NSA doc shows US email surveillance continued despite program ending


Although the US government says an NSA program collecting email records of Americans was shut down in December 2011, it is likely the practice still continued, according to documents obtained by the New York Times under the Freedom of Information Act.

Edward Snowden’s leaks first revealed the National Security Agency’s email metadata program to the public, but it was played down compared to other surveillance programs when US officials claimed the email program was dropped in December 2011 for “operational and resource reasons.”

The newly released January 2007 NSA Inspector General report shows that, indeed, other operations or resources were used to replace the NSA’s program. However, the replacement system came under much less scrutiny from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC), while also circumventing telecommunications companies.


“Other authorities can satisfy certain foreign intelligence requirements that the PRTT program was designed to meet,” the NSA IG report reads, referring to the Pen Register and Trap and Trace program, as it had been called, which was authorized by Section 402 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.

FISC had secretly authorized PRTT in 2004, but eventually placed limitations on the program, according to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Upon approval from a court order, the database could be accessed using something like an email address as a search target, if it was relevant to an FBI counterterrorism investigation, and if reasonable and articulable suspicion was written down by the analyst.

Moreover, if the email address could reasonably be believed to belong to a US person, the NSA Office of General Counsel would look to make sure the suspected connection to the investigation was not entirely based on First Amendment protected activity.


Citing Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, which covers surveillance gathered domestically when the target is a noncitizen outside the US, and the Special Procedures Governing Communications Metadata Analysis (SPCMA) under Executive Order (EO) 12333, which authorizes collection of Americans’ data even when they’re not targets, the NSA IG report outlines how the bulk email metadata collection is still lawful.

By simply using fiber optic internet cables outside the US, the NSA can still obtain domestic email data, and the FISC hardly enters into the equation.


Federal judge orders NSA to halt phone surveillance program

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A federal judge has ruled against the NSA’s controversial collection of Americans’ phone records. The program was set to expire by the end of the month, but the ruling is considered a victory for civil liberties because it sets a legal precedent.

In his ruling on Monday, Judge Richard Leon of the US District Court reiterated his assertion that the NSA’s program“likely violates the Construction” and said that “the loss of constitutional freedoms for even one day is a significant harm.”

In doing so, he sided with conservative legal activist Larry Klayman, whose clients had sued the NSA over its data collection following the revelations of whistleblower of Edward Snowden in 2013.

“This court simply cannot, and will not, allow the government to trump the Constitution merely because it suits the exigencies of the moment,’’ Leon wrote in his 43-page decision.

Klayman said that winning the case is a “tremendous victory for the American people.” He added that Leon is one of the few judges in the country who “has the guts to stand in the breach for the American people during a period of time where their government is running roughshod over them.”

Klayman also said that he will continue the fight and seek monetary damages from the government.

READ MORE: Federal judge says NSA’s phone surveillance program is likely unconstitutional

It’s not clear whether the Department of Justice, which had argued the case, will quickly appeal the new ruling.

The government is reviewing the decision,” spokeswoman Nicole Navas told US News and World Report in an email.

Monday’s ruling comes almost two years after Judge Leon made a similar decision, calling the mass record collection program “almost Orwellian,” and only 20 days before the program is expected to end due to the Congress passing the USA Freedom Act in June.

The USA Freedom Act will shift the responsibility of collecting data from the NSA itself to private telecom companies. Intelligence agencies like the NSA would then ask the companies for specific data on an individual allegedly connected to a terrorist organization or a foreign nation.

READ MORE: USA Freedom Act vs expired Patriot Act provisions: How do the spy laws differ?

The small window between the ruling and the implementation of the new law means that the immediate effects of Klayman’s victory will be trivial. But the precedent set by the decision could carry a lot of weight in future court battles, according to David Greene, civil liberties director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

In effect, it only requires them to stop doing very little of what they do,” Greene told Wired. “But the opinion is very broad-reaching. And because the NSA makes many of the same arguments to justify all of its mass spying programs, it’s really significant when a judge rejects them.”

Other courts have had mixed opinions about the NSA’s surveillance program. In August, the US Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in New York overturned Leon’s original decision on the case, known as Klayman v. Obama, from May this year. A three-judge panel ruled that Klayman had not met the legal threshold to file the suit. When Klayman added new plaintiffs and new information, the case was sent back to Judge Leon.

However, in October the court decided in the opposite direction on the record collection issue, ruling that the phone records collection could continue until the program met its Congressionally-determined demise at the end of November. The judges said that it was not necessary to block the program, because it was already set to expire soon.

NSA blames Snowden for ISIS changing phones

Published on Nov 4, 2015

NSA Deputy Director, Richard Ledgett, recently sat down with the BCC. During the interview, he blamed Edward Snowden’s leaks for members of ISIS changing from Apple phones to Android ones. Ledgett said, in no uncertain terms, that Snowden is responsible for enabling terrorists to circumvent the NSA’s ability to keep us safe by spying. The Resident discusses. Follow The Resident athttp://www.twitter.com/TheResident

fuck the nsa. hate that company

The NSA goes against the Constitution.   So, they are the problem.

NSA = Gustapo….. Now if you tell the TRUTH and don’t embrace being gay or being a lesbian or amending are constitution/ 2nd amendment.. your a criminal ! Snowden has more of a following than ever before.

The only thing I fear is my own Government.

Got to be one of the funniest reports ever to come out the US. Just adds proof how so many americans are beyond retardment. NSA stupidity is beyond belief.

Iraq ignored US requests to deny Russian military overflights…


A Russian Su-24 bomber takes off on a night combat mission in Syria. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service via Associated Press) more >


Iraq’s government has told the United States that it will not permit Russian military forces to conduct air and missile strikes inside the country. But Baghdad is allowing Russian military aircraft to overfly its territory to resupply its forces, despite a request from the United States to deny the flights.

Sen. Tom Cotton, Arkansas Republican, disclosed during a Senate ArmedServices Committee hearing Tuesday that the U.S. government asked the governments of Bulgaria and Iraq to close their airspace to Russian aircraft several weeks before Moscow’s Syria military intervention.

Mr. Cotton suggested that Bulgaria agreed to deny the overflights but that Baghdad rejected the U.S. request. Both Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Marine Corps. Gen. Joseph Dunford didn’t dispute that the diplomatic requests to deny Russian military supply flights were made, but he declined to detail the specifics.CIA,

“I would say it’s problematic for Russia to be resupplying its forces in Syria by flying through Iraq,” Mr. Cotton said during a Senate ArmedServices Committee hearing Tuesday. “We should renew our request that they exclude Russian aircraft from their airspace. And our military should be ready to assist them in excluding Russian aircraft from their airspace.”

Gen. Dunford confirmed that Russian supply flights have passed through Iraq but said it was “not at the understanding of the Iraqi government.”

Iraq’s small F-16 force has limited capabilities to prevent intrusions of its airspace, the four-star general said.

During a visit to Iraq recently, Gen. Dunford said, he received assurances from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and other Iraqi leaders that Baghdad would not align with Russia in battling Islamic State militants.

“And I explained to them how difficult it would be for us to continue to provide support if the Russians were invited in to conduct airstrikes,” he said, “and I was assured at every level that that wouldn’t be the case.”

Russia conducted 59 airstrikes from Oct. 23 through Oct. 25 in northern Syria, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.


Hundreds of international terrorists have changed their electronic communications operating procedures and can no longer be tracked by National Security Agency electronic spies, the NSA’s deputy director disclosed this week.

NSA Deputy Director Rick Ledgett outlined the damage caused by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden in an interview with the BBC.

“We have kept track of what our targets have said about disclosures and what that means for them, and we’ve seen in the high hundreds of targets who have said, ‘Hey, we are vulnerable to these sorts of detection techniques and we need to change the way that we do that,’ and a number of them have, including several terrorist organizations and one in particular that had a mature operational plot directed against Western Europe and the U.S.,” Mr. Ledgett said, without elaborating.

“So we’ve actually seen them move away from our ability to do that as a result of those disclosures, as a direct result,” he said.

Mr. Ledgett, who headed the special NSA task force to deal with the Snowden disclosures of some 1.7 million secret NSA documents beginning in 2013, disputed claims that the former contractor was a whistleblower seeking to expose NSA wrongdoing.

The deputy director said public discussion of NSA surveillance is positive, but the way the debate came about is wrong.

“You hear claims that he was a whistleblower and that he tried to raise things. Those are just not true,” Mr. Ledgett said.

Mr. Snowden, who fled initially to Hong Kong and is currently under Russian government protection in Moscow, has asserted that the NSA is involved in illegal surveillance of Americans and is seeking to create an unrestricted secret police state. Those claims remain unproven since he provided documents to anti-secrecy and anti-surveillance advocates.

Critics say most of Mr. Snowden’s disclosures didn’t involve domestic U.S. electronic surveillance and that most of his documents disclosed by news outlets compromised sensitive methods used by the NSA to spy electronically.

Mr. Ledgett also told the news agency that the risk of foreign nations conducting cyberattacks is growing.

“If you are connected to the Internet, you are vulnerable to determined nation-state attackers,” he said. “The barrier to entry is going down and as everybody in the world becomes more connected with computers and information systems, the vulnerabilities are going up.”

The solution is to build better defenses and prepare to conduct offensive counter-cyberattacks.

The NSA’s No. 2 official also said the “jury is still out” on whether China will curb economic cyberespionage as agreed during the summit last month between President Obama and Chinese leader Xi Jinping. “In any big organization, when guidance is sent down, then sometimes it takes awhile to get to the working level,” he said.

Two years ago, Mr. Ledgett revealed that Mr. Snowden used a hacking method called “scraping” within classified intelligence websites to gather and steal secret information.

One damaging impact was Mr. Snowden’s release of NSA spying requirements that showed NSA’s interests and gaps including some 31,000 targets, among them China, Iran and Russia.

U.S. adversaries would gain “a road map of what we know, what we don’t know, and give them, implicitly, a way to protect their information from the U.S. intelligence community’s view,” Mr. Ledgett told the CBS program “60 Minutes” in December 2013.


The Pentagon and U.S. military sought to play down the long-anticipated freedom of navigation operation by the guided missile destroyer USS Lassen through the South China Sea on Tuesday in an apparent bid to avoid upsetting China.

Defense Secretary Ashton Carter at first refused to comment on the ship’s passage near the South China Sea’s Spratly island chain, but under sharp questioning from senators reluctantly confirmed that the warship passage at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday.

Committee Chairman John McCain, Arizona Republican, criticized Mr. Carter for not publicly commenting on the ship’s transit.

“Why would you not confirm or deny that that happened since all the details and the action happened? This is what frustrates members of this committee when it’s there in the media, saturating the media, and you won’t even tell us,” Mr. McCain said.

“I do understand your frustration, and that is to match it with my own frustration, which is that these are operations that we should be conducting normally,” Mr. Carter said.

Mr. McCain then stated: “But the American people should know about it. And we’re their representatives. And you refuse to even confirm or deny something that is all over the media and confirmed by everyone? And you come before this committee and say you won’t comment on it? Why?”

The defense secretary said he did not like to talk about military operations, but then added that “what you read in the newspaper is accurate, but I don’t want to say more than that, and I don’t want to say when or whether and how we operate anywhere in the world.”

China called the ship transit a military provocation and a challenge to Beijing’s sovereign maritime claims.

EU DIPLOMAT: My Govt ‘Believes Obama Mentally Unwell’…

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Former NSA analyst says senior European official asked him how US President could be impeached


A former NSA intelligence analyst has claimed that a senior European diplomat told him that the entire government of a European country considers president Obama to be literally mentally unwell.

John Schindler, a security expert and whistleblower who now writes for The Daily Beast, has claimed that a senior EU official from an undisclosed country also inquired about impeachment proceedings, saying that the nation believes Obama is not fit for office.

Schindler tweeted out the revelation Monday:

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The wording indicates that the opinion is not that of a single person, but rather the whole government of whichever European country the diplomat is from.

The following countries make up the European Union:

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

According to Schindler’s source, one of the governments of those nations considers Obama to be mentally unstable.

Schindler is a former U.S. Naval War College lecturer and is known to have many high level military and government contacts.

The revelation prompted a splurge of activity on social media:

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The 3 Best and Worst Moments of the First Democratic Presidential Debate

Published on Oct 14, 2015

FOR SUPPORTING LINKS, CLICK HERE: https://reason.com/reasontv/2015/10/1…

We watched the first Democratic Presidential debate with wide eyes and open minds and picked out the best and the worst moments of the night. These are the 3 Best and 3 Worst Moments of the first Democratic Presidential Debate.

Third Best Moment: Cannabis Legalization

Anderson Cooper: “Some of the candidates have tried marijuana, as have pretty much probably everybody in this room.”

Just as quickly as public opinion on pot has shifted, these politicians have suddenly mellowed to the idea. Some of them have even admitted to inhaling. And Bernie Sanders thinks we’re ruining too many young people’s lives just for feeling the burn.

But one candidate seemed a bit confused. Hillary doesn’t like the mass incarceration aspect, but she also won’t advocate for an end to federal prohibition. Also, we need more research on cannabis—but we also need more evidence before we ditch the federal regulations that all but ban research on cannabis, which even ardent drug warriors are beginning to oppose.

Third Worst Moment: “Common Sense” Gun Control

Bernie Sanders: “The views on gun control in rural states are different than in urban states, whether we like it or not.”

On the flip side was the Dems’ almost uniformly uninformed take on violent crime and gun control. Bernie Sanders tip-toed his way around his un-Democratic past, pointing to his support for a federal assault weapons ban (probably because it worked so well last time). Hillary thinks it’s fine to make responsible dealers liable for any crimes customers may commit with guns they sold legally. And Martin O’Malley touted the fantastic record of his gun safety legislation in Maryland in solving the problem of gun violence. Why, just take a look at Baltimore!

Only one candidate, Jim Webb, recognized that DC politicians aren’t alone in their desire or their right to bear arms for self-protection. Echoing a Rand Paul argument, he pointed out the uncomfortable fact that many gun warriors inside the Beltway bubble employ armed guards for their own families’ protection.

Second Best Moment: Foreign Interventionism

Bernie Sanders: “You’re talking about a quagmire in a quagmire.”

Most of the candidates didn’t hold back from criticizing the interventionist foreign policy that defined the Bush administration and continued through the Obama years. Sanders criticized the “quagmire in a quagmire” in Syria and both Sanders and Martin O’Malley got after Hillary for wanting a no-fly zone there, which could lead to the type of mission creep last seen in another of Hillary’s greatest foreign policy disasters, the Libyan intervention.

As for Hillary, she thinks you just have to accept a certain level of risk.

Second Worst Moment: What Classified Emails?

Hillary Clinton: “I’m as transparent as I know to be.”

Clinton’s fellow candidates weren’t shy about criticizing her role in botched Middle East foreign policy initiatives, but even Bernie Sanders was quick to jump to her defense when the topic turned to her email problems.

The crowd may have loved her unapologetic posture, but the standing ovation they delivered doesn’t change the fact that Clinton is still under federal investigation for compromising classified information while serving as Secretary of State. There’s nothing partisan about it.

The Best Moment: Edward Snowden, Whistleblower

Unlike Hillary Clinton, Edward Snowden intentionally made classified information public as a whistleblower calling attention to the unconstitutional surveillance of the NSA. A rousing defense of Snowden and civil liberties from Sanders and Lincoln Chaffee provided the night’s best moments.

But once again, Clinton found herself on the wrong side of the debate, insisting that Snowden should return to “face the music”—or, put another way, to face charges under the notoriously draconian Espionage Act—and defending nearly every obfuscation and expansion in federal voyeurism since the Patriot Act.

The Worst Moment: What National Debt?

The candidates never once mentioned the federal debt and seemed to believe that soaking the rich for tax money will fund all of their wildest dreams. From “free” college to “free” medical care to paid parental leave to indefinite energy and pension spending, the parade of ill-conceived federal initiatives trotted out by the candidates provided the worst moments of the night.

Edward Snowden: NSA Spying on Porn Habits, not Terrorists



LOS ANGELES — The first annual Politicon event on Saturday featured a live webcast discussion between NSA rogue informantEdward Snowden and far-left political satirist group the Yes Men.

Snowden, who was speaking from Russia, where he has been seeking asylum since 2013, continued his tirade against the United States government’s surveillance program in front of a standing-room-only crowd of his loyal devotees.

Among the topics he addressed, Snowden suggested that the war on radical Islamic terrorism is bloated and being used as a cover to crack down on people who, for example, watch pornography, that Black Lives Matter riots are a result of out-of-control human rights abuses, and indirectly defended Hillary Clinton for her Benghazi email scandal.

On the topic of terrorism, Snowden suggested the “dangerous thing” about that NSA’s surveillance programs “is that they’re not actually being used to stop terrorism in many cases. They’re being used to discredit individuals who have disapproved of the [fact that the] NSA has programs to spy on people’s pornography viewing habits because they consider them to be radicalizers.”

He suggested that “everyone in society knows that we’ve had an imperfect justice system” and that America holds “the people who wield the highest power of authority to a higher standard than others.”

Snowden stated that the NSA’s surveillance program shows that America is “monitoring more communications about Americans than we are about our adversaries in countries like Russia, for instance.” It is largely believed that both Russia and China have been able to crack classified U.S. government documents that Snowden stole and that they may contain details that allow for British and American spies to be identified, placing their lives at risk.

On the topic of social movements, Snowden gave a nod to the Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter movements, suggesting they are the result of “rising levels of economic inequality [which] act as a de facto stabilizer, as long as it’s within a certain boundary….As that balance starts to tip, you see the Occupy Wall Street movement and so on. Or the abuses become so egregious that they simply cannot be ignored anymore, as with Black Lives Matter.”

Snowden said that “ultimately,” the the reason he decided to commit what many see as a betrayal of the nation is because “the only way that we would have any sort of input in our government is if we have a seat at the table of it. And the only way that happens is by knowing what’s going on. The only way that happens in a free and liberal society is by providing the press with information they need to make tough calls about what is and is not in the public interest. That’s not the role of government. That’s the role of the press.”

He suggested that while “we do need surveillance agencies, police agencies, military intelligence groups, to be able to solve crimes [and] to be able to thwart foreign threats,” that “we also need to have some limitations, some safe guards, some way to ensure that ultimately it’s the public holding the leash; as opposed to a few individuals hiding behind closed doors. And this should have been the courts.”

At the end of the webcast interview, the Yes Men provided the phone number for the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the United States Department of Justice. They asked everyone present to call requesting President Barack Obama pardon Snowden and allow him back into the country.

Should he return to America, Snowden will almost certainly face trial for his actions, which British intelligence sources have said caused “incalculable damage,” and for which the punishment will likely be severe.

A poll conducted by the Morning Consult in August of this year shows that just 33 percent of Americans would support a presidential pardon for the rogue NSA contractor. “56 percent of Democrats and 64 percent of Republicans said they would support government charges against Snowden. Forty-two percent of independents agreed.”