Secrecy News StoriesExcerpts of Key Secrecy News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of secrecy news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Edward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. The decision to honor the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement. Snowden split the honorary portion of the award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden. The award foundation cited Snowden's "courage and skill" in revealing the extent of government surveillance and praised Rusbridger "for building a global media organization dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest." Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes. Snowden, who has reportedly also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He has been charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and could face up to 30 years in prison. Though the honorary award doesn't include any money, the foundation would offer to help pay Snowden's legal costs. Von Uexkull said the foundation was denied access to the Swedish Foreign Ministry's media room, where it has announced the awards since 1995, after it gave the ministry advance notice of the winners.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
The rise of ISIS has been aided by the failure of the US government to investigate the connection between the Saudi Arabian government and jihadist networks, said former senator Bob Graham. Senator Graham, who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee, said that successive administrations had failed to examine the connections between the Saudis and Sunni militant groups. "I believe that the failure to shine a full light on Saudi actions ... has contributed to the Saudi ability to continue to engage in actions that are damaging to the US – and in particular their support for ISIS," he said. The Saudis have been accused of using Sunni militant groups as proxies, channeling money to Islamist groups battling the forces of president Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war, as Sunni and Shia battle for hegemony in the Middle East. The Shia Iranians are chief backers of Assad, and Nouri al Maliki's Shia-dominated government which collapsed following ISIS' onslaught in Iraq, accused the Saudi Arabia and Qatar of funding ISIS, and facilitating "genocide". [Graham] said that Saudi Arabia gives support to the "the most extremist elements among the Sunni". Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden was the son of a wealthy construction magnate, who had close ties to the Saudi royal family. It is alleged that redacted pages of the [Joint Congressional 9/11 inquiry] report establish links between Saudi government officials and al-Qaida.
Note: Watch the highly illuminating BBC documentary "Power of Nightmares" that reveals that al-Qaida, under the control of Osama bin Laden, has never actually existed, but is a US/UK-government psychological operation to launch the "Global War on Terror". For more on this, read Prof. David Ray Griffin's deeply revealing book Osama bin Laden: Dead or Alive?
In lawsuits challenging NSA mass surveillance, torture and drone strikes on Americans in recent years, the US government has turned what was once a narrow legal privilege into an immunity trump card – a kind of get-out-of-jail-free card for “matters of national security”. And now, despite publicly promising to restrict its use, attorney general Eric Holder is trying to expand the power even further. In [the] New York Times, Matt Apuzzo [reports on a] court case between two private parties in which the US justice department has invoked the so-called state secrets privilege. A Greek shipping magnate has accused an advocacy group pushing for sanctions on Iran of lying about him, but the government argues that the case must be dismissed with hardly an explanation, citing only a “concerned federal agency”. Holder refuses to disclose the agency demanding secrecy, the type of information he wants [to keep] secret, or even the basis for invoking the state secrets clause (which, by the way, is an invention of the US supreme court from a 1953 case that was later proved to be based on a lie). The Obama justice department has been using the controversial clause to squash cases of more significant consequence for years. Holder allegedly created a policy for restricting its use to all but the most critical national-security cases when he first came into office. But, alas, Holder has since proceeded to shut down the exact types of cases for which George W Bush was so harshly criticized.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
Florida’s former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham ... has been fighting both the Bush and Obama administrations to declassify 28 pages of a 9/11 intelligence report that may detail and expose the efforts of members of the Saudi Arabian royal family in aiding and abetting [9/11] terrorists in Florida, many who were themselves Saudi. Graham is befuddled as to why the Obama administration does not release these documents, which he read when he was chair of the Senate Select Intelligence Committee and co-chair of a congressional inquiry into the 9/11 attacks. As a result, he has joined a Freedom of Information Act request alongside others, asking that 80,000 pages of information on a Saudi family that disappeared just before the attacks be made public. “It isn’t credible that 19 people — most [of whom] could not speak English well and did not have experience in the United States — could carry out such a complicated task without external assistance,” Graham insists. The Saudi family living in Sarasota fled to Saudi Arabia just prior to the 9/11 attacks. Were they tipped off that they should leave? If so, by whom? Graham believes that there was a deliberate effort to cover up Saudi involvement in the tragedy of 9/11 by the Bush administration, one, he says, that the Obama administration appears to support. The American public needs to know. The families of those who were lost to the 9/11 attacks or those who fought in Afghanistan and Iraq deserve an answer as well.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
A major FBI cover-up ... connects Sarasota and the 9/11 hijackers to the Saudi Arabian government. While still at Sarasota's Emma E. Booker Elementary on the day of the 2001 terrorist attacks, President George W. Bush said, "Terrorism against our nation will not stand." However, the president's visit wasn't the only thing to tie this Bay area county to the September 11th attacks. Within days, we learned three of the hijackers had been living in the area while taking flying lessons at Huffman Aviation and Florida Flight Training in Sarasota County... but there is even more than that. "There was a network supporting the hijackers," says former U.S. Senator and Florida governor Bob Graham. According to Graham, the FBI has been covering up that fact for years, and continues to try and hide it even now. Graham says he is convinced there was a direct line between some of the terrorists who carried out the September 11th attacks and the government of Saudi Arabia. According to Graham, the FBI was aware of the strong connection between hijackers and a Saudi Arabian family who were living in an upscale Sarasota gated community. Twelve days before 9/11, the family abandoned the house -- leaving behind valuable items including food, clothing, furnishings and three vehicles. "There are some things I can't talk about," Graham told us, "And there are others like what I know is involved in the investigation in Sarasota, which is diametrically opposed to what the FBI said publicly."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
Nearly 13 years after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the extent of Saudi involvement in the deaths of almost 3,000 people remains unclear — but according to members of Congress and the families of victims, information about this has been suppressed ever since the publication of a 2002 congressional investigation into the plot. Prior to the release of the final report of the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration classified a 28-page section in the name of national security. The 28 pages make up part four of the report, a section titled “Finding, Discussion and Narrative Regarding Certain Sensitive National Security Matters.” They are widely believed to implicate Saudi officials or describe support from Saudi intelligence for the hijackers, 15 of whom were Saudi citizens. Former Senator Bob Graham of Florida, who co-chaired the joint Senate-House investigation, dispensed with the equivocation and told VICE News that the redactions are a “cover up.” “I’ve said this since the first classification of the 28 pages,” he remarked. “It’s become more and more inexplicable as to why two administrations have denied the American people information that would help them better understand what happened on 9/11.” Graham said that the 28 pages describe the financing of the attacks. “Follow the money,” he said. “That will illuminate other significant aspects of 9/11.” The Saudi kingdom has always denied any complicity in the attacks.”
Note: Watch a video of Congressman Massie telling how shocked he was to read these 28 pages. Why aren't the major media reporting this important news? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing 9/11 news articles from reliable major media sources.
A report released on [August 26] on accusations of widespread sexual abuse in the northern England city of Rotherham found that about 1,400 minors — some as young as 11 years old — were beaten, raped and trafficked from 1997 to 2013 as the local authorities ignored a series of red flags. Some children were doused in gasoline and threatened with being set on fire if they reported their abusers. Others were forced to watch rapes and threatened with the same fate. In more than a third of the cases, the victims appear to have been known to child protection agencies, but the police and local government officials failed to act. Within hours of the report’s publication, [Roger Stone, the leader of the Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council since 2003,] resigned. It was not until 2010 that the first case of child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, a South Yorkshire city of about 250,000 people, made it to court. Five men received long prison sentences for grooming three teenage girls for sex. It was one of several high-profile prosecutions over the past four years that revealed sexual exploitation in cities including Oxford, Rochdale and Derby. Alexis Jay, the author of the report and a former chief inspector of social work, said that vulnerable girls as young as 11 and largely from disadvantaged backgrounds had been brutalized by groups of men. “They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten and intimidated,” she wrote. The report described the failures of the political and police leadership as blatant.
Note: Further information is available in this story in the UK's Guardian. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing sexual abuse scandals news articles from reliable major media sources.
A federal judge has ordered the FBI to scrutinize allegations that the agency pressured a witness not to testify in a trial about videos related to the Oklahoma City bombing. U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups said the agency needs to get to the bottom of the claims from Utah lawyer Jesse Trentadue, who said that the FBI threatened to cut off a former government operative's benefits if he appeared in court. Waddoups decided the lawyer's report raises disturbing questions, and he wanted evidence that the agency has thoroughly investigated the matter. Waddoups ordered the attorneys to present the results of the witness-tampering investigation on Nov. 13. The hearing is the latest in a case that reignited questions about whether others were involved in the bombing that killed 168 people. Trentadue argues surveillance videos from 1995 show Timothy McVeigh had an accomplice. The agency says its investigators have done a reasonable search and found no evidence of additional unreleased videos. [John] Matthews was supposed to testify during a late July bench trial, but Trentadue argued that he backed out at the last minute because the FBI threatened to cut off his veteran's and disability benefits. Trentadue said Matthews was part of a stealth government operation before the Oklahoma City bombing tracking militia movements of which McVeigh was a part, and his testimony could support the idea that there was a second suspect. Matthews told him and a colleague that he had been pressured in phone calls just before and after he was supposed to testify, the lawyer said.
Note: Many aspects of the Oklahoma City bombing were covered up. For a compilation of media videos showing without doubt that there were other bombs in the building which later were completely ignored, click here. For other major media articles showing major manipulation, click here click here, here, and here.
Jim Risen is gruff. Attorney General Eric Holder wants to force Risen to testify and reveal the identity of his confidential source on a story he had in his 2006 book concerning a bungled C.I.A. operation during the Clinton administration in which agents might have inadvertently helped Iran develop its nuclear weapon program. The tale made the C.I.A. look silly, which may have been more of a sore point than a threat to national security. But Bush officials, no doubt still smarting from Risen’s revelation of their illegal wiretapping, zeroed in on a disillusioned former C.I.A. agent named Jeffrey Sterling as the source of the Iran story. The subpoena forcing Risen’s testimony expired in 2009, and to the surprise of just about everybody, the constitutional law professor’s administration renewed it — kicking off its strange and awful aggression against reporters and whistle-blowers. Why don’t they back off Risen? How can [Obama] use the Espionage Act to throw reporters and whistle-blowers in jail even as he defends the intelligence operatives who “tortured some folks,” and coddles his C.I.A. chief, John Brennan, who spied on the Senate and then lied to the senators he spied on about it? “It’s hypocritical,” Risen said. “A lot of people still think this is some kind of game or signal or spin. They don’t want to believe that Obama wants to crack down on the press and whistle-blowers. But he does. He’s the greatest enemy to press freedom in a generation.” Risen points to recent stories about the administration pressing an unprecedented initiative known as the Insider Threat Program.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
It was revealed this week that many government information officers block specific journalists they don't like from accessing information. The news comes as 47 federal inspectors general sent a letter to lawmakers criticizing "serious limitations on access to records" that they say have "impeded" their oversight work. The data about public information officers was compiled over the past few years by Kennesaw State University professor Carolyn Carlson. Her surveys found that 4 in 10 public information officers say "there are specific reporters they will not allow their staff to talk to due to problems with their stories in the past." Carlson has conducted surveys of journalists and public information officers since 2012. In her most recent survey of 445 working journalists, four out of five reported that "their interviews must be approved" by government information officers, and "more than half of the reporters said they had actually been prohibited from interviewing [government] employees at least some of the time by public information officers." The Associated Press reported earlier this year that in 2013 "the government cited national security to withhold information a record 8,496 times — a 57 percent increase over a year earlier and more than double Obama's first year." This week's letter from more than half of the federal government's inspectors general [said] that government agencies' move to hide information from them represents a "potentially serious challenge to the authority of every Inspector General and our ability to conduct our work thoroughly, independently, and in a timely manner."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government secrecy news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Defense Department has launched 20 or more projects to build modern business-management systems since the late 1990s. At least five were subsequently killed as complete failures after billions of dollars were spent on them. With each failure, a pattern emerges: An off-the-shelf product with a proven track record in the private sector is chosen and then modified to the point where it doesn't work properly. The Pentagon is unable to account for itself, and thus for roughly half of all congressionally approved annual federal spending. Interviews with scores of current and former defense officials, contractors and Pentagon watchers, as well as a review of dozens of reports by oversight agencies, show that the Pentagon is continually thwarted by a lack of accountability for failures ... and an incentive to spend. All other federal agencies are audited annually ... and with rare exceptions, they pass every year. The Pentagon alone has never been audited, leaving roughly $8.5 trillion in taxpayer dollars unaccounted for since 1996. The Pentagon has for years kept lousy books with impunity. The 2009 law requiring the Defense Department to be audit-ready by 2017 provides for no penalties if it misses the deadline. From 1995 through 2002, Senator Charles Grassley pushed through an amendment to the annual defense appropriations bill requiring the Pentagon to account for its expenditures by following one seemingly simple procedure: match each payment to the expense it covered. The order was ignored, and Grassley gave up. There is no doubt that bad bookkeeping conceals movements of money that in some instances are illegal.
Note: See also this article on the Reuters website. This article sadly fails to state the obvious: Many military officers illegally rake in tons of money with false contracts which benefit those officers and contracting companies. They obviously don't want their accounts to be properly audited. For a revealing essay by a top U.S. general exposing major war manipulations, click here. For more on military corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
The FBI thoroughly searched its archives and found no evidence that more videos of the Oklahoma City bombing exist, agency employees told a judge [on July 28] in a trial that has rekindled questions about whether any others were involved in the 1995 attack. Additional searches for videos that Salt Lake City lawyer Jesse Trentadue believes are being withheld would be burdensome and fruitless, FBI attorney Kathryn Wyer argued during the first day of a bench trial. Trentadue says the agency is refusing to release videos that show a second person was with Timothy McVeigh when he parked a truck outside the Oklahoma City federal building and detonated a bomb that killed 168 people. The government says McVeigh was alone. [But] the 30 video recordings the FBI has released don't show the explosion or McVeigh's arrival in a rental truck. Unsatisfied by the FBI's previous explanations and citing the public importance of the tapes, U.S. District Judge Clark Waddoups has ordered the agency to explain why it can't find videos that are mentioned in evidence logs. Trentadue believes the presence of a second suspect explains why his brother, Kenneth Trentadue, was flown to Oklahoma several months after the bombing, where he died in a federal holding cell. Kenneth Trentadue bore a striking resemblance to a police sketch based on witness descriptions of the enigmatic suspect "John Doe No. 2," who was never identified..
Note: There is strong evidence of a major cover-up in the Oklahoma City bombing. See this Wall Street Journal article, this Associated Press article, this ABC News article, and this Deseret News article for examples.
A sweeping [gag] order issued in Australia to block reporting of any bribery allegations involving several international political leaders in the region has been exposed by WikiLeaks. The prohibition emerged from a criminal case in the Australian courts and applies throughout the country. It was issued by the criminal division of the supreme court of Victoria in Melbourne. The Australia-wide [gag] order is a superinjunction, which means it also contains a clause insisting that the terms of the order itself should remain secret. [It] states: "Subject to further order, there [shall] be no disclosure, by publication or otherwise, of any information derived from or prepared for the purposes of these proceedings including the terms of these orders." In a statement published with the leak, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, said the gagging order relates to a case that "concerns the subsidiaries of the Australian central bank". He said it was the first blanket suppression order of this nature in Australia since 1995. "With this order, the worst in living memory, the Australian government is not just gagging the Australian press, it is blindfolding the Australian public," said Assange, who is himself Australian. "This is not simply a question of the Australian government failing to give this international corruption case the public scrutiny it is due. Foreign minister Julie Bishop must explain why she is threatening every Australian with imprisonment in an attempt to cover up an embarrassing corruption scandal involving the Australian government".
Note: Very few media were even willing to report on the reasons for this gag order, which were clearly to cover up corruption at the highest levels. See the CNN article for how no mention is even made of what was revealed. It seems that the higher up the corruption goes, the more vehemently courts rule to keep the investigations secret. Could there be a double standard here? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The CIA is acknowledging for the first time the extent of its deep involvement in Chile, where it dealt with coup-plotters, false propagandists and assassins. The agency [released] a declassified report required by the U.S. Congress. Despite the disclosures, the CIA report admits to no abuses or cover-up by CIA agents. But it chronicles clandestine contacts authorized by then-U.S. President Richard Nixon and other top U.S. officials which it said would violate standards now upheld by the agency. Among the disclosures: The CIA had prior knowledge of the plot that overthrew Allende three years later. The CIA supported a kidnapping attempt of Chile's army chief in October 1970, as part of a plot to prevent the congressional confirmation of Allende as president. The kidnapping attempt failed, and Gen. Rene Schneider was shot and killed. The CIA later paid $35,000 to the kidnappers in what it termed "humanitarian" assistance. The CIA made a one-time payment to secret police head Gen. Manuel Contreras Sepulveda, the head of the military regime's feared secret police. He was sentenced in 1993 for killing Chilean socialist leader Orlando Letelier in Washington in 1976. Contreras has said the CIA was behind the assassination. The report also describes efforts to influence news media in Chile against Allende and to continue anti-leftist propaganda efforts by successor Pinochet, "including support for news media committed to creating a positive image for the military Junta" now accused of an array of abuses during his 17-year rule, including more than 3,000 killings.
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing intelligence agency operations news articles from reliable major media sources.
Just how badly does the American Red Cross want to keep secret how it raised and spent over $300 million after Hurricane Sandy? The charity has hired [law firm Gibson Dunn] to fight a public request [ProPublica] filed with New York state, arguing that information about its Sandy activities is a “trade secret.” The Red Cross’ “trade secret” argument has persuaded the state to redact some material, though it’s not clear yet how much since the documents haven’t yet been released. The Red Cross releases few details about how it spends money after big disasters. That makes it difficult to figure out whether donor dollars are well spent. An attorney from [Gibson Dunn] appealed to the attorney general to block disclosure of some of the Sandy information, citing the state Freedom of Information Law’s trade secret exemption. Doug White, a nonprofit expert who directs the fundraising management program at Columbia University, said that it’s possible for nonprofits to have trade interests — the logo of a university, for example — but it’s not clear what a “trade secret” would be in the case of the Red Cross. He called the lawyer’s letter an apparent “delaying tactic.” Ben Smilowitz of the Disaster Accountability Project, a watchdog group, said, “Invoking a ‘trade secret’ exemption is not something you would expect from an organization that purports to be ‘transparent and accountable.’”
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing corporate corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
As part of the American Civil Liberties Union’s recent report on police militarization, the Massachusetts chapter of the organization sent open records requests to SWAT teams across that state. A number of SWAT teams in [Massachusetts] are operated by what are called law enforcement councils, or LECs. LECs are funded by several police agencies in a given geographic area and overseen by an executive board, which is usually made up of police chiefs from member police departments. Some of these LECs have also apparently incorporated as 501(c)(3) organizations. And it’s here that we run into problems. According to the ACLU, the LECs are claiming that the 501(c)(3) status means that they’re private corporations, not government agencies. And therefore, they say they’re immune from open records requests. Let’s be clear. These agencies oversee police activities. They employ cops who carry guns, wear badges, collect paychecks provided by taxpayers and have the power to detain, arrest, injure and kill. They operate SWAT teams, which conduct raids on private residences. And yet they say that because they’ve incorporated, they’re immune to Massachusetts open records laws. The state’s residents aren’t permitted to know how often the SWAT teams are used, what they’re used for, what sort of training they get or who they’re primarily used against. From the ACLU of Massachusetts’s report on police militarization in that state: "Due to the weakness of Massachusetts public records law and the culture of secrecy that has infected local police departments and Law Enforcement Councils, procuring empirical records from police departments and regional SWAT teams in Massachusetts about police militarization was universally difficult and, in most instances, impossible."
Note: The author of this article, Radley Balko, is the author of the book Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces. For more on this topic, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
WikiLeaks has published what it calls "the secret draft text for the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) Financial Services Annex," apparently covering 50 countries and most of the world's trade in services. "The draft Financial Services Annex sets rules which would assist the expansion of financial multinationals — mainly headquartered in New York, London, Paris and Frankfurt — into other nations by preventing regulatory barriers," the website says in a statement. The draft deal is seen as a way to prevent more regulation of financial services, despite calls for tighter regulatory measures that followed the 2007-08 world financial crisis. That market meltdown set the world's biggest banks up against critics who said governments needed to rein them in. The last round of TISA talks took place April 28 to May 2 in Geneva. WikiLeaks also [stated] that the U.S. is "particularly keen on boosting cross-border data flow" and that this would include personal and financial data. During his teleconference, [Assange] urged U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to end a four-year-long grand jury investigation of Assange and WikiLeaks. "National security reporters are required by their profession to have intimate interactions in order to assess and verify and investigate the nature of the material that they are dealing with," he said. "So I call on Eric Holder today to immediately drop the ongoing national security investigation against WikiLeaks or resign."
Note: Why is this important release getting so little news coverage? For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The Supreme Court has been quietly revising its decisions years after they were issued, altering the law of the land without public notice. The revisions include “truly substantive changes in factual statements and legal reasoning,” said Richard J. Lazarus, a law professor at Harvard and the author of a new study examining the phenomenon. The court’s secretive editing process has led judges and law professors astray, causing them to rely on passages that were later scrubbed from the official record. The widening public access to online versions of the court’s decisions, some of which do not reflect the final wording, has made the longstanding problem more pronounced. Unannounced changes have not reversed decisions outright, but they have withdrawn conclusions on significant points of law. The larger point, said Jeffrey L. Fisher, a law professor at Stanford, is that Supreme Court decisions are parsed by judges and scholars with exceptional care. “In Supreme Court opinions, every word matters,” he said. “When they’re changing the wording of opinions, they’re basically rewriting the law.” The court does warn readers that early versions of its decisions, available at the courthouse and on the court’s website, are works in progress. A small-print notice says that “this opinion is subject to formal revision before publication,” and it asks readers to notify the court of “any typographical or other formal errors.” But ... the court almost never notes when a change has been made, much less specifies what it was. And many changes do not seem merely typographical or formal.
The Obama administration has been quietly advising local police not to disclose details about surveillance technology they are using to sweep up basic cellphone data from entire neighborhoods. Citing security reasons, the U.S. has intervened in routine state public records cases and criminal trials regarding use of the technology. This has resulted in police departments withholding materials or heavily censoring documents in rare instances when they disclose any [information] about the purchase and use of such powerful surveillance equipment. One well-known type of this surveillance equipment is known as a Stingray. The equipment tricks cellphones into identifying some of their owners' account information, like a unique subscriber number, and transmitting data to police as if it were a phone company's tower. That allows police to obtain cellphone information without having to ask for help from service providers ... and can locate a phone without the user even making a call or sending a text message. The Obama administration is asking agencies to withhold common information about the equipment, such as how the technology is used and how to turn it on. "These extreme secrecy efforts are in relation to very controversial, local government surveillance practices using highly invasive technology," said Nathan Freed Wessler, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, which has fought for the release of these types of records. "People should have the facts about what the government is doing to them."
Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing government surveillance news articles from reliable major media sources.
Reports from an oil rig worker who saw a fire in the sky on the night Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared are being taken seriously, police sources have confirmed. But New Zealander Mike McKay, 55, has lost his job in the ‘‘circus’’ that developed after his report to authorities was leaked. Mr McKay had been working on the Songa Mercur oil rig in the South China Sea when he saw an ‘‘orange light’’ on an especially clear night. The object was still in one piece and close to where MH370 first dropped off radar between Malaysia and Vietnam on March 8 with 239 people on board. He emailed his employer and Vietnamese authorities about his sighting, but his statement was leaked, which included his full name, email, passport number, and full details of the company operating the rig. In the ensuing media storm, Mr McKay said the Japanese-based petroleum company, Idemitsu, was flooded with emails and he was taken off the rig. He is now unemployed and disappointed his efforts at reporting potentially vital information turned into such a circus. ‘‘I was only trying to privately help,’’ he told Fairfax Media during a series of interviews. ‘‘If it was the aeroplane I saw, then it must have been an external fire. How far would an aeroplane stay in the air after such a fire?’’
Note: So much strangeness here. Why was this man fired for reporting simply what he saw? And why isn't this getting more media attention? For possible answers, see our essay on media corruption.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.