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You're Being Watched: When Surveillance Goes Too Far

YOU'RE BEING WATCHED WHEN SURVEILLANCE GOES TOO FAR: The USA PATRIOT Act was signed into law on October 26, 2001. It is infamously associated with state-sponsored surveillance of American citizens and their communications over phones and the Internet. But the history of state surveillance in America stretches back far further than 2001. YOU'VE BEEN WATCHED FOR LONGER THAN YOU MIGHT EXPECT. At the broadest level, the 19/1) NSA is a part of the (SIGINT: The NSA itself defines SIGINT as PERRY FELLWOCK REVEALS THE EXISTENCE OF THE NSA United States intelligence "intelligence derived community and a member of the United States Intelligence Board foreign targets, such as (USIB). Other organizations on this board include the CIA, the weapons systems.") FBI, the State Department's RCI, and various military bureaus." In an Interview with Ramparts Magazine from electronic signals and systems used by "he history of the NSA began long before 1971, but its public history began LA here. Perry Fellwock, a former NŠA analyst, revealed the existence of the organization in an interview with radical political and literary magazine Ramparts. communications systems, radars, and ONAL SEC NSA produces - that is, collects... Signals Intelligence, SIGINT accounts called SIGINT. for approximately ellwock became a whistleblower on project I ECHELON, a data collection and analysis network which, according to Edward Snowden's disclosed documents, currently has interception stations throughout Brazil, Germany, India, Japan, Thailand, the UK, the US, Australia, Cyprus, Kenya, and Oman and is capable of intercepting information from dozens of other nations, 80% of the viable intelligence the US government receives. REACTION TO FELLWOCK'S DISCLOSURES At the time, ECHELON was created to monitor Soviet and Eastern Bloc communications. Since then, however, it has been repurposed to be used against America's new enemies. Fellwock's interview with Ramparts led to the "Church Committee," which introduced legislation specifically designed to prevent the NSA from spying on American citizens. Speaking about ECHELON and the NSA's powers, Frank Church, head of the committee, said: Ramparts That capability at any time could be turned around on the American people and no American would have any privacy left, such is the capability to monitor everything: telephone conversations, telegrams, it doesn't matter. There would be no place to hide. If this government ever became a tyranny...the technological capacity that the intelligence community has given the government could enable it to impose total tyranny, and there would be no way to fight back. Further hearings by the Church Committee and a second committee chaired by Sam Ervin led to the adoption of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). FISA laid out procedures and limits for both physical and electronic surveillance on "foreign powers" and "agents of foreign powers," which in some circumstances includes American citizens and permanent residents suspected of being terrorists. After the events of September 11, FISA was changed so that President George W. Bush could expand warrantless surveillance of American citizens in the name of protecting the country. 1972 THE WATERGATE SCANDAL REACTION TO WATERGATE group of "plumbers," so called for their A ability to "plug leaks" in the White House administration, was dispatched to investigate and wiretap the office of Daniel Ellsberg –a key player in the release of the secret "Pentagon Papers," which revealed the inner workings of the White House during the Vietnam War. In the summer of 1972, five of these "plumbers" were cause breaking into the offices of the Democratic National Committee at the Watergate hotel and office complex. Their intention was to bug the offices for the incumbent President, Richard Nixon, to listen in on his election opponents' activities. The spiraling reaction lasted for about two years. As more and more information came out about Nixon and his administration's habit of bugging, tapping, and spying on their civilian "opponents," the trust between the administration and the American people was almost totally eroded. Nixon was forced by The Supreme Court to turn over hours of conversations he had taped in the White House in 1974 - only for it to be discovered that they had been mysteriously damaged and censored in some places. When the full catalog of tapes was assembled, the information revealed was disturbing - and the distrust between Nixon, the branches of government, and American citizens reached an all-time low. Nixon eventually resigned and was pardoned by President Gerald R. Ford, but this marked a critical moment in the White House's use of civilian surveillance. (2002) WILLIAM BINNEY, RUSS TICE, AND THOMAS ANDREWS Russ Tice, dismissed by the NSA in 2005 after publicly calling for Congress to expand protection programs for federal whistleblowers, became a whistleblower himself. The information he provided to the New York Times included some of the earliest indications that the federal government was spying on communications to and from points within the United States. Until this point, many citizens had assumed that their government only spied on its "enemies" and were surprised to hear that they might be counted among them. DRAKE REVEAL THE TIP OF THE ICEBERG IN THE NSA'S CIVILIAN SURVEILLANCE PROGRAM (2005) SECURITY OF NSA TERMINAL According to Tice: As a SIGINT officer it is...drilled into us that the very first law chiseled in the SIGINT equivalent of the Ten Commandments is that 'Thou shalt not spy on American persons without a court order from FISA...the very people that lead the National Security Agency have Despite previous disclosures, events transpired to give the NSA the power to record an astonishing amount of data about the American people - without any warrants served. Whereas ECHELON was designed to spy on the Soviets and monitor telegram and telephone conversations, new programs are developed to monitor Internet and other electronic communications by "suspected terrorists." violated this holy edict of SIGINT. Like Edward Snowden, Thomas Andrews Drake - along with colleague William Binney- attempted in 2002 to report problems with NSA programs like Trailblazer from within. When it became clear that the NSA wanted to sweep the whole thing under the rug, Drake began working, in 2005, with a reporter from The Baltimore Sun to share information on "waste, fraud, and abuse" at the NSA. William Binney blew the whistle on the NSA project "Trailblazer," which was an early system designed to collect and analyze data from the Internet. Of Trailblazer and the NSA, Binney is famous for saying, "...it's better than anything that the KGB, the Stasi, or the Gestapo and SS ever had." Trailblazer is also infamous for being largely ineffective and too over-reaching, as well as expensive. His house was raided in 2007 by FBI agents who pointed guns at him and his family, and confiscated documents and computers despite the fact that he was never charged with sharing protected information with anyone. Instead, he was charged with "retaining" information. REACTION TO WHISTLEBLOWING BY TICE, DRAKE, AND BINNEY The three men were crucified by the media and the government. Drake was charged with five counts of "willful retention of national defense information," one count of obstructing justice, and four counts of "making a false statement." As a result of FBI raids, Binney reported a loss of $300,000 due to a business he was forced to close, and spent over $7,000 in legal fees trying to get his property returned to him. Tice's personal life, including his alleged mental health issues, were used to discredit him by talk show hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly. (2013 theguardian (2015 EDWARD SNOWDEN, PRISM, FIVE EYES, REACTION TO SNOWDEN'S LEAKED INFORMATION AND A PORTRAIT OF THE NSA Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg referred to Snowden's leak as “the most significant leak in US history," and "a true constitutional moment." Many ex- and then current CIA and intelligence officials made repeated remarks that Snowden should be hanged, shot, or placed on a kill list. Snowden's release of secret NSA documents began in June of 2013. The Guardian was the first to publish leaks on June 5, and papers like Der Spiegel, The Washington Post, The New York Times, Le Monde, and others followed soon after. According to some officials, only one percent of the documents in Snowden's possession have been released and "the worst is yet to come." Since 2013, the debate about the NSA and its role in public surveillance have risen to its peak. Many believe that if the organization is not completely dismantled and rebuilt from the ground up, no changes will be possible. TIT In many ways, Snowden's story builds off of previous releases. It was Fellwock who blew the whistle on ECHELON, which was a network run by what are known as the Five Eyes - an international intelligence network between Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the U.S. According to Snowden: Public Trust in Government, as of February 2014: 24% SECURITY 88% of Americans say they do not want someone watching or listening to them without permission. STATES OF AMERICA Only 6% of Americans say they are "very confident" in the government's ability to keep their information private. [Five Eyes is] a supra-national intelligence organization that doesn't answer to the known laws of its own countries. Five Eyes has been described as being too big to fail. "The broader 93% of Americans say it is important who can get information about them. message is that the revelations from NSA leaker Edward Snowden are unlikely to stop or even slow the global growth of secret-hunting," according to AP reporters Nick Perry and Paisley Dodds. ommunicatio 90% say it is important what information is collected. 65% The whistleblowing of Tice, Drake, and Binney - and their subsequent treatment by the American government and media - created an example for Snowden of what might happen to him. Perhaps it also ultimately determined for him how he would make his escape to Hong Kong and Russia. of Americans say that the limits placed on the telephone and Internet data collected by the government are insufficient. The first program revealed by Snowden was PRISM, which allows the NSA to collect Internet communications from at least nine major US internet providers. Even low level analysts are allowed, under PRISM, to listen in on the phone calls, chat messages, and email communications of average American citizens with no court order required. PRISM I wanted to give society a chance to determine if it should change itself. All I wanted was for the public to be able to have a say in how they are governed. Edward Snowden Sources: www.watergate.info www.cryptome.org www.nsa.gov www.wikipedia.org www.bigstory.ap.org www.people-press.org www.pewinternet.org LiveWatch SECUR ITY More than 40 years of leaks, sacrifices, and stories have led to today. WHAT CHOICE WILL YOU MAKÉ? AGENG NATIONAL UNITEDS AMERICA NOLVN K AGE IONA UNIT Combined Electronics

You're Being Watched: When Surveillance Goes Too Far

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The National Security Agency, or "No Such Agency," as it was sometimes cryptically referred during its early and most secretive years, may have been formed as early as 1952. Perhaps earlier. It's diff...

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