Join 3,517 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Snowden documents shed light on Shiban, Akbar, and Trojanov cases
October 1, 2013 6:22 PM   Subscribe

New documents released by Glenn Greenwald from trove leaked by Edward Snowden show that the agency officially viewed arguments about 'due process' to be an 'adversary propaganda theme', listed alongside military threats to drones.

“The ACLU and Center for Constitutional Rights, among many other groups, made exactly the "due process" argument against the U.S. drone targeted killing program.”

“The section on 'adversary propaganda themes' includes virtually every one of the arguments most frequently made in the US against the US drone policy, including that the threat of terrorism is small when compared to other threats, that drone strikes intensify rather than curb the risk of terrorism by fueling anti-American animus, and that drones kill too many civilians.”

Greenwald released the documents to explain the U.K.'s detention under "anti-terrorism" law of Reprieve anti-drone activist Baraa Shiban last week. UK official had said they detained Shiban “because of Reprieve's work investigating and criticising the efficacy of US drone strikes in [Yemen].”

On the American side, the Obama administration has repeatedly denied a visa to Shahzad Akbar, a Pakistani lawyer with Reprieve, who represents family members of victims killed by US drones in lawsuits. Reprieve observed the most recent refusal “prevented [Akbar] from speaking in congress on the CIA drone programme”, about which House members had invited him to testify. “Before 2010 Mr Akbar travelled regularly to the US. It was not until 2011, when he began representing victims of CIA drone strikes, that Mr Akbar began having significant difficulty getting a US visa.”

On Monday, German author Ilija Trojanov was denied travel from Brazil to a conference in Denver by U.S. authorities, apparently due to his vocal criticism of the NSA. 'Trojanov was [a] leading figure behind an open letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel .. about the NSA scandal', which described the NSA's mass spying in Germany as a “historic attack on our democratic, constitutional state.”

Related : Reddit AMA with Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson of the Guardian US.
posted by jeffburdges (80 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
I wonder if the NSA has also figured out a way to break codes by kicking puppies. Sheesh guys, you're starting to look like cartoon characters. (The NSA, that is.)

(It would probably be useful if "the agency" were identified in the above-the-fold FPP. I'm assuming it's the NSA here.)
posted by JHarris at 6:28 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The NSA doubles down. Of course, it is one of the "essential" agencies unaffected by the Federal Shutdown... and they'll have so much more to do when they declare the people losing jobs or needed benefits as "domestic terrorists".
posted by oneswellfoop at 6:37 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


It seemed the NSA largely shut up a couple weeks ago because Greenwald kept exposing their statements as lies. I'm therefore please by his new tact of using Snowden's documents to shed light on other news stories, if only by exposing the underlying "thought processes."

There is an unrelated Snowden document story by the Guardian's James Ball about the NSA's Marina program, which stores most metadata for up to a year, which gets extremely interesting. I'd imagine more technical will come along now that Bruce Schneier is helping the Guardian newspaper review Snowden documents though. Also, Greenwald has a useful round up of recent NSA stories around the world.
posted by jeffburdges at 6:41 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is another interesting story around Qwest CEO Joseph Nacchio who went to prison for insider trading, but always maintained that he was prosecuted for "refusing to break the law on the NSA's behalf." Apparently Nacchio has gotten out of prison and claims he feels ‘vindicated’ by Snowden leaks.

"Nacchio was convicted of selling of Qwest stock in early 2001, not long before the company hit financial troubles. However, he claimed in court documents that he was optimistic about the firm's ability to win classified government contracts — something they'd succeeded at in the past. And according to his timeline, in February 2001 — some six months before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — he was approached by the NSA and asked to spy on customers during a meeting he thought was about a different contract. He reportedly refused because his lawyers believed such an action would be illegal and the NSA wouldn't go through the FISA Court. And then, he says, unrelated government contracts started to disappear."

Any idea if Trojanov was involved in organizing those big anti-NSA protest in Germany too?
posted by jeffburdges at 6:46 PM on October 1, 2013 [9 favorites]


The only reason there's outrage here is because Greenwald's selling this one slide to put in NSA's mouth "If you mention due process, you're an adversary", whereas if you frame it as "adversaries who are under threat of drone strikes bring up due process arguments to deter attacks", then it sounds pretty obvious and uninteresting. Just look at the document; it's pretty clear in discussing claims made by the Taliban and the government of Pakistan, not the ACLU.

The section on 'adversary propaganda themes' includes virtually every one of the arguments most frequently made in the US against the US drone policy

Obviously the people who are threatened by drone strikes are going to use the same arguments as everyone else. What the hell did anyone expect?
posted by kiltedtaco at 6:51 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am having some trouble with this stuff. How does the NSA figure into holding those people or refusing them entry...We learn via Snowden that one needs top secret clearance to edit stuff etc., but what is the connection to what gets done and by whom it gets done. Is the point being made that NSA feeds direct information about potential annoying people to those who will be in a position to keep them out of the country? if so, I do not see this point clearly made.
posted by Postroad at 6:57 PM on October 1, 2013


kiltedtaco, we obviously bifurcate on how we perceive reality. I see the generic term "citizen" in the same sentence as "space weather" regarding what is perceived as a threat to UAVs. I do not take comfort that Pakistanis and Taliban are mentioned in the same breath as "legitimate social agendas."
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:58 PM on October 1, 2013


Holy crap. We hacked the Belgian telco? That was kept awful quiet in the UK media. Unless I was asleep or something?
posted by cromagnon at 6:58 PM on October 1, 2013


Wrong, kiltedtaco. All the outrage is over the detention of and denying travel to activists, lawyers, and authors who they find inconvenient.

These documents demonstrate that said detentions, etc. occur, not because a few bad apples slip your name onto some list, and nobody takes it off, but because those in charge actively build a culture that views dissent as enemy propaganda.

In reality, there is absolutely nothing wrong with people threatened by drone strikes making the same arguments as everyone else. Our military should not lump reasoned arguments that one employs in civil society in with attacks on hardware or personnel.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:01 PM on October 1, 2013 [29 favorites]


While this is, as usual, horrifying on the part of the NSA, it can also be taken as slightly comforting. Sober men and women, high up the security clearance chain and privy to information you or I can only guess at, regard holding the opinion that drones are a bad idea as a legitimate threat to drone programs.

They might very well be wrong, although they've got a better chance of knowing more about this than I do. But it implies killer flying robots are actually pretty vulnerable to public opinion if it ever turns against them sufficiently. That's good news.
posted by figurant at 7:02 PM on October 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


"The only reason there's outrage here is because Greenwald's selling this one slide to put in NSA's mouth "If you mention due process, you're an adversary", whereas if you frame it as "adversaries who are under threat of drone strikes bring up due process arguments to deter attacks", then it sounds pretty obvious and uninteresting. "

Counterpoint:

I complain pretty regularly about the way that Glenn Greenwald phrases his attacks on the U.S. government, and his priorities. But here, that "adversaries who are under threat of drone strikes bring up due process arguments to deter attacks" is obvious and uninteresting is a function of desensitization, not legitimacy. The broader implication would be a mindset that preemptively describes arguments based on due process and propaganda is not giving those arguments the deference they deserve. Due process is important, especially given the oft-repeated description of anti-terrorism as police, rather than military, action. Obama, Kerry and Richard Clarke have all framed anti-terrorism efforts in those term, arguing they're the most effective.

A big part of why police actions are legitimate is because of that due process. There will always be people who would describe any U.S. action as illegitimate, but most people are able to reasonably distinguish, and it's based on criteria like due process. If someone is tried and convicted based on strong, public evidence, that's less likely to stir up reprisals or feelings of oppression.

The other point that's worth noting is that the NSA does not want for adversaries; adversaries is an incredibly broad term, which would likely include people like Glenn Greenwald, or Greenwald's husband. And complaints about that specific due process, that of naming Greenwald an adversary, are also preemptively framed as propaganda.

So it adds up to these being publicly illegitimate acts of force, and that's coming from an American who probably gives the U.S. too much benefit of the doubt sometimes.

Fighting terrorism is something that benefits everyone, not just the U.S., and thus there's an important responsibility to do so in a legitimate way based on more than just what the NSA says is legitimate.
posted by klangklangston at 7:08 PM on October 1, 2013 [17 favorites]


Meta as a result of this, but only in a good way, about posting great AMAs in general. In case anyone's interested.
posted by nevercalm at 7:10 PM on October 1, 2013


Reddit AMA with Glenn Greenwald and Janine Gibson in an easier to read format.
posted by Carius at 7:18 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Finally, because use of UAVs garners public attention and creates a perception of new technology and unprecedented capability, propagandists and citizens with legitimate social agendas may employ legal and media venues in such a way that UAV operations could be brought under increased scrutiny, perceived to be illegitimate, openly resisted or undermined."
It really doesn't seem a stretch that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism or the ACLU might be included under the banner of "propagandists and citizens with legitimate social agendas" here.
"Attacks against American and European persons who have become violent extremists are often criticized by propagandists, arguing that lethal action against these individuals deprives them of due process"
I don't think this is referring to Pakistan and the Taliban. They've got bigger objections to drones than the rights of American and European citizens.

It's troubling how anti-democratic this is. They're basically saying that public opinion and the normal channels of political opposition are threats. "Either with us, or with the terrorists," indeed. What's especially weird is that this is apparently coming from the NSA.. I was under the impression that the drones were mostly a CIA concern; Historically there's been some antagonism between the two agencies, but it appears the CIA and NSA are working more closely now.
posted by Wemmick at 7:24 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


Drone activist, dead at 24.

NSA involved in assassination program
posted by empath at 7:25 PM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


There's also this which came out recently:

N.S.A. Gathers Data on Social Connections of U.S. Citizens

But I'm sure this is all being done with the best of intentions and for perfectly legal and justifiable reasons.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:44 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I'd imagine this 'adversary propaganda theme' either came down from the Pentagon or DHS, or else traveled horizontally from John Brennan to Keith Alexander, or their immediate yes men, Wemmick.

Agencies like the CIA are partially viewed as "customers" by the NSA. So the NSA would answer CIA requests for information about people who argue that "the threat of terrorism is small when compared to other threats". Although the NSA might adjust the answer to limit the CIA analyst's knowledge of the NSA's actual capacities.

A priori, I'd assume the CIA placed Akbar on whatever list prevents him from visiting the U.S. to testify about our drone killings, after all the CIA owned the drone program.

Afaik, we've no clue whether Ilija Trojanov was placed onto a no-fly list by CIA, NSA, Pentagon, DHS, State Dept., etc. request, but certainly the CIA and State Dept. might consider him more interesting than the NSA given his focus on Germany.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:56 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


jeffburdges: "Agencies like the CIA are partially viewed as "customers" by the NSA. So the NSA would answer CIA requests for information about people who argue that "the threat of terrorism is small when compared to other threats". Although the NSA might adjust the answer to limit the CIA analyst's knowledge of the NSA's actual capacities."

Hmm, I was interpreting the document Greenwald supplied as part of a larger operational/PR discussion. We don't have the whole thing, but I don't get the impression that it's a guide to surveillance selectors for drone strike opponents. The mention of air defense threats, terrestrial weather and space weather at the beginning seem outside the NSA's usual SIGINT role.
posted by Wemmick at 8:15 PM on October 1, 2013


I want you to read this sentence until your eyes bleed, and then read it again:

Attacks against American and European persons who have become violent extremists are often criticized by propagandists, arguing that legal action against these individuals deprives them of due process.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 8:16 PM on October 1, 2013 [7 favorites]


Attacks against American and European persons who have become violent extremists are often criticized by propagandists, arguing that legal action against these individuals deprives them of due process.

Due process is so last century. The more that comes out about our fucked up government the more I'm leaning towards going dark. I have a family to worry about now. The brown shirts have already won and they didn't even have to use any jackboots. Just fear, intimidation, and the digital panopticon.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:35 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


So it's official, we can't say bad things about the robots, can we?
(Once again The Onion calls it)
posted by furtive at 8:56 PM on October 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seemed the NSA largely shut up a couple weeks ago because Greenwald kept exposing their statements as lies.

They've actually been pretty busy planting stories in the NYT about how we need secrecy to keep Al Qaeda from killing us 9/11-style all over again. It is one more depressing sign about how corrupt our media are, that we have to get these exposes from non-US media.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:59 PM on October 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Attacks against American and European persons who have become violent extremists are often criticized by propagandists, arguing that legal action against these individuals deprives them of due process.

It is legal to deprive people of due process. It's so legal that one might call it extra-legal.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:14 PM on October 1, 2013 [11 favorites]


They've actually been pretty busy planting stories in the NYT about how we need secrecy to keep Al Qaeda from killing us 9/11-style all over again. It is one more depressing sign about how corrupt our media are, that we have to get these exposes from non-US media.

I've been saying for a very long time that all Americans need to be far, far more cynical. And not routinized, systemically cynical. If you just can't understand why the US is doing something for the life of you, plumb further the depths of your cynicality.
posted by nevercalm at 9:40 PM on October 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


The more that comes out about our fucked up government the more I'm leaning towards going dark.

I've thought long and hard about this.

It seems to me that the best possible outcome of the NSA's social graph analysis programs is for those running it to find out that everybody objects to the way they currently do business.

Going dark cuts two ways. While it might make you a tiny bit harder to surveil, it also puts you in a minority automatically more worthy of surveillance: if he has nothing to hide, why is he hiding? And although it might offer a little temporary peace of mind in that it reduces the amount of surveillance one is immediately subject to, it incrementally empowers any actual fascism that might exist inside the NSA by reducing the visibility of objections to that.

The folks in charge at the NSA are not stupid. They know that behaving objectionably is objectionable, that people generally are going to object to objectionable behavior, and that targeting people who spend effort pointing that out is itself objectionable.

So while the TLAs do indeed work against genuine security for Americans in countless self-serving ways, I think there's a fundamental difference between their place in American society and the place of something like the Stasi in East Germany. Self-serving power elites in America have got to where they are now by manufacturing consent, not by simple exertion of control. And they're doing well enough out of the status quo to want to avoid screwing it up by staging a putsch.

It seems to me that the only way this is ever going to change is if the executive branch of government reins these people in, and the only way that's ever going to happen is if enough people believe that the government is actually capable of doing that to elect one that does. And as long as the Tea Party loons remain in a position to continue to fuck up the US government, this is unlikely to happen.

So if you want to wind back the influence of the TLAs, I don't think taking them on directly is effort well spent. I think you need to take a step back, look at the condition of the body politic in which these political crab lice thrive, and work to improve its personal hygiene. You need to get to a point where you're being represented by people who would look at a bill containing provisions like the NSL gag order and laugh it out of consideration without needing to be pressured to.
posted by flabdablet at 10:07 PM on October 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


You know, I bet by monitoring social media and web traffic, the NSA could build a firearms registry without actually having to have anyone register their firearms.

Maybe Rand Paul can threaten to defund the government over that.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 PM on October 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


to find out that everybody objects to the way they currently do business.

But not everyone does. In fact a very vocal cadre right here on the blue thinks it's A-OK. That's the scary part to me is when you have citizens self policing and propagating the governments own propaganda for them. I guess that goes back to Chomsky and Herman's idea of manufacturing consent which you referenced. It's even more personally insidious when I find myself thinking of self censorship. I just don't know anymore.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 11:02 PM on October 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


There's an ongoing tension between the self-interested power abuses perpetrated by the TLAs and the willingness of the truly courageous people who make up organizations like the ACLU and the EFF to keep doing what they do. It's fairly obvious that the TLAs would prefer their more vocal critics to be less so, and that continued pressure will be applied to shut them up and keep them busy - but as things stand at present, that pressure has to remain subtle and selective enough to avoid drawing major public attention.

For people like Daniel Ellsberg, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden, who are prepared to risk their liberty for the sake of preserving it for the rest of us, I have nothing but admiration. It's because of their efforts that public assertion of a preference for less surveillance, and for law-abiding behaviour from law enforcement agencies, and for non-outrageous law from lawmakers, remains safe - as does arguing calmly and well in favour of these things when presented with views opposed to them.

Failure to do even those minimal things, in my view, is simply disrespectful. Abuses of power will need to be identified, pointed out and objected to for as long as they exist - and they will always exist, because that's what power does.

If we don't want to live in a total police state, we will always need to keep reminding those who seem to be steering us in that direction that fundamental liberty underpins their comfort as much as anybody else's; it's really the only environment within which the manufacture of genuine consent, and hence the minimization of expensive and dangerous civil unrest, can be sustained.
posted by flabdablet at 12:00 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Edward Snowden shortlisted for EU's Sakharov prize ; 'Pardon Snowden' Petition Still Unanswered

Abuse Without Oversight ; Obama spy panel is loaded with insiders

FBI Wants More Than $270,000 To Respond To FOIA Request About Booz Allen
posted by jeffburdges at 1:59 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


An interesting comment in the Reddit AMA:
Michael McConnell went back and forth between Booz Allen leadership and US government leadership roles:
  • Director of NSA, 1992–1996
  • Senior Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton, 1996–2006
  • Director of National Intelligence, 2007–2009
  • Executive Vice President Booz Allen Hamilton, 2009–2012
In both his government and private roles, he advocated for privatization of national security, and was one of the voices encouraging Congress to retroactively make the telecoms immune from criminal and civil suits after their rampant lawbreaking related to their participation in warrantless wiretapping programs.

posted by Joe in Australia at 2:33 AM on October 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


It is legal to deprive people of due process.

It is the only way to kill them legally AND indiscriminately.
posted by hat_eater at 5:22 AM on October 2, 2013


Apropos of almost nothing:
Q:What condiment does a cryptanalyst put on a sandwich instead of salad dressing?
A:Diffie Hellman's!
posted by eclectist at 7:13 AM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another story I would've loved to include in the original post :
Former DHS Chief Privacy Officer Recounts How She Was Regularly Called A 'Terrorist' By The Intelligence Community
posted by jeffburdges at 7:44 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


Obviously the people who are threatened by drone strikes are going to use the same arguments as everyone else. What the hell did anyone expect?

Arguments against the morality of drone strikes don't magically become nefarious disingenuous propaganda when our enemies repeat them. Due process isn't a stumbling block in the way of justice when a guilty man demands it. Due process is justice.
posted by straight at 8:33 AM on October 2, 2013 [7 favorites]


What the hell did anyone expect?

A trial? due process? That's usually what democracies do. But it is becoming increasingly apparent, at least to me, that we don't really live in a functioning democracy anymore.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is some information about Ilja Trojanow's case at slashdot, including the letter to Merkel (en), but no comment on the protests.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:30 AM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


flabdablet: It seems to me that the best possible outcome of the NSA's social graph analysis programs is for those running it to find out that everybody objects to the way they currently do business.

Downside: Most people are not brave enough to do take physical action in real life to stop them.
posted by anemone of the state at 10:13 AM on October 2, 2013


The Reddit AMA is spectacular. The answer I liked best was the question regarding his own encryption:

We use highly advanced means of encryption.

Remember, the only ones whose op sec has proven horrible and who has lost control of huge numbers of documents is the NSA and GCHQ.

We have lost control of nothing. All of the documents we have remain secure.

posted by bukvich at 1:49 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm wonder about Trojanov's Brazil trip, if Miranda was carrying unused symmetric keys, or one-time pads, that got seized, then maybe Trojanov carried replacements. Why might Greenwald need symmetric keys or one-time pads? It might help him collaborate on larger projects like documentaries over the internet without granting the NSA months of lead-time for their PR efforts.

Reddit's AMA says they're not worried about helping the NSA dig itself a bigger hole, which I believe simply because Greenwald seems trustworthy. You might want to avoid giving them any lead-time with a project that takes months though.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:17 PM on October 2, 2013


Yes, The NSA Tracked Mobile Phone Locations, Despite Previous Semi-Denials
Original source : N.S.A. Experiment Traced U.S. Cellphone Locations
posted by jeffburdges at 2:28 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Edward Snowden’s E-Mail Provider Defied FBI Demands to Turn Over Crypto Keys
via Lavabit Details Unsealed: Refused To Hand Over Private SSL Key Despite Court Order & Daily Fines
posted by jeffburdges at 4:34 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The end of the NYT article on cellphone location tracking makes a good point:
It is legally unclear whether long-term tracking of people’s locations and movements by the government raises privacy rights under the Fourth Amendment. [...]
But in 2012, the court ruled that the police’s use of a G.P.S. tracker attached to a suspect’s car violated Fourth Amendment privacy rights. The case turned on the fact that the police had to trespass on the suspect’s property to attach the device, but five justices separately suggested that any long-term, automated collection of a person’s public movements might raise Fourth Amendment issues.
So there's a substantial body of feeling in the Supreme Court that the NSA's actions were in breach of the Constitution of the USA. The interesting thing is that the Supreme Court's case concerned an individual; nobody else would have had standing to sue. This pilot program would have affected tens of millions of people; would they all have standing? IANAL and I'd love to get an answer on that. But that is only the thin end of the wedge: if people have an expectation of privacy in their public movement then why shouldn't they have one in their public actions? If the government needs a warrant to stalk someone in the real world, why would it not need a warrant to do so online? And if unwarranted surveillance of an individual is illegal, it is necessarily illegal when applied to the whole population.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:07 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm extremely pleased serverless messaging applications like BitTorrent Chat have started appearing after the NSA fiasco, but do NOT their claims about being 'NSA-proof'.

Related : You broke the Internet. We're making ourselves a GNU one.
posted by jeffburdges at 5:45 PM on October 2, 2013


An administration official attempted to bolster the NSA's image by leaking that they eves dropped on Ayman al-Zawahri and Nasser al-Wuhayshi, but that eves dropping bore no relation to their domestic or European spying anyways, and now the NSA fears that leak caused more damage than all of Snowden's leaks combined.  LOL

"The Guardian is currently sitting on several stories because GCHQ and the White House have asked them to do so. What cowards."
posted by jeffburdges at 6:21 PM on October 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Drone activist, dead at 24.

Here's a piece Mothana wrote last year: How Drones Help Al Qaeda
posted by homunculus at 7:43 PM on October 2, 2013


Dust: A Blocking-Resistant Internet Transport Protocol
posted by flabdablet at 9:19 PM on October 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I remain convinced that the folks in charge of the TLAs are not stupid. But they sure as hell have some complete fuckwits working for them.
posted by flabdablet at 9:32 PM on October 2, 2013


Turfing apostate magicians out of the Magic Circle
posted by flabdablet at 9:43 PM on October 2, 2013


Amusing : NSA director admits to misleading public on terror plots
Previously : How Many Lies Can A Politician Stuff Into A Single Sentence About NSA Surveillance?
Summery : The NSA only played any role in 13 domestic terrorism related cases, mostly monetary donation cases, but their information wasn't particularly important in 12 cases. The NSA still claims they actually helped with the Zazi case, but that claim appears false as well.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:09 AM on October 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


NSA Storing Internet Data, Social Networking Data, on Pretty Much Everybody
posted by jeffburdges at 1:17 AM on October 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Lavabit legal update posted to Ladar Levison's facebook (see wired article upthread too)
posted by jeffburdges at 11:45 AM on October 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Back in the USSR: The Sovietization of American Life

Pen Center points out, "Mr. Trojanov is at least the third member of one of our international affiliates who has been barred from entering the United States since September 2001" on ideological grounds
posted by jeffburdges at 6:38 AM on October 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cabinet was told nothing about GCHQ spying programmes, says Chris Huhne
posted by jeffburdges at 1:27 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Since Snowden Leaks, NSA's FOIA Requests Are Up 1,000 Percent
posted by jeffburdges at 2:29 PM on October 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Schneier : How the NSA Attacks Tor/Firefox Users With QUANTUM and FOXACID
posted by jeffburdges at 3:28 PM on October 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Brazil has demanded clarifications from the Canadian government about allegations that its spies targeted Brazil's mines and energy ministry, in what the Brazilian president, Dilma Rousseff, said appeared to be an act of industrial espionage.
posted by adamvasco at 7:54 AM on October 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is the NSA's Data Center Melting Down Because It's Spying Too Much?
posted by jeffburdges at 10:32 AM on October 8, 2013


Rep. Amash: Intelligence committees continue to undermine oversight (via)
posted by jeffburdges at 5:13 AM on October 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


More Examples Of How The House Intelligence Committee Limits Oversight, Rather Than Does Oversight
posted by jeffburdges at 2:47 PM on October 12, 2013


Snowden previously worked for the C.I.A.
posted by jeffburdges at 2:58 PM on October 12, 2013


Feds Begged Washington Post Reporter Not To Name Companies In PRISM, Because It Worried They'd Stop Cooperating
posted by jeffburdges at 2:59 PM on October 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


DoJ: If we can track one American, we can track all Americans

"Seven months after his conviction, Basaaly Moalin's defense attorney moved for a new trial, arguing that evidence collected about him under the government's recently disclosed dragnet telephone surveillance program violated his constitutional and statutory rights. ... The government's response, filed on September 30th, is a heavily redacted opposition arguing that when law enforcement can monitor one person's information without a warrant, it can monitor everyone's information, 'regardless of the collection's expanse.' Notably, the government is also arguing that no one other than the company that provided the information — including the defendant in this case — has the right to challenge this disclosure in court."
posted by jeffburdges at 3:14 AM on October 15, 2013


Linux RNG May Be Insecure After All
posted by jeffburdges at 3:15 AM on October 15, 2013


Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't There More Public Outrage About NSA Revelations?

I'd imagine Greenwald, et al. released the simplest revelations early, now many shocking revelations remain, but they're all too subtle for the public. Tor's effectiveness was already much too subtle.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:27 PM on October 15, 2013


Why I Will Never, Ever, Go Back to the United States
posted by jeffburdges at 1:33 AM on October 16, 2013


Huh, I didn't expect this, although I suppose I can understand it:

Glenn Greenwald announces departure from the Guardian
Journalist who broke stories about widespread NSA surveillance leaving to pursue 'once-in-a-career journalistic opportunity'
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:03 AM on October 16, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oooh, interesting! What could it be?
posted by JHarris at 2:23 AM on October 16, 2013


A Court Order is an Insider Attack

"Commentators on the Lavabit case, including the judge himself, have criticized Lavabit for designing its system in a way that resisted court-ordered access to user data. They ask: If court orders are legitimate, why should we allow engineers to design services that protect users against court-ordered access?"
"The answer is simple but subtle: There are good reasons to protect against insider attacks, and a court order is an insider attack."

posted by jeffburdges at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


This article says that Greenwald is joining "a new media venture funded by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar". Something else I read pointed out that not all his current stories were appearing in The Guardian, which has been under intense pressure from the UK/US governments. It could be more convenient for both parties to have a divorce.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:29 PM on October 16, 2013 [2 favorites]


How The Government Blocked [Adi Shamir] From Attending Its Own Cryptology Symposium
Juat shocking. Shamir is a crypto god.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:59 AM on October 17, 2013


Wow. That's the same level of self-destructive stupidity as this sequestering nonsense. Here's the talk that he's going to give at MIT instead: DISSECTION: A NEW PARADIGM FOR SOLVING BICOMPOSITE SEARCH PROBLEMS

If it's as substantial as it sounds - and Shamir is very, very bright - then it could be revolutionary.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:30 AM on October 17, 2013


UN rapporteur Christof Heyns condemns use of drone strikes: Law professor's study says strikes for 'policing' harm global security and spur proliferation among states and terrorists
posted by homunculus at 1:34 PM on October 18, 2013


Wapo: Documents reveal NSA’s extensive involvement in targeted killing program; and during a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers according to this internal presentation.
posted by adamvasco at 3:29 PM on October 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


WikiLeaks Cables About Iceland Expose Dark Depths of American Empire
posted by jeffburdges at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


Another article along the insider attack lines :
Dutch Telcos Used Customer Metadata, Retained To Fight Terrorism, For Everyday Marketing Purposes
posted by jeffburdges at 1:34 PM on October 21, 2013


I think this must be the paper that Shamir presented:

I. Dinur, O. Dunkelman, N. Keller, and A.Shamir, Dissection: A new paradigm for solving bicomposite search problems, Communications of the ACM, to appear.

I'm still reading through it, and I'm not a mathematician, but it shows how to dramatically reduce the number of steps needed to solve some problems by trading storage space and time in intelligent ways. In other words, instead of needing either an enormously large rainbow table or an infeasibly-great number of calculations, you can use a compromise between them which will be actually practical; and you can even use the partial results you get from your rainbow table to further reduce the number of calculations.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:52 PM on October 21, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Congress will consider modifying the Patriot Act in the coming weeks. The type of bill that is passed will determine the extent of government surveillance for decades. This means the fight for real, meaningful reform is gearing up. It's time to end ineffective bulk collection and stand-up for privacy." - Ron Wyden
posted by jeffburdges at 12:11 PM on October 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


The TSA is now searching your personal records before you get to the airport
posted by jeffburdges at 5:53 PM on October 24, 2013


That's been happening for some years with overseas visitors: even travellers from countries like Australia (who can in theory receive a US "visa on arrival") must pay to register their details with US immigration before their flight. I can only presume that this is to allow background checks, because all it does is tie the traveller's name and passport number to things like phone numbers and email addresses.
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:05 PM on October 24, 2013


Crowdsourcing Journalistic Pressure On Congress To Get Answers About DHS's Treatment Of US Citizens At The Border
posted by jeffburdges at 6:39 AM on October 29, 2013


« Older "After all I had gone through, I couldn’t believe ...  |  "These punks tricked me! They ... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments