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USA US govt secretly collecting data on millions of Verizon users: Report

Discussion in 'Breaking News' started by spnadmin, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    US govt secretly collecting data on millions of Verizon users: Report

    http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/ticket/...ng-data-millions-verizon-users-013542225.html

    Can you hear me now? Eep. The National Security Agency (NSA) has been collecting telephone records of millions of Verizon customers – right down to local call data – under a top-secret court order issued in April, Britain’s The Guardian newspaper reported late Wednesday. UPDATE: The Administration responds, defending a "critical tool" against terrorism and underlining that the government is not listening in on anyone's calls.

    Under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) order, the Guardian reported, Verizon Business Services must provide the NSA “on an ongoing daily basis” with information from calls between the U.S. and overseas – but also with calls entirely inside the United States. Calls made entirely overseas were not affected. It was unclear whether phones in other Verizon divisions -- its regular cell phone operations, for instance -- were similarly targeted.

    Guardian writer Glenn Greenwald, a frequent and fierce critic of the national security state’s expansion since 9-11, writes in his bombshell report that:

    The document shows for the first time that under the Obama administration the communication records of millions of US citizens are being collected indiscriminately and in bulk – regardless of whether they are suspected of any wrongdoing.

    The order, issued April 25 and valid through July 19, requires Verizon to turn over the numbers of both parties, location data, call duration, and other information – though not the contents of the calls.

    The White House initially declined comment, but a senior administration official defended the activities described the activities described in the Guardian piece without confirming the specific report.

    "On its face, the order reprinted in the article does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone's telephone calls," the official, who requested anonymity, said by email. "The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the name of any subscriber."

    And "information of the sort described in the Guardian article has been a critical tool in protecting the nation from terrorist threats to the United States, as it allows counterterrorism personnel to discover whether known or suspected terrorists have been in contact with other persons who may be engaged in terrorist activities, particularly people located inside the United States," the official said.

    Congress has been "regularly and fully briefed" on such practices, which occur under a "robust legal regime" and "strict controls and procedures...to ensure that they comply with the Constitution and laws of the United States and appropriately protect privacy and civil liberties," the official said.

    Judge Roger Vinson’s order relies on Section 215 of the PATRIOT Act. That part of the law, also known as the “business records provision,” permits FBI agents to seek a court order for “any tangible things (including books, records, papers, documents, and other items)” it deems relevant to an investigation.

    Democratic Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, who sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the way the government interprets that provision -- though he is sharply limited in what he can say about classified information. Wyden and Democratic Sen. Mark Udall of Colorado, another committee member, wrote a scathing letter to Attorney General Eric Holder in Sept. 2011 warning that Americans would be "stunned" if they learned what the government was doing.

    The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) denounced the scope of the surveillance. "It’s analogous to the FBI stationing an agent outside every home in the country to track who goes in and who comes out," said Jameel Jaffer, ACLU Deputy Legal Director. The organization's Legislative Counsel, Michelle Richardson, bluntly branded the surveillance "unconstitutional" and insisted that "the government should end it and disclose its full scope, and Congress should initiate a full investigation."

    And former vice president Al Gore, on Twitter, sharply condemned the government's actions:

    In digital era, privacy must be a priority. Is it just me, or is secret blanket surveillance obscenely outrageous?
     
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  3. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    A story from my childhood.

    [​IMG]

    This is big. Very, very big. People should be jumping up and down and screaming in the streets. I don't use Verizon. I have an Obamaphone (Virgin). Am I naive enough to believe that a phone given to me by the government has any privacy at all? Are you?

    BTW, politically I am a proud Left Wing Libtard not given to fantasies such as this.
     
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    #2 Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 9, 2013
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  4. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    well said,

    If there is an 'enemy' there is fear in the population. a population in fear is a population easy to control... our lives are made so busy and difficult that even if we become aware of what they are doing, we just don't have the energy to do anything about it...

    I may be crazy but i believe more and more people are 'awakening' into higher levels of consciousness...the 'truth' vibrations, people mediating on naam increasing day by day and the balance is slowly changing, and the truth is coming to the surface bit by bit.

    Just my thoughts :)
     
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  5. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    I totally agree; especially since 911,the government have done their best to keep the population scared of their own shadow. The people have willingly given up so much of their freedom because of fear that now they are apathetic.

    I hope you are right about the consciousness of naam rising.
     
  6. chazSingh

    chazSingh United Kingdom
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    the truth will always come to the surface...

    it's happening more and more now especially.
     
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  7. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    This is the first legal challenge to Verizon and to the Executive and Judicial branches of the US Government. Former Justice Department prosecutor Larry Klayma amended an existing civil suit seeking damages in US Federal Court, and lodged against Verizon, President Obama, Judge Vinson who is head of the FISC (secret court), and a variety of agencies within the US Government. The suit seeks relief for violations of the 1st, 4th and 5th amendments of the Bill of Rights of the US Constitution, and under several federal statues.

    The lead article is very interesting. This link takes you directly to the actual filing - a 25 page legal brief - enumerating all the alleged violations of law. It is exhaustive listing of how the recent request to Verizon, and Verizon's cooperation, may be cause for action. You get a sharp view into constitutional laws that are supposed to protect freedom of speech and association, freedom from self-incrimination (I was wondering why no news articles had mentioned that over the weekend) and unreasonable search and seizure.

    You have to scroll through the legal filing just as you would a document uploaded on Scribd.

    http://www.usnews.com/news/newsgram...ed-with-class-action-lawsuit-wednesday?page=2

    The article reports that a similar suit will be filed against 9 Internet companies, government officials as a result of the recent PRISM revelations.
     
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  8. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    I have read all 24 pages. It is like taking a university course on USA Constitutional law. I thought it would be boring. It isn't. I found it interesting and enlightening...and chilling.

    SLICE, SLICE...
     
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  9. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Thanks Inderjeet Kaur ji:

    Let's hope the members of Congress minus the 13 who are bringing a bill up this week also get a lesson in constitutional law. Congress created this Frankenstein.

    I am thinking how cleverly this filing was set up. It mentions 100 million possible plaintiffs - but of course has no way to name all these possible plaintiffs, because everything is a secret. However, all plaintiffs must be notified individually; the court must find out if they want to be part of the class action suit. There are 100 million possible plaintiffs because that is how many records Verizon turns over each day. It adds up to 100 million named queries.

    THEY MUST BE NOTIFIED BY NAME. If DOJ or Verizon refuses to name the records, then DOJ and Verizon would be standing in the way of plaintiffs' right to due process. Bottom line: they are effectively deprived of their right to appeal for redress of grievances; Yet another violation of the 1st Amendment.

    Even the case is dismissed, or parts of it are thrown out, the period of time during which preliminary arguments are heard will be an eye-opener on what has really been going on in terms of the details. Win or Lose - it's a win. Every time DOJ tries to block a line of legal inquiry that will only lead to more headlines.
     
    #8 spnadmin, Jun 12, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2013
  10. Inderjeet Kaur

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    There is too much cleverness by the dozens in this whole thing. Feint within feint within feint...And where it ends is with sausage all gone...and no government accountability of any kind.

    SLICE, SLICE.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    So you don't think Larry Klayman did a good job of setting the stage for accountability, even if it takes testimony in federal law suit to get there ?????????????
     
  12. Inderjeet Kaur

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    He set the stage, but I think we'll find the government will be writing the script.

    Or perhaps I just misspoke...as I often do.
     
    #11 Inderjeet Kaur, Jun 12, 2013
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  13. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Inderjeet ji

    Few here at SPN were optimistic when Pannun of Sikhs for Justice US joined with Phoolka of Sikhs for Justice India, and took Kamal Nath to Federal Court in New York City for his atrocities committed in India, during the Delhi genocide, as a functionary of the Indian Government.

    Protests of diplomatic immunity were not upheld by the court. One jurisdictional dispute was brought into play by attorneys for Mr. Nath; it in no way stood in the way of moving forward with the case. Interrogatories are nearly complete. The trial, according to Pannun, will probably move forward in September; Kamal Nath will be tried. Even if in absentia.

    In any court, the judge writes the script, not the executive branch. If that were not so, the Daniel Ellsberg's case would not have been thrown out of court- with government misconduct the given reason. If DOJ tries to gag the judge, the judge will decide who gets to gag whom.

    In addition to this filing, Klayman is bringing a second case to Federal Court - today - regarding PRISM. The ACLU has also announced an immediate filing in Federal Court under the 4th and 5th Amendments. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is currently pursuing 2 challenges to FISC unwillingness to disclose decisions. Five federal suits in less than a week, all related to telephone intercepts. This is not the end of court filings. And the public gets more reliable information this way than from listening to rants emerging from talking-head TV news interviews, and blogs on the political fringes.

    There is a difference between skepticism and pessimism. Pessimism doesn't give objectivity a chance. Chardi Kala will get us through this. p/s I know from personal experience (as a witness for a defendant), that Federal Courts must hear any case brought before it if the plaintiff claims his/her civil liberties were violated. Even when the entire case is based on hear-say.
     
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    #12 spnadmin, Jun 12, 2013
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  14. Inderjeet Kaur

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    You are absolutely correct. I have permitted myself to sink into pessimism about this whole matter. I have become overly frightened which is not worthy of a Sikh. I will pick myself up and jump back on the Guru's boat crossing the Terrifying World Ocean.

    Thanks.
     
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  15. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Geez! I get it! A lot of us are scared, including me. I keep getting this feeling that I am a character extra - Xpendible - in a political thriller, like Alias, MI5 or "24" - not a cool feeling.

    The enormity of this hit me when listening to Senator Hague (?) tell us all that if we haven't done anything wrong we have nothing to fear. Well that is one senator with a reading comprehension problem. And that is the way public opinion is turning this. The whole reason to be "scared" is that no warrant is needed to collect the metadata -- and metadata tells a big part of the story. NSA and the FBI don't even need to listen to conversations to put someone on watch list. All they need: patterns in the metadata. The metadata is archived indefinitely, meaning it is always available to analyze. It gets worse.

    Example from the net: How hard would it be to figure out- from the metadata - that a woman who calls her gynecologist, then her oncologist, then close family members might have cancer? Emphasis on the word MIGHT. Only a pattern and a MIGHT and you can be a candidate for the next step - the FISC order for a warrant to collect content -- which as a sitting duck, you would not even know had been issued. Because it is a secret.

    Chardi kala tells me that these court cases are going to blow all of this open and the public will eventually understand what Internet security officials in Europe figured out 2 days ago.
     
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    #14 spnadmin, Jun 12, 2013
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  16. Inderjeet Kaur

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    You are not a coward and I am not a coward and yet this poem, "The Coward," has been haunting me for 50 years. I think it fits here.

    1966 Peace Calendar

    Let us keep howling.
     
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  17. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Yeh! Howling actually does the trick but we have to be patient. Patient even with the dummkopfs who apparently have been napping, and won't like that howling has disturbed their snooze.

    I forgot something. Actually I disagree with the poem's point of view. Being afraid and being a coward are not the same thing. Sometimes cowards are cowards and are not afraid because they are veterans at playing their cards right.
     
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    #16 spnadmin, Jun 12, 2013
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  18. Inderjeet Kaur

    Inderjeet Kaur
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    I hope this isn't just a private conversation betwixt me and thee. We're saying good stuff that others could maybe learn something from.
     
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  19. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    Bhenjios,

    I agree with both of you, and can see your point crystal clear. However, I have to be honest, I have always felt that everything I say, everything I do, and everything I write is subject to potential analysis by someone, I would go as far as to say, even what I think, in terms of Creator.

    Do I care? No, I do not.

    I am not taking up an opposite position just to have an argument, its just that when youve lived your life constantly looking over your shoulder, when you lose your phone, and it fills you with dread, due to the telephone numbers and message content, and finally, one day, you 'go straight', what is there to be afraid of?

    I think it would be very niave, given the potential threats that we live in, for this not to be happening.

    I want to be indigant, I want to be angry, but I just cant seem to get worked up about this, its on a par, for me, that bears **** in the woods
     
    #18 Harry Haller, Jun 12, 2013
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  20. Harry Haller

    Harry Haller United Kingdom
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    having said that, my attitude does rather remind of the time Jeremy Clarkson published his bank account details.............

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2008/jan/07/personalfinancenews.scamsandfraud
     
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  21. spnadmin

    spnadmin United States
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    Harry

    Perhaps we are boring you. England does not have a Bill of Rights. So you can't lose what you never had.

    The English "constitution" quite different from that of the US is a collection of laws. Nor does it contain separation of legislative from executive powers, where the parliament is supposed to keep its eye peeled on executive branch. Parliament and the executive in UK are one and the same.

    Unlike the US, in the UK parliament can change the "constitution" by simply changing the laws.

    Hence, "No Act of Parliament can be unconstitutional, for the law of the land knows not the word or the idea."

    The US unlike UK does not have an Official Secrets Act. Or did not have one until Congress decided to take a nap.
     
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    #20 spnadmin, Jun 12, 2013
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