Skip to main content

Good Morning!

Photo by: joanneleon.  May, 2013.


Graham Parker and the Rumour - Stupefaction

News & Opinion

Update: Today's Guardian Liveblog Link

This is so reminiscent of the violent and coordinated "eviction" of Occupy Wall Street protesters from public parks.

Turkish police oust Taksim protesters with tear gas as Erdogan cheers removal of ‘rags’

Hundreds of Turkish police clashed with protesters after taking over Taksim Square in Istanbul. The raid allowed removal of barricades and banners. PM Erdogan praised the troops for removing the ‘rags’ as he branded the revolutionary symbols.
While the square itself saw relatively low level of violence during the first hours of the operation, the surrounding streets have become a place of serious confrontation, RT’s crew reports from the scene.

Tim Shorrock, author of "Spies for Hire" (which he says MSM is now ripping off without crediting him). This article is a must read, and after reading it, I think the book probably is too.  There are many billions at stake for the intelligence private sector, and those are the billions that we know about.  They suck at least 6 billion dollars from the taxpayers every year.  I think all of this would fall under the defense budget and we know that the Pentagon still cannot account for trillions spent there, so I think it is reasonable to believe that it's much more than 6 billion per year.  That is what is on the line for the people who want to convince you that turning this country and this world into a surveillance state is essential for your safety.  I'm dumbfounded by the fact that we're doing this and even more shocked that we would outsource so much of it.  I'll be writing a lot more about this "Digital Blackwater".

Meet the contractors analyzing your private data
Private companies are getting rich probing your personal information for the government. Call it Digital Blackwater

The revelation is not that surprising. With about 70 percent of our national intelligence budgets being spent on the private sector  – a discovery I made in 2007 and first reported in Salon – contractors have become essential to the spying and surveillance operations of the NSA.

From Narus, the Israeli-born Boeing subsidiary that makes NSA’s high-speed interception software, to CSC, the “systems integrator” that runs NSA’s internal IT system, defense and intelligence, contractors are making millions of dollars selling technology and services that help the world’s largest surveillance system spy on you. If the 70 percent figure is applied to the NSA’s estimated budget of $8 billion a year (the largest in the intelligence community), NSA contracting could reach as high as $6 billion every year.

But it’s probably much more than that.
With many of these contractors now focused on cyber-security, Hayden has even coined a new term — “Digital Blackwater” – for the industry. “I use that for the concept of the private sector in cyber,” he told a recent conference in Washington, in an odd reference to the notorious mercenary army. “I saw this in government and saw it a lot over the last four years. The private sector has really moved forward in terms of providing security,” he said. Hayden himself has cashed out too: He is now a principal with the Chertoff Group, the intelligence advisory company led by Michael Chertoff, the former secretary of Homeland Security.

[Emphasis added.]

Barton Gellman published this story about how Snowden came to him, and how he went to the government.  I think there is a lot more to it.  Glenn Greenwald said that what he said about Snowden going to Gellman first and then Greenwald afterward, is not true.  Charlie Savage of the NYT looked into that, and tweeted yesterday that he no longer believes Gellman's version of it.  The way that Gellman wrote this story, with the aura of a spy novel, is interesting.  During the past day, there are a lot of people trying to make this a story about Edward Snowden rather than a story about what he revealed.  
Code name ‘Verax’: Snowden, in exchanges with Post reporter, made clear he knew risks.

He called me BRASSBANNER, a code name in the double-barreled style of the National Security Agency, where he worked in the signals intelligence directorate.

Verax was the name he chose for himself, “truth teller” in Latin. I asked him early on, without reply, whether he intended to hint at the alternative fates that lay before him.
To effect his plan, Snowden asked for a guarantee that The Washington Post would publish — within 72 hours — the full text of a PowerPoint presentation describing PRISM, a top-secret surveillance program that gathered intelligence from Microsoft, Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley giants. He also asked that The Post publish online a cryptographic key that he could use to prove to a foreign embassy that he was the document’s source.

I told him we would not make any guarantee about what we published or when. (The Post broke the story two weeks later, on Thursday. The Post sought the views of government officials about the potential harm to national security prior to publication and decided to reproduce only four of the 41 slides.)

Snowden replied succinctly, “I regret that we weren’t able to keep this project unilateral.” Shortly afterward he made contact with Glenn Greenwald of the British newspaper the Guardian.

Defeatism is Premature: You Better Fight for Your Right to Privacy
The pervasive surveillance state isn't inevitable unless we give up on opposing it.

Perhaps that is the future. But I grow frustrated with everyone resigning themselves to its inevitability. Nowhere is it written that we cannot protect our privacy going forward. As fully as was typical before the Internet era? Perhaps not. But can we avoid a pervasive surveillance state?

It is reasonable to suppose so if the present defeatism is shelved.

It isn't inconceivable to imagine significant advances in encryption, and a public thirst for dealing with firms who offer it; or a scandal that precipitates a new Church Committee report; or vesting Americans with a property right in their data; or mandating that Internet firms annually wipe clean most of what they collect; or simply putting severe restrictions on the types of data that government is permitted to access. I am painfully aware of the obstacles to these measures; I understand the seductive logic of permitting the security state to grow and grow.  


Crowd-Fund a Court Stenographer for Bradley Manning's Trial

The trial of Bradley Manning will have an enormous impact on press freedom and the rights of future whistleblowers. Help us crowd-fund enough donations so we can hire a court stenographer to take transcripts of the trial. The government refuses to make its transcripts available to the public.

Your donation to this project will be tax-deductible. You can also donate by check.

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

Evening Blues

More Tunes

Pink Floyd-Another Brick In The Wall

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site