Black Budget Numbers Revealed By Snowden and Washington Post Raise Question: Have Clandestine Agencies Prevented $52.6 Billion per Year In Terror attacks?
This brilliant and beautiful infographic details where exactly that $52.6 Billion per year was spent.
In order to answer the real question, the question of whether or not these agencies are worth their budget, we have to know what plots they have foiled. A lot of people presume that they don't tell us about every plot that they foil. This may be less true than some people think. These agencies are universally desperate for a win right now. They know that the American People are questioning whether or not they should even exist.
Electronic Civil Disobedience - Spam the Government with Freedom of Information Act Requests for your own PRISM & XKeyScore data.
Electronic Civil Disobedience faces some real challenges. It's not as simple as a good old fashioned Sit-In. With a Sit-In, the authorities are forced to take action against every individual that is participating in the civil disobedience, or they can refuse to enforce the law, effectively nullifying it. The police can't just drag one protester out of a restaurant and call it a day. They have to remove everyone. This isn't the case with most electronic forms of civil disobedience. Millions upon millions of people can be engaged in disobedience of copyright laws, but law enforcement doesn't have to take action against all of them, or even a tiny percentage of them. They can still take individuals to court and win> read more
It's hard to feel shocked by these revelations anymore. Anyone who has been paying attention has had some idea of the existence of this kind of massive surveillance technology. The revelations by Snowden, and The Guardian, have only served to legitimize those previously vilified as "Conspiracy Theorists." Since at least the year 2000, we have known that the NSA runs massive data collection programs. They've been running them since the 1950s, ECHELON is one such set of programs. PRISM, XKeyscore, and their ilk are just further advances in the technology of collecting, analyzing, and storing every bit of data about every person, whether that person is a threat or not.
The question at this point is: what, if anything, can we do about it?
What Society can do about invasive mass surveillance:> read more
Snowden: All data is collected, stored, and analyzed. What's worse? Both parties support these programs.
In an interview with The Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, Snowden came out on video stating that the NSA collects every bit of data that transits the United States. The method of data collection used would make it impossible for them to discern data on foreigners vs. data on U.S. citizens. The NSA is collecting "Everyone's calls. Everyone's call records, and everyone's internet traffic as well."
Snowden also mentions that the US Govt. has undermined major corporations in order to force them to comply with these illegal spying practices.
The PRISM spying software, along with some other software suites that Edward Snowden has leaked information on, have fundamentally destroyed our 4th amendment rights. You should probably be upset about that. The problem is, it doesn't matter how upset you are. It doesn't matter if we take political action. We cannot legislate this technology away. It exists. It works. It's being widely used by our government, and reportedly, other governments are using similar technology. We can't un-make the tech. We could pass a law(unlikely) that would make illegal any such software, but we all know that clandestine agencies are going to continue using this kind of technology, regardless of the legalities.
I made a FOIA Freedom of Information Act Request for my NSA PRISM data. I asked for any data, records, dossiers, documents, etc related to me, Micah Greene. It took them a couple of weeks to send me their rejection letter. You can find it in full, below. I redacted a few things that might be too personally identifying to me, like my full physical address, and the case #(although I'm not sure if the case # would matter or not.)
If you don't want to read the entire thing, I can sum it up for you; My request was rejected because the existence or non-existence of such records is classified. I'm not allowed to know what they have on me in PRISM, or even if they have anything(I'm pretty damn certain that they do.).
In a new leak from the US National Security Agency, whistleblower Edward Snowden has revealed a massive clandestine program to surveil the entire world. The program, dubbed "Project Prism" allows the NSA to subpeona any group it pleases, and identify all of their user information and activity on their services. These subpeonas also come with gag orders, so if a company is presented with one of these from the NSA, not only do they have to give up the information, but they cannot disclose to anyone that the information was compromised.
The surveillance community, lead by the FBI, is pursuing legislation to force communications companies to be “wiretap capable”. Non compliance could mean fines as high as US $25000 per day.
This is a salvo specifically targeted at the rise of encryption and secure connectivity. Voice chat applications like Mumble encrypt the digital signal in a end to end fashion, making the platform (barring bugs and proper implementation) bulletproof. Bit torrent apps like Vuze can optionally use RC4 encryption to secure their data flow. Kim Dotcoms Mega uses end to end encryption with Dropbox-like functionality. A combination of VPN and VOIP applications can anonymize phone calls. These are only a few of a near infinite array of applications of privacy and security. From business to industry to webcams and chat, encryption is everywhere to protect users from privacy breaches.
Tor, which is a service for keeping yourself anonymous on the internet, is under fire in Japan. The Japanese Mainichi is reporting that the National Police Agency has asked ISPs to block the use of Tor for people who are “known to have abused the system”. This would effectively remove one of the tools that hackers could use to keep themselves anonymous while doing illegal activities. The request at this time is a voluntary opt-in for the ISPs.
The request comes on the heels of a rash of hacks and public threats that were linked to the network. The NPA was recently embarrassed by the Tor system when they falsely arrested four people in connection with threats, only to have further threats appear while the accused were in police custody.
The service does have legitimate uses as well, though. The encryption and multi-node system is hard to block in> read more
Some major British ISPs have begun blocking access to Fenopy, H33t and KickAssTorrents after courts determined that they assist in major piracy operations. The designation by the courts allows the government to order Internet Service Providers to block the content.
A similar block was put in place on The Pirate Bay in May 2012, but a number of reverse proxies appeared allowing UK residents to go around the block. Since then, a game of “whack-a-mole” has ensued in the UK to take down mirrors and keep the site as hard to access as possible.
British ISPs reported that torrent traffic did not decline with the blocking of the The Pirate Bay.
Often considered to be one of the more lax western European nations when it comes to copyright law enforcement, Spain has been said to be drafting legislation to outlaw file-sharing and place stiff fines on large infringing sites.