Big Brother Media ArticlesExcerpts of Key Big Brother Media Articles in Major Media
Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
WikiLeaks’ dump of messages to and from Clinton’s campaign chief offer an unprecedented view into the workings of the elite, and how it looks after itself. The emails [are] being slowly released ... from the hacked account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta. Their significance goes far beyond mere scandal: they ... furnish us with an opportunity to observe the upper reaches of the American status hierarchy. In one now-famous email chain, for example, the reader can watch current US trade representative Michael Froman, writing from a Citibank email address in 2008, appear to name President Obama’s cabinet even before the great hope-and-change election was decided. This genre of Podesta email, in which people try to arrange jobs for themselves or their kids, points us toward the most fundamental thing we know about the people at the top of this class: their loyalty to one another and the way it overrides everything else. Of course Hillary Clinton staffed her state department with investment bankers and then did speaking engagements for investment banks as soon as she was done at the state department. Of course she appears to think that any kind of bank reform should “come from the industry itself”. And of course no elite bankers were ever prosecuted by the Obama administration. Read these emails and you understand, with a start, that the people at the top tier of American life all know each other. They are all engaged in promoting one another’s careers, constantly.
Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The [FDA] amassed a stockpile of pistols, shotguns, and semiautomatic rifles, along with ample supplies of ammunition, liquid explosives, gun scopes, and suppressors. Between 2006 and 2014, [the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, an agency of the USDA] spent nearly $4.8 million to arm itself. And far from being an outlier, it is one of dozens of federal agencies that spends lavishly on guns, ammunition, and military-style equipment. A report issued this month by American Transparency ... chronicles the explosive - and expensive - trend toward militarizing federal agencies, most of which have no military responsibilities. Between 2006 and 2014, the report shows, 67 federal bureaus, departments, offices, and services spent at least $1.48 billion on ammunition and material one might expect to find in the hands of SWAT teams, Special Forces soldiers - or terrorists. The Internal Revenue Service, for example, now spends more than $1 million annually on firearms, ammunition, and military gear. Since 2006, the Department of Veterans Affairs ... has poured nearly $11.7 million into guns and ammo. Even the Smithsonian Institution and the Social Security Administration have each devoted hundreds of thousands of dollars to weaponry. There are now fewer US Marines than there are officers at federal administrative agencies with the authority to carry weapons and make arrests.
Note: The Washington Post in 2009 reported that military influence over US civilian authorities was quietly increasing, and the militarization of US police has been well-documented. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the erosion of civil liberties.
Senior CIA officials have for years intentionally deceived parts of the agency workforce by transmitting internal memos that contain false information. The practice is known by the term “eyewash.” Officials said there is no clear mechanism for labeling eyewash cables or distinguishing them from legitimate records being examined by the CIA’s inspector general, turned over to Congress or declassified for historians. Senate investigators uncovered apparent cases of eyewashing as part of a multi-year probe of the CIA’s interrogation program, according to officials who said that the Senate Intelligence Committee found glaring inconsistencies in CIA communications about classified operations, including drone strikes. Former CIA officials ... acknowledged that the internal mechanisms for managing eyewash cables were largely informal. Skeptics described the safeguards as inadequate. “When you introduce falsehoods into the communications stream then you can destabilize the whole system of intelligence oversight and compliance with the law,” said Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “It wasn’t that long ago that we had a CIA executive director who was engaged in criminal activity - you don’t want someone like him preparing eyewash cables,” Aftergood said, referring to Kyle “Dusty” Foggo, the former No. 3 executive at the agency.
Note: Read more about the strange case of Kyle "Dusty" Foggo, the CIA executive convicted of fraud in connection with secret CIA prisons. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing Intelligence agency corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The tools European security agencies now have at their disposal ... would make any American or Canadian intelligence officer drool. Britain has literally created a surveillance state. The British Security Industry Authority estimated three years ago the government has installed about six million closed-circuit TV cameras in the public square; one for every 10 citizens. The French, too, have vastly expanded public video surveillance in recent years. And it's all been done with overwhelming support from the general public, which feels safer for the presence of the surveillance, never mind the lack of objective proof that they are more protected against outrages, which keep on occurring. Both England and France are former colonial powers that ... long ago subordinated individual rights to collective security. Canada and America more dearly cherish individual rights. Still, a surveillance state is growing here, too. David Lyon, a professor of surveillance studies at Queen's University, has identified several public surveillance trends, all of which he says are "increasing at an accelerating rate." Canada is not about to become Western Europe, he says, but "it is incumbent upon us as a society to think about the ethical consequences" of mass surveillance. [Some] would argue that the cameras are desperately needed tools, and that anyone who isn't doing anything wrong has nothing to worry about. That of course is the police state justification. They hate us because we are free, we are told. The fact that we've responded by giving up ever more freedom doesn't seem to matter.
Note: Many of the politicians publicly defending the surveillance state receive huge sums of money from private security companies. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about government corruption and the disappearance of privacy.
Jade Helm 15, the controversial Special Operations exercise that spawned a wave of conspiracy theories about a government takeover, will open next week without any media allowed to observe it, a military spokesman said. Embedded reporters won’t be permitted at any point during the exercise, in which military officials say that secretive Special Operations troops will maneuver through private and publicly owned land in several southern states. The exercise is scheduled for July 15 through September 15 and is expected to include more than 1,200 troops. Army Special Operations Command announced the exercise in March, saying its size and scope would set it apart from most training exercises. For months, some protesters have said Jade Helm is setting the stage for future martial law. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, called in April for the Texas State Guard to monitor the exercise [to] improve communication between Special Operations forces and civilians in Texas. The Washington Post has several times requested access to observe the exercise, making the case to the military that first-hand media coverage would help explain the mission. [Army spokesman Lt. Col. Mark] Lastoria said it is not possible to allow a journalist to travel with Special Operations forces in the field. The military has granted access to Special Operations in the past, however. In one recent example, a journalist observed the exercise Robin Sage in North Carolina.
Note: See interesting information on Jade Helm 15 based on government documents concluding that it is largely an artificial intelligence operation.
Elite service members from four branches of the U.S. military will launch an operation this summer in which they will operate covertly among the U.S. public and travel from state to state in military aircraft. Texas, Utah and a section of southern California are labelled as hostile territory, and New Mexico isn’t much friendlier. That’s the scheme for Jade Helm 15, a new Special Operations exercise that runs from July 15 to Sept. 15. Army Special Operations Command announced it last week, saying the size and scope of the mission sets it apart from many other training exercises. The exercise has prompted widespread conspiracy theories that the United States is preparing to hatch martial law. In particular, some have expressed alarm about this map, which outlines events for the exercise in unclassified documents posted online last week. The Washington Post verified them to be legitimate by speaking to Army sources. They appear to have been prepared for local authorities. It’s also worth noting that the military has routinely launched exercises in the past in which regions of the United States are identified as hostile for the purpose of training.
Note: This Washington Post article is clearly playing down some important facts and developments. Why is the US military spending so much time and money preparing for scenarios where US soil and citizens are considered enemies? Read and educate yourself with this excellent article on Operation Jade Helm 15, one in a string of US exercises planning for mass civilian arrests under a variety of scenarios.
Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest in Washington State are ... where the US Navy aims to conduct its Northwest Electromagnetic Radiation Warfare training program. It will fly ... 2,900 training exercises over wilderness, communities and cities across the Olympic Peninsula for 260 days per year, with exercises lasting up to 16 hours per day. No public notices for the Navy's plans were published in any media that directly serve the Olympic Peninsula. But word spread. Public outcry forced the Navy to extend the public comment period until November 28 and schedule more public meetings. According to the US Navy's Information Dominance Roadmap 2013-2028, the Navy states it "will require new capabilities to fully employ integrated information in warfare by expanding the use of advanced electronic warfare." The purpose of these war games is to train to deny the enemy "all possible frequencies of electromagnetic radiation (i.e. electromagnetic energy) for use in such applications as communication systems..." David King, the mayor of Port Townsend, a town on the Northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula, has voiced his opposition to the plan, along with numerous other public officials. Mike Welding, the Naval Air Station at Whidbey Island spokesman, recently admitted to reporters, "If someone is in the exclusion area for more than 15 minutes, that's a ballpark estimate for when there would be some concern for potential to injure, to receive burns."
Note: We don't generally use truth-out.org as a reliable source, but as no major media are covering this most important development, we're including this article here. To verify this information, please click on some of the links in the article and see the U.S. Navy's "Information Dominance Roadmap".
In June 2011, (WikiLeaks’ founder) Julian Assange received an unusual visitor: the chairman of Google, Eric Schmidt. The stated reason for the visit was a book. Schmidt was penning a treatise with Jared Cohen, the director of Google Ideas. Cohen had moved to Google from the U.S. State Department. Schmidt arrived first, accompanied by his then partner, Lisa Shields ... a vice president of the Council on Foreign Relations. Two months later, WikiLeaks’ release of State Department cables was coming to an abrupt end. Two years later, in the wake of his early 2013 visits to China, North Korea and Burma, it would come to be appreciated that the chairman of Google might be conducting, in one way or another, “back-channel diplomacy” for Washington. In 1999 ... Schmidt joined the New America Foundation. The foundation and its 100 staff serve as an influence mill, using its network of approved national security, foreign policy and technology pundits to place hundreds of articles and op-eds per year. In 2003, the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) had already started systematically violating the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). During the same period, Google ... was accepting NSA money to the tune of $2 million to provide the agency with search tools. In 2012, Google arrived on the list of top-spending Washington, D.C., lobbyists. Whether it is being just a company or “more than just a company,” Google’s geopolitical aspirations are firmly enmeshed within the foreign-policy agenda of the world’s largest superpower.
Note: Read the complete Newsweek article summarized above for Julian Assange's detailed accounting of the connections between Washington D.C. insiders, Google and related technology companies, intelligence agencies, and civil society organizations. For more about Wikileaks, read this news article summary. For more on the geopolitical big picture, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable major media sources.
Any doubts about whether Endless War ... is official American doctrine should be permanently erased by this week’s comments from two leading Democrats, both former top national security officials in the Obama administration. Leon Panetta, the long-time Democratic Party operative who served as Obama’s Defense Secretary and CIA Director, said this week of Obama’s new bombing campaign: “I think we’re looking at kind of a 30-year war.” He criticized Obama ... for being insufficiently militaristic. Then we have Hillary Clinton [who] at an event in Ottawa yesterday ... proclaimed that the fight against these “militants” will “be a long-term struggle” that should entail an “information war” as “well as an air war.” The new war, she said, is “essential” and the U.S. shies away from fighting it “at our peril.” Like Panetta (and most establishment Republicans), Clinton made clear ... that virtually all of her disagreements with Obama’s foreign policy were the by-product of her view of Obama as insufficiently hawkish, militaristic and confrontational. “Endless War” is not dramatic rhetorical license but a precise description of America’s foreign policy. It’s not hard to see why. A state of endless war justifies ever-increasing state power and secrecy and a further erosion of rights. It also entails a massive transfer of public wealth to the “homeland security” and weapons industry (which the US media deceptively calls the “defense sector”). The War on Terror ... was designed from the start to be endless. This war ... thus enables an endless supply of power and profit to flow to those political and economic factions that control the government regardless of election outcomes.
Note: Read the prophetic writings of one of the most highly decorated US generals ever describing how he discovered after retirement that war is created by bankers and mega-corporations to funnel ever more tax-payer money into their coffers. For more along these lines, see the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.
My biggest battle with the NSA came before my book [The Puzzle Palace] was even published. I had obtained the criminal file that the Justice Department had opened on the NSA. Marked as Top Secret, the file was so sensitive that only two original copies existed. Never before or since has an entire agency been the subject of a criminal investigation. Senior officials at the NSA were even read their Miranda rights. Issued on June 6, 1975, the report noted that both the NSA and CIA had engaged in questionable and possibly illegal electronic surveillance. As a result, Attorney General Edward Levi established a secret internal task force to look into the potential for criminal prosecution. Focusing particularly on NSA, the task force probed more deeply into domestic eavesdropping than any part of the executive branch had ever done before. The report’s prosecutive summary also pointed to the NSA’s top-secret “charter” issued by the Executive Branch, which exempts the agency from legal restraints placed on the rest of the government. This ... meant the NSA did not have to follow any restrictions placed on electronic surveillance “unless it was expressly directed to do so.” In short, the report asked, how can you prosecute an agency that is above the law? More than three decades later, the NSA, like a mom-and-pop operation that has exploded into a global industry, now employs sweeping powers of surveillance that Frank Church could scarcely have imagined in the days of wired phones and clunky typewriters. At the same time, the Senate intelligence committee he once chaired has done an about face, protecting the agencies from the public rather than the public from the agencies. Without adequate oversight, or penalties for abuse, the only protection that citizens have comes not from Congress or the courts, but from whistleblowers.
Note: James Bamford is the courageous ABC producer and investigative reporter who first exposed the declassified Operation Northwoods files in the May of 2001. These files showed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the top Pentagon generals were willing to carry out false flag terrorism activities which would kill innocent civilians in order to foment war fever against Cuba. Yet only ABC News out of all the major media outlets was willing to report this most shocking news. Don't miss the entire, highly revealing article by Bamford at the link above.
Australia has changed radically since last week though it might not look like it on the surface. Late Thursday night the Senate passed the National Security Amendment Bill (No.1) 2014 giving unlimited power to spies and secret police. Now officials can break the law with immunity from prosecution - and without having to answer to a court. They can act in total secrecy. They will decide what they do and to whom and when. They do not have to ask permission. They will choose when to interfere in your life and when they won't. They can dip into your most private communications and they don't need a warrant to do so. Sometimes they will do it because it is necessary to fight crime. Sometimes because they enjoy it. If they mess up your life and you tell anybody, you will get 10 years' jail – even if it doesn't harm security. When a Special Intelligence Operation (SIO) is declared then any participant can break the law on you with no consequences, according to Schedule 3 section 35k. There are broad limits. They cannot kill or torture you, or cause significant physical injury. Minor injury or mental torment is fine. Anyone involved in an SIO will have these powers – but who are they? ASIO, with 1778 staff. The Australian Federal Police, with more than 6900 staff. NSW Police with about 16,370 officers and a spy database called COPS which has more than 30 million entries on the people of NSW. But not just them. Anyone involved in an SIO enjoys legal immunity, including affiliates and subcontractors – whoever they are. Many Senators clearly hadn't read the 128 pages of major legal changes in the NSA Bill. The citizen needs protection from the state built into the laws and that is what they smashed on Thursday.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Prime Minister John Key ... has denied that New Zealand’s spy agency GCSB engages in mass surveillance, mostly as a means of convincing the country to enact a new law vesting the agency with greater powers. Let me be clear: any statement that mass surveillance is not performed in New Zealand, or that the internet communications are not comprehensively intercepted and monitored, or that this is not intentionally and actively abetted by the GCSB, is categorically false. If you live in New Zealand, you are being watched. At the NSA I routinely came across the communications of New Zealanders in my work with a mass surveillance tool we share with GCSB, called “XKEYSCORE.” It allows total, granular access to the database of communications collected in the course of mass surveillance. It is not limited to or even used largely for the purposes of cybersecurity, as has been claimed, but is instead used primarily for reading individuals’ private email, text messages, and internet traffic. I know this because it was my full-time job in Hawaii, where I worked every day in an NSA facility with a top secret clearance. The prime minister’s claim to the public, that “there is no and there never has been any mass surveillance” is false. The GCSB, whose operations he is responsible for, is directly involved in the untargeted, bulk interception and algorithmic analysis of private communications sent via internet, satellite, radio, and phone networks. It means they have the ability see every website you visit, every text message you send, every call you make, every ticket you purchase, every donation you make, and every book you order online. From “I’m headed to church” to “I hate my boss” to “She’s in the hospital,” the GCSB is there. Your words are intercepted, stored, and analyzed by algorithms long before they’re ever read by your intended recipient.
Note: New Zealand's prime minister has acknowledged that Snowden may be right, as reported in this article. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
The U.S. government threatened to fine Yahoo $250,000 a day in 2008 if it failed to comply with a broad demand to hand over user communications — a request the company believed was unconstitutional — according to court documents unsealed [on September 11] that illuminate how federal officials forced American tech companies to participate in the National Security Agency’s controversial PRISM program. The documents ... outline a secret and ultimately unsuccessful legal battle by Yahoo to resist the government’s demands. The company’s loss required Yahoo to become one of the first to begin providing information to PRISM, a program that gave the NSA extensive access to records of online communications by users of Yahoo and other U.S.-based technology firms. The ruling by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court of Review became a key moment in the development of PRISM, helping government officials to convince other Silicon Valley companies that unprecedented data demands had been tested in the courts and found constitutionally sound. Eventually, most major U.S. tech companies, including Google, Facebook, Apple and AOL, complied. Microsoft had joined earlier, before the ruling, NSA documents have shown. PRISM was first revealed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden last year. Documents made it clear that the program allowed the NSA to order U.S.-based tech companies to turn over e-mails and other communications to or from foreign targets without search warrants for each of those targets. Other NSA programs gave even more wide-ranging access to personal information of people worldwide, by collecting data directly from fiber-optic connections.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
Throughout the last year, the U.S. government has repeatedly insisted that it does not engage in economic and industrial espionage, in an effort to distinguish its own spying from China’s infiltrations of Google, Nortel, and other corporate targets. [But] the NSA was caught spying on plainly financial targets such as the Brazilian oil giant Petrobras; economic summits; international credit card and banking systems; the EU antitrust commissioner investigating Google, Microsoft, and Intel; and the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. In response, the U.S. modified its denial to acknowledge that it does engage in economic spying, but unlike China, the spying is never done to benefit American corporations. But a secret 2009 report issued by [Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's] office explicitly contemplates doing exactly that. The document, the 2009 Quadrennial Intelligence Community Review—provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden—is a fascinating window into the mindset of America’s spies. One of the principal threats raised in the report is a scenario “in which the United States’ technological and innovative edge slips”— in particular, “that the technological capacity of foreign multinational corporations could outstrip that of U.S. corporations.” How could U.S. intelligence agencies solve that problem? The report recommends “a multi-pronged, systematic effort to gather open source and proprietary information through overt means, clandestine penetration (through physical and cyber means), and counterintelligence”.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.
The US government’s web of surveillance is vast and interconnected. You can be pulled into the National Security Agency’s database quietly and quickly. Through ICREACH, a Google-style search engine created for the intelligence community, the NSA provides data on private communications to 23 government agencies. More than 1,000 analysts had access to that information. It was confirmed earlier this month that the FBI shares its master watchlist, the Terrorist Screening Database, with at least 22 foreign governments, countless federal agencies, state and local law enforcement, plus private contractors. The watchlist [is] based on [low] standards and secret evidence, which ensnares innocent people. Indeed, the standards are so low that the US government’s guidelines specifically allow for a single, uncorroborated source of information – including a Facebook or Twitter post – to serve as the basis for placing you on its master watchlist. Of the 680,000 individuals on that FBI master list, roughly 40% have “no recognized terrorist group affiliation”, according to the Intercept. These individuals don’t even have a connection – as the government loosely defines it – to a designated terrorist group, but they are still branded as suspected terrorists. The US [government uses] a loose standard – so-called “reasonable suspicion” – in determining who, exactly, can be watchlisted. ["Reasonable suspicion"] requires neither “concrete evidence” nor “irrefutable evidence”. Instead, an official is permitted to consider “reasonable inferences” and “to draw from the facts in light of his/her experience”.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing terrorism news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nigeria's president has formally launched a national electronic identity card, which all Nigerians will have to have by 2019 if they want to vote ... the first biometric card which can also be used to make electronic payments. MasterCard is providing the prepaid payment element and it hopes millions of Nigerians without bank accounts will now gain access to financial services. An attempt to introduce national ID cards in Nigeria 10 years ago failed. Analysts blame corruption for its failure. MasterCard said combining an identity card with a payment card for those aged 16 and over was a significant move. "It breaks down one of the most significant barriers to financial inclusion - proof of identity," MasterCard's Daniel Monehin said in a statement. The new cards show a person's photograph, name, age and unique ID number - and 10 fingerprints and an iris are scanned during enrolment. These details are intended to ensure that there are no duplicates on the system. During the pilot phase, which began registering names last October, 13 million MasterCard-branded ID cards will be issued. There are enrolment centres in all 36 states and there is no fee to get the card, though people will be charged in the event that it needs to be replaced. The Nigerian Identity Management Commission (NIMC), which is behind the rollout, is trying to integrate several government databases including those for driving licences, voter registration, health insurance, taxes and pensions.
Note: This identification scheme is underwritten by a major financial services company, and directly connects a citizen's political identity, financial identity, and biological identity to a centralized electronic database. To understand some of the dangers of this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing microchip implant news articles from reliable major media sources.
Les Goldsmith, the CEO of ESD America [marketers of the Crytophone 500], points me to a map that he and his customers have created, indicating 17 different phony cell towers known as “interceptors,” detected by the CryptoPhone 500 around the United States during the month of July alone. Interceptors look to a typical phone like an ordinary tower. Once the phone connects with the interceptor, a variety of “over-the-air” attacks become possible, from eavesdropping on calls and texts to pushing spyware to the device. “Interceptor use in the U.S. is much higher than people had anticipated,” Goldsmith says. “One of our customers took a road trip from Florida to North Carolina and he found 8 different interceptors on that trip. We even found one at South Point Casino in Las Vegas.” Who is running these interceptors and what are they doing with the calls? Goldsmith says we can’t be sure, but he has his suspicions. “Are some of them U.S. government interceptors?” [asks] Goldsmith. Interceptors vary widely in expense and sophistication – but in a nutshell, they are radio-equipped computers with software that can use arcane cellular network protocols and defeat the onboard encryption. For governments or other entities able to afford a price tag of “less than $100,000,” says Goldsmith, high-quality interceptors are quite realistic. Some interceptors are limited, only able to passively listen to either outgoing or incoming calls. But full-featured devices like the VME Dominator, available only to government agencies, can not only capture calls and texts, but even actively control the phone, sending out spoof texts, for example.
Note: Do you think the government might have put up fake cell towers to nab more data? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. ICREACH [as the search engine is called] contains information on the private communications of foreigners and, it appears, millions of records on American citizens who have not been accused of any wrongdoing. Details about its existence are contained in the archive of materials provided to The Intercept by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. Earlier revelations sourced to the Snowden documents have exposed a multitude of NSA programs for collecting large volumes of communications. The NSA has acknowledged that it shares some of its collected data with domestic agencies like the FBI, but details about the method and scope of its sharing have remained shrouded in secrecy. ICREACH has been accessible to more than 1,000 analysts at 23 U.S. government agencies that perform intelligence work, according to a 2010 memo. Information shared through ICREACH can be used to track people’s movements, map out their networks of associates, help predict future actions, and potentially reveal religious affiliations or political beliefs.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
Development of a U.S. counterattack for cyberterrorism that could do more harm than good was one of the final events that drove Edward Snowden to leak government secrets, the former National Security Agency contractor tells Wired magazine. Snowden ... said the MonsterMind program was designed to detect a foreign cyberattack and keep it from entering the country. But it also would automatically fire back. The problem, he said, is malware can be routed through an innocent third-party country. "These attacks can be spoofed," he told Wired. MonsterMind for example ... could accidentally start a war. And it's the ultimate threat to privacy because it requires the NSA to gain access to virtually all private communications coming in from overseas. "The argument is that the only way we can identify these malicious traffic flows and respond to them is if we're analyzing all traffic flows," he said. "And if we're analyzing all traffic flows, that means we have to be intercepting all traffic flows. That means violating the Fourth Amendment, seizing private communications without a warrant, without probable cause or even a suspicion of wrongdoing. For everyone, all the time. You get exposed to a little bit of evil, a little bit of rule-breaking, a little bit of dishonesty, a little bit of deceptiveness, a little bit of disservice to the public interest, and you can brush it off, you can come to justify it," Snowden told Wired. "But if you do that, it creates a slippery slope that just increases over time. And by the time you've been in 15 years, 20 years, 25 years, you've seen it all and it doesn't shock you. And so you see it as normal."
Note: Read the cover story from Wired magazine with a deep inside report on Snowden.
To many Americans, online eavesdropping by the U.S. National Security Agency is an outrage, a threat to privacy and freedom. To some, it's a business opportunity. A small but growing number of companies have introduced Internet and communications services designed to shield users from the government's eyes. A few even advertise their products as "NSA-proof." Many of the companies have been offering encrypted online services for years, scrambling their customers' data and communications in ways that require the right computer-generated "key" to decode. They are at least as concerned with thwarting private hackers and corporate spies as they are with blocking federal agents. But some entrepreneurs in the field found motivation in the NSA, after learning that the agency has been collecting troves of Internet and phone data on ordinary citizens for years. "Privacy and democracy go hand in hand - that's why this is so important," said Jason Stockman, one of the creators of ProtonMail, which began offering an encrypted e-mail service in May. "Our goal is to protect people against mass surveillance." But most companies will quickly admit that if the NSA - or some foreign intelligence service - really wants your data, they can't guarantee protection. Since the NSA conducts its business in secret, its full capabilities remain a matter of speculation. Most companies that invoke the NSA in their marketing focus on encryption.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.