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View Diary: Despite Government Denials, Documents Show NSA Continues Harvesting Americans' Data (129 comments)

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  •  Surveillance programs have continued and grown... (51+ / 0-)

    ...and it is abundantly clear that's our reality.

    Millions of warrantless wiretaps over the past three years at the local and state level; and, massively expanded urban programs (which are now being reported upon by outlets such as Reuters, from a week ago--see immediately below), with the latest technology also remind us this is the case.

    NYPD expands surveillance net to fight crime as well as terrorism
    By Chris Francescani
    Fri Jun 21, 2013 11:24am EDT
    NEW YORK, June 21

    (Reuters) - Having developed one of the most sophisticated surveillance networks in the United States, the New York Police Department is now expanding its use, giving local precinct commanders new powers to fight street crime with high-tech tools previously used only in counterterrorism operations.

    "The technology, having been inspired and engineered with a sense of urgency after 9/11, has obvious applications to conventional crime fighting," said Paul Browne, chief NYPD spokesman. "That is in the process of being expanded citywide, for what - after all - is our primary mission, which is to fight crime."

    New York is among a handful of big U.S. cities that have been developing extensive surveillance networks in recent years using federal anti-terrorism funding...

    ...There are no legal restrictions against using the surveillance network for traditional crime fighting, though much of the network has been built with Homeland Security grants. But the sheer scope and sophistication of the system worries people like Christopher Dunn, associate legal director of the New York Civil Liberties Union.

    "There is no outside monitoring of the use of this system at protections now - none, zero," said Dunn, whose group filed a lawsuit on Tuesday accusing the police of violating religious freedoms and constitutional guarantees of equality in its monitoring of Muslim communities...

    (Bold type in blockquote, immediately above, is diarist's emphasis.)

    Reference to huge urban surveillance programs in-line with state-sponsored efforts such as the size of those implemented in London (per my post here from 5/29/13: "32 Minutes With Kafka and Orwell: “Naked Citizens” vs. The Naked Truth About Conspiracy Theories," also tell us these programs are alive, well and expanding.)

    The escalating costs (buried in DHS outlays, federal and local law enforcement programs, education grants for tech programs at colleges, etc., and hidden within DoD budgets, to name just a few ways these costs are obfuscated, not to mention the direct expenditures), also indicate this surveillance state continuation and expansion.

    But, this WaPo article from two weeks ago also confirms this expansion, and it's now one of the most highly-cited news reports regarding these greater truths over at the EFF...

    U.S. surveillance architecture includes collection of revealing Internet, phone metadata
    By Barton Gellman
    Washington Post
    Published: June 15, 2013

    On March 12, 2004, acting attorney general James B. Comey and the Justice Department’s top leadership reached the brink of resignation over electronic surveillance orders that they believed to be illegal.

    President George W. Bush backed down, halting secret foreign-
    intelligence-gathering operations that had crossed into domestic terrain. That morning marked the beginning of the end of STELLARWIND, the cover name for a set of four surveillance programs that brought Americans and American territory within the domain of the National Security Agency for the first time in decades. It was also a prelude to new legal structures that allowed Bush and then President Obama to reproduce each of those programs and expand their reach.

    What exactly STELLARWIND did has never been disclosed in an unclassified form. Which parts of it did Comey approve? Which did he shut down? What became of the programs when the crisis passed and Comey, now Obama’s expected nominee for FBI director, returned to private life?

    Authoritative new answers to those questions, drawing upon a classified NSA history of STELLARWIND and interviews with high-ranking intelligence officials, offer the clearest map yet of the Bush-era programs and the NSA’s contemporary U.S. operations.

    STELLARWIND was succeeded by four major lines of intelligence collection in the territorial United States, together capable of spanning the full range of modern telecommunications, according to the interviews and documents.
    Foreigners, not Americans, are the NSA’s “targets,” as the law defines that term. But the programs are structured broadly enough that they touch nearly every American household in some way. Obama administration officials and career intelligence officers say Americans should take comfort that privacy protections are built into the design and oversight, but they are not prepared to discuss the details.

    The White House, the NSA and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence declined to comment on the record for this article. A senior intelligence official agreed to answer questions if not identified...

    ...Two of the four collection programs, one each for telephony and the Internet, process trillions of “metadata” records for storage and analysis in systems called MAINWAY and MARINA, respectively. Metadata includes highly revealing information about the times, places, devices and participants in electronic communication, but not its contents. The bulk collection of telephone call records from Verizon Business Services, disclosed this month by the British newspaper the Guardian, is one source of raw intelligence for MAINWAY.

    The other two types of collection, which operate on a much smaller scale, are aimed at content. One of them intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words to a system called NUCLEON...

    "I always thought if you worked hard enough and tried hard enough, things would work out. I was wrong." --Katharine Graham

    by bobswern on Fri Jun 28, 2013 at 06:32:00 AM PDT

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