Congress Members and Staffers Blocked from Accessing Website for ‘Hackers on Planet Earth’ (#HopeX) Conference

By: Tuesday July 29, 2014 10:41 am

Congress members and their staffers are blocked from accessing the website for the annual Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE) conference, according to a screen shot Firedoglake obtained. A staffer in Congress tried to access the website on July 28, more than a week after the tenth annual conference was held, and got a screen indicating [...]

Mass Surveillance, Leak Investigations & the Chilling Effect Against Journalism

By: Monday July 28, 2014 9:21 pm

A number of American journalists, who work for small and large media organizations, contend that the spike in leak investigations is tied to government mass surveillance. They report experiences with sources, who are no longer willing to speak to them. They have found it increasingly difficult to build new relationships with sources. A chilling effect [...]

Congressman Grayson Requests Answers from Clapper on NSA’s Weakening of Encryption Standards

By: Monday July 28, 2014 4:11 pm

Democratic congressman Alan Grayson, who serves on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee in the US House of Representatives, has written a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. It requests answers related to how the NSA has weakened encryption standards. As ProPublica and The New York Times reported in September 2013, documents from NSA [...]

Leaked Rulebook Reveals Loophole-Ridden Criteria for Placing Individuals on Terrorist Watchlists

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 7:53 pm

A secret United States government rulebook for placing “known terrorists” and “suspected terrorists” on government watchlists, including the No-Fly List, has been published by The Intercept. It was obtained from an unnamed “intelligence source.” The “March 2013 Watchlisting Guidance” [PDF] from the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) contains the criteria by which officials can blacklist individuals [...]

Parallel Construction: Unconstitutional NSA Searches Deny Due Process

By: Wednesday July 23, 2014 8:04 am

The NSA sits at the nexus of violations of both the Fourth and Fifth Amendments with a legal dodge called Parallel Construction. Parallel Construction is a technique used by law enforcement to hide the fact that evidence in a criminal case originated with the NSA. In its simplest form, the NSA collects information showing say [...]

UK Watchdog Warns Country’s Terrorism Laws Could Be Used to Criminalize Newspapers as Terrorists

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 1:01 pm

The official in the United Kingdom, who is tasked with reviewing terrorism legislation, has released a report warning about the breadth of terrorism laws and how they could be used to criminalize journalism. Citing the case of David Miranda, journalist Glenn Greenwald’s husband who was detained at Heathrow Airport under the UK’s Terrorism Act of [...]

Why State Department Whistleblower Didn’t Reveal More About How Key Executive Order Is Used for Spying

By: Tuesday July 22, 2014 10:29 am

A former State Department executive came forward on July 18 to warn against how the United States government is using an executive order issued by President Ronald Reagan to collect data from Americans, especially when they are located outside US borders. And, even though President Barack Obama’s administration has waged an unprecedented war on whistleblowers, [...]

Edward Snowden Is the Most Dangerous Man in America. Good.

By: Monday July 21, 2014 10:00 am

Speaking via video link (he uses Skype!) from Russia to the HopeX hackers’ conference in New York City July 19, Edward Snowden issued a call to arms to those present. Engineers, he said, “need to think now in adversarial terms to defeat government technical capabilities.” While the government now uses technology to shield themselves from accountability, software and hardware must “become a way to express our freedoms while protecting our freedoms.”

Podcast: Deepa Kumar on Anti-Muslim Racism Behind NSA Surveillance, Media’s Coverage of Gaza

By: Sunday July 20, 2014 10:45 am

Media coverage of Israel’s assault on Gaza has concentrated blame for what has unfolded on Hamas, making it possible to absolve Israel of responsibility for nearly all of the warfare that has killed over three hundred civilians and wounded over a thousand Palestinians. But this is not limited to the people of Gaza. There is [...]

U.S. Spying on Germany: Breaking the Rules for What?

By: Wednesday July 16, 2014 8:02 am

In the world of spying in general, and especially when you’re spying on allied nations, Rule No. 1 is “Don’t Get Caught.” Rule No. 2 is “Make Sure the Juice is Worth the Squeeze.” The U.S. broke both rules, several times, in Germany. For what?

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