The admission, while possibly a verbal slip-up, was first noticed by Ryan Singer, of Wired.

The Senate gave the phone companies immunity by a 69-29 vote. It passed wiretapping bill in its entirety just before 6pm ET, 68-29.

Earlier this afternoon, the immunity measure’s staunchest opponent, Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), announced he would abandon his effort to block the bill with a filibuster, arguing that the House, which has passed an immunity-free bill, would be a better place to try to strip immunity from Congress’s final piece of legislation.

“We lost every single battle we had on this bill,” Dodd said on a conference call Tuesday with reporters and bloggers. “And the question is now, Can we do better with the House carrying the ball on this bill?”

The bill to update the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, including a provision granting retroactive immunity to telecommunications companies that facilitated government spying, passed the Senate on a 68-29 vote Tuesday evening.

Read Full Article Here

Roll Call Votes: Who are the traitors to the US Constitution
http://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS..0&session=2&vote=00020

Bush Presses House To Approve Spy Bill
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/…1&hp=&pagewanted=print&oref=slogin

Senator Dodd on retroactive immunity: ‘We’ve just sanctioned the single largest invasion of privacy in American history’
http://www.theseminal.com/2008/02/12/retroactive-immunity-whats-next/

 



Mass Conditioning for a Police State

Mass Conditioning for a Police State

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58fnMDDW7fQ

 



Plan to Allow Government Access of Any E-mail or Web Search

US drafting plan to allow government access to any email or Web search

Raw Story
January 14, 2008

Fbiiraqisbein_mn

National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell is drawing up plans for cyberspace spying that would make the current debate on warrantless wiretaps look like a “walk in the park,” according to an interview published in the New Yorker‘s print edition today.

Debate on the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act “will be a walk in the park compared to this,” McConnell said. “this is going to be a goat rope on the Hill. My prediction is that we’re going to screw around with this until something horrendous happens.”

The article, which profiles the 65-year-old former admiral appointed by President George W. Bush in January 2007 to oversee all of America’s intelligence agencies, was not published on the New Yorker‘s Web site.

McConnell is developing a Cyber-Security Policy, still in the draft stage, which will closely police Internet activity.

“Ed Giorgio, who is working with McConnell on the plan, said that would mean giving the government the authority to examine the content of any e-mail, file transfer or Web search,” author Lawrence Wright pens.

“Google has records that could help in a cyber-investigation, he said,” Wright adds. “Giorgio warned me, ‘We have a saying in this business: ‘Privacy and security are a zero-sum game.'”

A zero-sum game is one in which gains by one side come at the expense of the other. In other words — McConnell’s aide believes greater security can only come at privacy’s expense.

McConnell has been an advocate for computer-network defense, which has previously not been the province of any intelligence agency.

According to a 2007 conversation in the Oval Office, McConnell told President Bush, “If the 9/11 perpetrators had focused on a single US bank through cyber-attack and it had been successful, it would have an order of magnitude greater impact on the US economy.”

Bush turned to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, asking him if it was true; Paulson said that it was. Bush then asked to McConnell to come up with a network security strategy.

“One proposal of McConnell’s Cyber-Security Policy, which is still in the draft stage, is to reduce the access points between government computers and the Internet from two thousand to fifty,” Wright notes. “He claimed that cyber-theft account for as much as a hundred billion dollars in annual losses to the American economy. ‘The real problem is the perpetrator who doesn’t care about stealing—he just wants to destroy.'”

The infrastructure to tap into Americans’ email and web search history may already be in place.

In November, a former technician at AT&T alleged that the telecom forwarded virtually all of its Internet traffic into a “secret room” to facilitate government spying.

Whistleblower Mark Klein said that a copy of all Internet traffic passing over AT&T lines was copied into a locked room at the company’s San Francisco office — to which only employees with National Security Agency clearance had access — via a cable splitting device.

“My job was to connect circuits into the splitter device which was hard-wired to the secret room,” Klein. said “And effectively, the splitter copied the entire data stream of those Internet cables into the secret room — and we’re talking about phone conversations, email web browsing, everything that goes across the Internet.”

“As a technician, I had the engineering wiring documents, which told me how the splitter was wired to the secret room,” Klein continued. “And so I know that whatever went across those cables was copied and the entire data stream was copied.”

According to Klein, that information included Internet activity about Americans.

“We’re talking about domestic traffic as well as international traffic,” Klein said. Previous Bush administration claims that only international communications were being intercepted aren’t accurate, he added.

“I know the physical equipment, and I know that statement is not true,” he added. “It involves millions of communications, a lot of it domestic communications that they’re copying wholesale.”

 



Chertoff Attacks Bill of Rights, Corporate Media Ignores Story

Chertoff Attacks Bill of Rights, Corporate Media Ignores Story

Kurt Nimmo
TruthNews
December 21, 2007

Do a Google news search on “National Applications Office.” As of this morning, the search engine returns a measly ten results, never mind that the National Applications Office, described as a subset of the Ministry of Homeland Security, will “coordinate access to spy-satellite data for non-military domestic agencies, including law enforcement,” according to Nick Juliano of Raw Story, citing a recent article published in the Wall Street Journal.

“Chertoff insists the scheme to turn spy satellites — that were originally designed for foreign surveillance — on Americans is legal, although a House committee that would approve the program has not been updated on the program for three months,” in other words there is no “legal framework,” but then the neocons don’t need no stinkin’ legal framework.

Even so, Chertoff said not to worry, because “warrants will be obtained when required before collecting satellite intelligence, and the program won’t use technology to intercept verbal communications.”

Of course, capturing verbal communications is not the job of the Ministry, but rather the NSA. Chertoff takes us for morons — and, apparently, a lot of us are — when he promises to obtain warrants and obey the Constitution, sort of the same way Bush’s massive snoop program obtains warrants. Chertoff is simply attempting to mollify us, not that the corporate media is following this story. Naturally, this makes perfect sense, as there are other, more important stories to report on, for instance the pregnancy of Britney Spears’ sixteen year old sister.

But wait a minute. Chertoff wasn’t finished. In addition to the eye in the sky, our Lavrentiy Beria of the neocon commissariat promised “a cyber-security strategy, part of an estimated $15 billion, multiyear program designed to protect the nation’s Internet infrastructure,” according to the Wall Street Journal. Replace the words “cyber-security strategy” with “cyber snoop strategy” and you’ll get a better idea of what Chertoff and the Ministry have in mind. “The program has been shrouded in secrecy for months and has also prompted privacy concerns on Capitol Hill because it involves government protection of domestic computer networks.” in other words, “domestic computer networks,” that is to say the network you are using to read this, will be protected from thought crime.

“Both areas put Homeland Security in the middle of a public debate over domestic spy powers, kicked off by the revelation two years ago that the National Security Agency had been eavesdropping on some conversations in the U.S. without a warrant.”

Some? As we know, the NSA is employing a vacuum cleaner approach, grabbing everything going over domestic networks, both telephonic and internet, and running keyword algorithms on it all to ferret out al-Qaeda associations. Of course, in this context, al-Qaeda is anybody who disagrees with the government, not strictly a couple mythical guys in a CIA constructed cave complex in Afghanistan.

Back in April, the Ministry demanded Verisign hand over the “master keys” to the internet, an effort that drew about as much attention from the corporate media as the current “cyber-security strategy” and the Ministry’s eye in the sky.

“If it succeeds, the US will be able to track DNS Security Extensions (DNSSec) all the way back to the servers that represent the name system’s root zone on the Internet,” Nick Farrell wrote at the time. “Effectively it would mean that US spooks could snoop on anyone in the Worldwide wibble and place control of the Interweb tubes firmly in the paws of the US government.”

If the U.S. and the Ministry controlled the DNS root zone, they would be able not only to snoop more effectively, but would be able to control DNS lookups. Put in layman’s terms, this means the Ministry would be able control a wide range of internet activity, from email delivery to surfing the net. Imagine a “no-fly” list for the internet.

As for the Ministry’s “satellite surveillance tools,” operated by the newly created National Applications Office, it’s all about real-time snooping.

“The spy surveillance satellites are considered by military experts to be far more powerful than those currently available to civilian officials,” notes Wikipedia. “For example, they can take color photos, see through cloud cover and forest canopies, and use different parts of the light spectrum to locate traces left by chemical weapons. However, the full capabilities of these systems are among the most carefully held governmental secrets.” In October, Congress filed an injunction against the NAO, fretting over civil liberty issues, that is to say at least some of our Congress critters are worried about the Ministry using secretive government technology to further erode the Constitution.

Bureaucrats and underwear drawer snoopers fear not. Because, as should be expected, Congress will flip somersaults like a well-trained dog, afraid of being seen as rolling out a red carpet for al-Qaeda.

“If the plan goes forward, the NAO will create the legal mechanism for an unprecedented degree of domestic intelligence gathering that would make the United States one of the world’s most closely monitored nations,” writes Tim Shorrock. It has nothing to do with Muslim miscreants and everything to do with keeping tabs on the sort of people who hand out sandwiches to Halliburton employees.

In fact, dropping Halliburton’s name in here is entirely appropriate, as the NAO effort will be subcontracted. “The intelligence-sharing system to be managed by the NAO will rely heavily on private contractors, including Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC),” Shorrock continues. “These companies already provide technology and personnel to U.S. agencies involved in foreign intelligence, and the NAO greatly expands their markets. Indeed, at an intelligence conference in San Antonio, Texas, last month, the titans of the industry were actively lobbying intelligence officials to buy products specifically designed for domestic surveillance.”

Finally, recall Donald Kerr, principal deputy director of National Intelligence and the National Reconnaissance Office, instructing us to surrender any antiquated reverence for the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. “I think all of us have to really take stock of what we already are willing to give up, in terms of anonymity,” declared Kerr in October.

“Anonymity has been important since the Federalist Papers were written under pseudonyms,” explains Kurt Opsahl, a senior staff lawyer with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “The government has tremendous power: the police power, the ability to arrest, to detain, to take away rights. Tying together that someone has spoken out on an issue with their identity is a far more dangerous thing if it is the government that is trying to tie it together.”

Indeed, it is all about people speaking out. It has absolutely nothing to do with al-Qaeda, now a perennial boogieman used to scare school children and intellectually flabby adults alike. The Ministry, NRO, NAO, working with the likes of Boeing, BAE Systems, L-3 Communications and Science Applications International Corporation, are dismantling the Constitution and erecting a high-tech control grid.

But never mind. Didn’t you know that MTV’s Tila Tequila is bisexual? I mean, who has the time to worry about the Bill of Rights when we are offered such lurid spectacles?

DHS Finalizing Spy Satellite Program To Watch Americans Without Congressional Oversight
http://www.infowars.net/articles/december2007/201207Satellite.htm

 



Wide Spy Powers Set To Pass In Senate

Wide Spy Powers Set To Pass In Senate

Wired
December 17, 2007

The Senate voted by a margin of 76 to 10 to limit debate on a new wiretapping bill Monday, all but ensuring that the Senate will approve amnesty for telecoms that helped the government spy on Americans without court orders and greatly expand the government’s ability to spy using American telecom facilities and communication services.

After the cloture vote, any amendment to the bill will require 60 votes due to rules set by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada).

The bill under debate is the Senate Intelligence version, which grants immunity to telecoms and wide spying powers to the Administration. A competing bill from the Senate Judiciary omitted immunity and included more oversight over new spying powers.

Though Majority Leader Reid said he opposed immunity, he chose to override a hold on the Senate Intelligence bill and to virtually guarantee its success by choosing it over the Judiciary bill as the base bill.

Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Connecticut) is trying to object, but Reid counters that the Republicans will filibuster, thus the 60 vote limit is necessary to prevent a filibuster of the whole bill if an amendment was passed with fewer than 60 votes.

Though the Senate set aside 30 hours for debate, Reid wants the bill to be passed Monday, so the Senate can move to take up a massive spending bill on Tuesday.

 

AT&T: Within Two Weeks of Taking Office, Bush Planned Domestic Spying

John Byrne
Raw Story
December 17, 2007

Nearly 1,300 words into Sunday’s New York Times article revealing new details of the National Security Agency’s domestic eavesdropping program, the lawyer for an AT&T engineer alleges that “within two weeks of taking office, the Bush administration was planning a comprehensive effort of spying on Americans’ phone usage.”

In a New Jersey federal court case, the engineer claims that AT&T sought to create a phone center that would give the NSA access to “all the global phone and e-mail traffic that ran through” a New Jersey network hub.

The former AT&T employee, who spoke on condition of anonymity to the Times said he took part in several discussions with agency officials about the plan.

“The officials, he said, discussed ways to duplicate the Bedminster system in Maryland so the agency “could listen in” with unfettered access to communications that it believed had intelligence value and store them for later review,” Times reporters Eric Lichtblau, James Risen and Scott Shane wrote. “There was no discussion of limiting the monitoring to international communications, he said.”

“At some point,” he told the paper, “I started feeling something isn’t right.”


“Two other AT&T employees who worked on the proposal discounted his claims, saying in interviews that the project had simply sought to improve the N.S.A.’s internal communications systems and was never designed to allow the agency access to outside communications.”

AT&T’s spokesman said they didn’t comment on national security matters, as did a spokesman for Qwest, which was also approached but apparently rebuffed the plan. The lawyer for the engineer and others in the New Jersey case says AT&T’s internal documents would vindicate his clients.

“What he saw,” Bruce Afran, a New Jersey lawyer representing the plaintiffs, told the Times, “was decisive evidence that within two weeks of taking office, the Bush administration was planning a comprehensive effort of spying on Americans’ phone usage.”

The full Times article is here.

Wider Spying Fuels Aid Plan for Telecom Industry
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/1….r+RtvY2Tj5lvUOqA

Chris Dodd Begins Filibuster Of Telecom Immunity
http://www.theseminal.com/2…ibuster-for-the-constitution/

Despite the fact that Obama, Clinton, and Biden said they would support Dodd’s FISA filibuster – these supposed “leaders” skip the wiretap vote
http://rawstory.com/news/2007….ount_filibuster_to_1217.html