… We all know by now that the NSA and the UK’s Government Communication Headquarters are reading our emails, listening to our phone conversations, storing our metadata and using our computers and phones to watch us. A bunch of dorky guys amassing huge collections of pictures of tits and dicks. Here they are, hard at work, protecting us:



I know I feel safer now! Happy viewing, guys! If we had any doubts before, now we know that the government doesn’t trust us – so very many of us – and we certainly don’t trust it. …


… Trading our privacy for the convenience of a Google search is not so different from giving up constitutionally protected freedoms in exchange for the “security” that our government claims to offer. At least with Google and other tech services we know we’re getting something; whether we actually are more secure because of the NSA’s surveillance is an unresolved question. We are frequently told that this indiscriminate data collection has produced valuable results, but those results are “secret,” so you’ll just have to trust the government. I’m not saying we don’t need strong security measures to protect us from lunatics, but this dragnet surveillance has gone way beyond meeting that need.


Cyber thieves, for their part, don’t offer the average internet user anything in return – not only that, but they make money selling information about the security gaps they find to the US government. It’s an open question whether the government actually wants to patch up those holes and make the internet more secure. For now, it’s in its interest to keep these holes open – available for future use, but secret. And we know how good the government is at keeping secrets.


To a lot of folks it appears that the corporations, the thieves and the government are all doing exactly the same thing: the “legal” behavior and the illegal theft are cousins. Spying and cyber theft are not freak phenomena; increasingly, they appear to be unavoidable consequences of online access as it now exists. …


NSA general counsel Rajesh De contradicts months of angry denials from big companies like Yahoo and Google

Reblog if you think it’s okay to be homosexual

andrysb24:

fumareta-hana:

fumareta-hana:

I need to prove a point to my homophobic friend.

I’m writing down the urls of everyone who reblogs this in a notebook, and will present it to my friend when it is sufficiently full.
image

You’re gonna need a bigger book

People who are obsessed with others’ private lives and what they do with their private parts are more than a little twisted. Gender, schmender!

Edward Snowden was clearly acting as a whistle-blower in revealing documentation of the NSA’s shocking dragnet that collects information about the phone calls, emails and other communications of virtually all Americans.

And yet the government has thus far chosen to prosecute him for criminal violations of the Espionage Act and will likely seek a life sentence once Snowden is in custody.

Rick Ledgett, the hand-picked head of the White House’s task force on the NSA has said that he could support amnesty if Snowden would stop any additional leaks. And former high-ranking State Department official Anne-Marie Slaughter announced her support for the New York Times editorial board’s call for clemency.

“When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government,” writes the Times. And as the editorial notes, for Snowden there was no other recourse that would have brought the NSA’s abuses to light.

The White House and its Department of Justice can ensure that in the wake of the constitutional crisis brought to light by Snowden, our constitutional rights are restored and the NSA is reformed. The president, White House officials, attorney general and Department of Justice staff should read this editorial, and summon up the courage to take action.  …

Ta much, dear Edosan!

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’

officalnsa:

ur funny but ur also go to jail

officalnsa:

ur funny but ur also go to jail

#FUCKTHEnsa

#FUCKTHEnsa

fuckaspunk:

brokenbalder:

Brokenbalder:

Some Know Your Rights materials I made. Hopefully find them helpful. :)

Very useful!

#badcopsnodoughnuts

#THEGOD’SHONESTTRUTH

#THEGOD’SHONESTTRUTH

… 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.