March 22, 2012
By Kurt Nimmo
“Another government bureaucrat is caught lying to the people – shocking!” –KTRN
Once again, another government bureaucrat, this time the boss of the all-power National Security Agency, has taken us for idiots.
General Keith Alexander, who insists hackers can take down power grids not hooked up to the internet, recently told Congress the NSA does not have the ability to look at your email.
And there is a bridge in Brooklyn we’d like to sell you.
Here’s what Alexander told Congress:
“NSA does not have the ability to do that (spy on citizen emails) in the United States….We don’t have the technical insights in the United States. In other words, you have to have something to intercept, or some way of doing that either by going to a service provider with a warrant or you have to be collecting in that area. We’re not authorized to do that, nor do we have the equipment in the United States to collect that kind of information.”
I guess Mr. Alexander did not see the report issued by the European Parliament back in 2001 about the NSA’s Echelon. Not only can they intercept and read your email, but also your telephone calls, fax, and other data.
Then there was the AT&T employee Mark Klein. He revealed a few years ago that his company was in cahoots with the NSA and they were vacuuming up enormous amounts of data from the internet.
February 8, 2012
By Trevor Timm
“We should be just as concerned with the US government using spy gear as an ‘authoritarian regime.’ There really isn’t much of a difference.” –KTRN
On Wednesday, EFF will give recommendations to the European Parliament for how to combat one of the most troubling problems facing democracy activists around the world: the fact that European and American companies are providing key surveillance technology to authoritarian governments that is then being used to aid repression.
Recent reports by the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News have exposed the shadowy but growing industry that sells electronic spy gear to governments known for violating human rights. The technology’s reach is very broad: governments can listen in on cell phone calls, use voice recognition to scan mobile networks, read emails and text messages, censor web pages, track one’s every movement using GPS, and can even change email contents while en route to a recipient. Some tools are installed using the same type of malicious malware and spyware used by online criminals to steal credit card and banking information. They can secretly turn on webcams built into personal laptops and microphones in unused cell phones. And all of this information is filtered and organized on such a massive scale that it can be used to spy on every person in an entire country.
Ordinary citizens, journalists, human rights campaigners and democracy advocates have all been targeted, eviscerating privacy rights and chilling free speech. Ample evidence suggests information acquired through this spy gear appears has played a role in the harassment, threats, and even torture of journalists, human rights campaigners, and democracy activists. Yet dozens of companies from the U.S. and E.U continue to sell this technology, including to authoritarian regimes. The market for surveillance equipment has grown to a staggering $5 billion a year.
Dutch member of the EU Parliament Marietje Schaake has been trying to spearhead an effort to curb sales of this type of technology to repressive regimes. In September, the EU parliament passed a resolution proposed by Ms. Schaake which called on European countries to regulate sales of this dangerous surveillance tools if they can be used in human rights violations. She has also asked the European Commission to investigate sales by these companies to the governments of Bahrain, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt. On Wednesday, EFF will be testifying at a workshop for Committee of International Trade and Committee on Foreign Affairs, co-chaired by Ms. Schaake. Here is part of what we will say: