Archive for Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Editorial: Not so secret

The release of classified information about U.S. spying activities is proving increasingly embarrassing for Uncle Sam.

October 29, 2013


According to individuals relatively close to the ever-growing exposé concerning massive spying activities by America’s National Security Agency against more than 35 countries and many of their leaders, the worse is yet to become public.

Despite assurances that Uncle Sam has not been spying, U.S. leaders have had to admit they were caught red-handed twice: for not telling the truth to the American people and also for not telling the truth to foreign leaders.

The spy business is a slippery enterprise, and Americans hope their appropriate government officials are using the best possible techniques to protect this country from all possible enemies. Spying is part of the game, and European leaders and others should not be surprised to learn Uncle Sam has some extremely sophisticated methods of surveillance. They probably are surprised, however, with the extent of spying on allied partners. Likewise, U.S. officials should not be surprised by efforts of other countries, particularly those considered our enemies, to spy on U.S. government and military facilities.

Continuing leaks of embarrassing and potentially damaging information by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden, who now is living in Russia, has weakened the Obama administration’s ability to deal with foreign nations, angered our allies and probably given ammunition to our enemies in their efforts to discredit the U.S.

Much of the leaked information has shocked Americans because they have learned their own government has been engaged in extensive spying and surveillance tactics, invading their privacy in many ways. There is no reason for Americans to believe they enjoy any privacy or protection from their government’s eavesdropping efforts.

Now, according to various knowledgeable individuals, “the worst is yet to come.”

Just how deep and how invasive our government has been in attacking the privacy of its citizens and how much NSA technicians have delved into the actions and policies of our allies’ governments and leaders is yet to be revealed.

Just how much worse can an already embarrassing, “worst case scenario” become? Apparently there is more to come at the same time a growing number of nations are calling for United Nations censure of U.S. spying activities.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

This blanket spy ring began under the Right Wing Party and their President GW Bush. I willing to gamble that Obama knew little to nothing about this initially.

The GW Bush gang aka BUSHCO had a reputation of operating in a secretive manner even on issues such as energy policy.

The documents indicate that under the program, launched in 2001, a federal judge sitting on the secret surveillance panel called the Fisa court would approve a bulk collection order for internet metadata "every 90 days". A senior administration official confirmed the program, stating that it ended in 2011.

The collection of these records began under the Bush administration's wide-ranging warrantless surveillance program, collectively known by the NSA codename Stellar Wind.

According to a top-secret draft report by the NSA's inspector general – published for the first time today by the Guardian – the agency began "collection of bulk internet metadata" involving "communications with at least one communicant outside the United States or for which no communicant was known to be a citizen of the United States".

Eventually, the NSA gained authority to "analyze communications metadata associated with United States persons and persons believed to be in the United States", according to a 2007 Justice Department memo, which is marked secret.

The Guardian revealed earlier this month that the NSA was collecting the call records of millions of US Verizon customers under a Fisa court order that, it later emerged, is renewed every 90 days. Similar orders are in place for other phone carriers.

Paul R Getto 4 years, 7 months ago

Classic Casablanca scene Rick: How can you close me up? On what grounds? Captain Renault: I'm shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on in here! [a croupier hands Renault a pile of money]...

Been going on for centuries. The US is just better at it......

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