Skip to main content

Good Morning!

Photo by: joanneleon.


Frank Sinatra - That's Life

News & Opinion

Given that we have military bases in Germany, I'm not surprised that we cooperate with German intelligence but there are some confusing aspects to this story.  First, why were the Germans tagged as a third class ally, an adversary, if we have such close cooperation with their intel agencies?  Second and more importantly, see the sentence that I bolded below.  Facebook information is used to select targets? That's the opposite of what we've been told.  We've been told that the metadata from phone calls (and emails?) is used to analyze, and that if a person is deemed to be suspicious, then they use the PRISM system and go to Google, Facebook, et al to ask for all the internet communications from the tech companies, with a warrant.  If Facebook information is being used to determine who the targets are, then that big explanation that we were given might not be true and Facebook might be part of the dragnet.  

I can't tell from the article if they are grabbing data packets straight from the telecoms, and analyzing that data to determine who their targets will be.  It does sound like that.  If that is the case, are they analyzing the text of all internet traffic, no matter what application it comes from (phone, email, facebook, twitter, anything) and deciding if a person is suspicious, and then after the fact going and collecting all of their communications?  This does raise some new questions, unless perhaps the article was written in a way that is inaccurate or not clear.

Another interesting detail from this article is in the second paragraph. Jacob Appelbaum has been involved in the journalistic process since before the Snowden stories broke, working with Laura Poitras.  It doesn't sound like he was in Hong Kong with Greenwald and Poitras though. It sounds like he used his cryptography expertise to help communicated via encrypted channels or email.  Probably not related and a coincidence of names but Appelbaum has been arguing back and forth on Twitter for two days now (clogging up my Big Brother Twitter list stream, lol) with another guy whose name is also Schindler.  He's ex govt (supposedly ex, contractor?), and has been spweing nonstop smear on everyone who is connected with the NSA Files project.

Hat tip to mimi for pointing out this story on Der Spiegel. Her diary is here.

Snowden Interview: NSA 'In Bed Together with the Germans'

In an interview, Edward Snowden accuses the National Security Agency of partnering with Germany and other governments in its spying activities. New information also indicates close working ties between the German foreign intelligence agency and the American authority.

In an interview to be published in this week's issue of SPIEGEL, American intelligence agency whistleblower Edward Snowden criticizes the methods and power of the National Security Agency. Snowden said the NSA people are "in bed together with the Germans." He added that the NSA's "Foreign Affairs Directorate" is responsible for partnerships with other countries. The partnerships are organized in a way that authorities in other countries can "insulate their political leaders from the backlash" in the event it becomes public "how grievously they're violating global privacy." Telecommunications companies partner with the NSA and people are "normally selected for targeting" based on their "Facebook or webmail content."

The interview was conducted by American cryptography expert Jacob Appelbaum and documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras with the help of encrypted e-mails shortly before Snowden became known globally for his whistleblowing.

[Emphasis added]

Interesting. A former prosecutor who is rethinking the massive surveillance state.  Is it because he now knows that his communications also get caught up in the dragnet?  Funny how that might change one's perspective.  
Rethinking Surveillance

As a federal prosecutor in the 1980s, I used to think nothing of scooping up the phone numbers that a suspect called. I viewed that surveillance as no big deal because the Supreme Court had ruled in Smith v. Maryland (1979) that we have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the phone numbers we dial, as opposed to the content of the calls. And in any event, I had limited time or practical ability to follow up on those numbers.

Today, by contrast, when I look at the government’s large-scale electronic surveillance of private communications, I see an urgent need to rethink the rationale—and legal limits—for such intrusion. The government now has the technology to collect, store, and analyze information about our communications cheaply and quickly. It can assemble a picture of everyone we call or email—essentially our entire personal and professional lives—with a few computer commands. In addition, given the pervasive presence of geo-locators on our smart phones, the government is able to electronically monitor and reconstruct virtually every place we visit—a capacity that will only increase with the growing practice of photographing our license plates and the rapid improvement of facial-recognition software in combination with proliferating video cameras.

From LA Times, this source is an anonymous official but whoever it is has access to flight reservations and believes that Snowden is still in Moscow.  I've read about a hotel, a Novotel, that is outside of the airport terminal but still considered the transit zone, where passengers with long layovers or passport problems are brought.  I don't see mention of that in many news articles but I definitely read about it somewhere.  In the article it said that experts believed that is where Snowden is.  Maybe it's a mix up and that's the same as the hotel referenced, with the mini rooms.  I'm not sure.  I have my doubts that he's in Moscow.
Edward Snowden remains at Moscow airport as asylum offers arrive

“He can’t buy a ticket and travel anywhere until he gets a valid set of traveling documents,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “For this reason he was not on the list of passengers for a Havana-bound flight today and he hasn’t booked a seat for a Monday flight either.

"Snowden will be able to travel out of Russia as soon as Venezuela or Nicaragua equips him with some valid foreign travel ID now that they offered him asylum," the official added.

This is a very odd (and I suspect very complicated) story.  I would tend to think that ElBaradei in a leadership position would be a positive thing for Egypt.  But I also thought that he was connected with the Muslim Brotherhood at some point. I could be wrong on that.  In the mid 2000's, John Bolton tried to underine ElBaradei's reappointment for another term as the head of the IAEA, which in my view, is an endorsement.  He tried to stop the invasion of Iraq, favoring more time for weapons inspection, and refuted the evidence being presented by the Bush admin. Another endorsement, in my view.  He was a popular figure after Mubarak was tossed out and he decided not to pursue the top position, if I remember correctly.  Take all of this with a grain of salt.  I do not know enough about Egyptian politics to really even say anything about it.
Mohamed ElBaradei's appointment as Egypt's interim PM thrown into doubt
President's office contradicts earlier statement that leading liberal would head administration alongside Adly Mansour

Speculation had been rife for several days that ElBaradei would head the transitional government alongside the acting president, Adly Mansour.

But the presidential office backed away from an earlier announcement that the pro-reform leader would be installed.

Ahmed el-Musilamani, a spokesman for Mansour, told the media that consultations were continuing, denying that the appointment of the Nobel Peace laureate was ever certain.

This is truly amazing.  This  was recorded back in October.  I'd also love to meet his mom.
Egypt : The Next President
This 12 years old boy is just stunningly, incredibly smart. Listen to him as he excruciates the Muslim Brotherhood, relentlessly dissecting their power grab for Egypt.

This looks horrific.  This article has all the details of the various shootings.
65 Shot in Chicago in Wave of Holiday Weekend Violence

Eleven men were killed and at least 54 other people were wounded in shootings throughout the city so far this holiday weekend, including eight people who were shot in a west side attack Saturday.


Stop Watching Us.

The revelations about the National Security Agency's surveillance apparatus, if true, represent a stunning abuse of our basic rights. We demand the U.S. Congress reveal the full extent of the NSA's spying programs.

Massive Spying Program Exposed
Demand Answers Now (EFF petition)

Blog Posts and Tweets of Interest

The Evening Blues

More Tunes

Frank Sinatra - Brazil

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