Ta much, dear Edosan!
Newspapers urge prime minister to restore Britain’s reputation for free press after holding of Guardian journalist’s partner
The National Security Agency paid millions of dollars to cover the costs of major internet companies involved in the Prism surveillance program after a court ruled that some of the agency’s activities were unconstitutional, according to top-secret material passed to the Guardian.
The technology companies, which the NSA says includes Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Facebook, incurred the costs to meet new certification demands in the wake of the ruling from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance (Fisa) court.
The October 2011 judgment, which was declassified on Wednesday by the Obama administration, found that the NSA’s inability to separate purely domestic communications from foreign traffic violated the fourth amendment.
While the ruling did not concern the Prism program directly, documents passed to the Guardian by whistleblower Edward Snowden describe the problems the decision created for the agency and the efforts required to bring operations into compliance. The material provides the first evidence of a financial relationship between the tech companies and the NSA.
The intelligence agency requires the Fisa court to sign annual “certifications” that provide the legal framework for surveillance operations. But in the wake of the court judgment these were only being renewed on a temporary basis while the agency worked on a solution to the processes that had been ruled illegal. …
The NSA whistleblower says: ‘I have never spoken with, worked with, or provided any journalistic materials to the Independent’
ur funny but ur also go to jail
Some Know Your Rights materials I made. Hopefully find them helpful. :)
… The mood toughened just over a month ago, when I received a phone call from the centre of government telling me: “You’ve had your fun. Now we want the stuff back.” There followed further meetings with shadowy Whitehall figures. The demand was the same: hand the Snowden material back or destroy it. I explained that we could not research and report on this subject if we complied with this request. The man from Whitehall looked mystified. “You’ve had your debate. There’s no need to write any more.”
During one of these meetings I asked directly whether the government would move to close down the Guardian’s reporting through a legal route – by going to court to force the surrender of the material on which we were working. The official confirmed that, in the absence of handover or destruction, this was indeed the government’s intention. Prior restraint, near impossible in the US, was now explicitly and imminently on the table in the UK. But my experience over WikiLeaks – the thumb drive and the first amendment – had already prepared me for this moment. I explained to the man from Whitehall about the nature of international collaborations and the way in which, these days, media organisations could take advantage of the most permissive legal environments. Bluntly, we did not have to do our reporting from London. Already most of the NSA stories were being reported and edited out of New York. And had it occurred to him that Greenwald lived in Brazil?
The man was unmoved. And so one of the more bizarre moments in the Guardian’s long history occurred – with two GCHQ security experts overseeing the destruction of hard drives in the Guardian’s basement just to make sure there was nothing in the mangled bits of metal which could possibly be of any interest to passing Chinese agents. “We can call off the black helicopters,” joked one as we swept up the remains of a MacBook Pro.
Whitehall was satisfied, but it felt like a peculiarly pointless piece of symbolism that understood nothing about the digital age. We will continue to do patient, painstaking reporting on the Snowden documents, we just won’t do it in London. The seizure of Miranda’s laptop, phones, hard drives and camera will similarly have no effect on Greenwald’s work.
The state that is building such a formidable apparatus of surveillance will do its best to prevent journalists from reporting on it. Most journalists can see that. But I wonder how many have truly understood the absolute threat to journalism implicit in the idea of total surveillance, when or if it comes – and, increasingly, it looks like “when”.
We are not there yet, but it may not be long before it will be impossible for journalists to have confidential sources. Most reporting – indeed, most human life in 2013 – leaves too much of a digital fingerprint. Those colleagues who denigrate Snowden or say reporters should trust the state to know best (many of them in the UK, oddly, on the right) may one day have a cruel awakening. One day it will be their reporting, their cause, under attack. But at least reporters now know to stay away from Heathrow transit lounges.
• White House: US given ‘heads up’ before Miranda detained
• Miranda accuses Britain of a ‘total abuse of power’
• Watchdog urges Home Office and police to explain detention
• Scotland Yard says detention ‘legally and procedurally sound’
David Anderson QC becomes latest figure to question treatment of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald’s partner
The detention of my partner, David Miranda, by UK authorities will have the opposite effect of the one intended
… Late on Thursday, Suffolk County police said its investigation was in fact prompted by a tipoff, and not covert monitoring. “Suffolk County criminal intelligence detectives received a tip from a Bay Shore based computer company regarding suspicious computer searches conducted by a recently released employee,” Suffolk County said in a statement.
"The former employee’s computer searches took place on this employee’s workplace computer. On that computer, the employee searched the terms ‘pressure cooker bombs’ and ‘backpacks’."
The computer company’s police report prompted a visit to Catalano’s home by “six gentleman in casual clothes” who “all had guns in their waistbands”, as she described the agents.
"After interviewing the company representatives, Suffolk county police detectives visited the subject’s home to ask about the suspicious internet searches," the statement from police continued. "The incident was investigated by Suffolk County police department’s criminal intelligence detectives and was determined to be non-criminal in nature."
Catalano says she and her husband were “led to believe [the investigation came] solely from searches from within our house”. She wrote about the experience on medium.com, prompting outrage at what was taken by somme commenters to be an example of government intrusion into personal privacy.
Late on Thursday night, Catalano issued a clarification, saying here piece – which was republished on the Guardian – had been written in good faith.
"We found out through the Suffolk Police Department that the searches involved also things my husband looked up at his old job. We were not made aware of this at the time of questioning and were led to believe it was solely from searches from within our house. I did not lie or make it up. I wrote the piece with the information that was given. What was withheld from us obviously could not be a part of a story I wrote based on what happened yesterday."