The Academy Award-winning director made the comments at the San Sebastian film festival in Spain, which he was attending to promote his new film ‘Snowden’, a biographical thriller about NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s decision to leak a cache of sensitive files.
Stone was highly critical of Obama, saying that many Americans had become disillusioned with his policies, having originally thought he would be “a man of great integrity.”
“On the contrary, Obama has doubled down on the [George W.] Bush administration policies,” said Stone, as cited by AFP.
Rather than reduce snooping on US citizens, Obama has taken security surveillance to new levels, the renowned director says.
“[He] has created… the most massive global security surveillance state that’s ever been seen, way beyond East Germany’s Stasi, way beyond that,” Stone said, referring to the feared secret police.
“In the name of one thing – terrorism – to change all the rules is not a marginal response, it’s an extreme response,” he added.
“Let’s beware of fascists and tyrants who tell us ‘we are going to protect you.’ I don’t want that.”
Speaking to RT America earlier this week, Stone said that Snowden had shown “a lot of guts” to speak out about the NSA surveillance program.
The celebrated director – whose films include ‘Platoon’, ‘JFK’ and ‘Nixon’ – praised Snowden for being “one of the few people who spoke up.”
“There’s only three, four, five people have spoken up about the NSA. They’ve all gotten into some degree of trouble, so this is a very secret government issue,” Stone said.
His comments came as an editorial in the Washington Post stated that Snowden should not receive a presidential pardon. This is despite the newspaper receiving a Pulitzer Prize for its reporting of the NSA leaks after receiving material revealed by Snowden.
The ex-NSA contractor posted a series of Tweets to warn everyone away from the chat app, which he says will “record every message you ever send and make it available to police upon request”.
Allo, designed to unseat chat pack leader WhatsApp, promises to deliver quick conversations with features like; “Smart Reply” that can guess your answers and respond to messages with just the tap of a button, and “Google Assistant”, which answers your questions and helps you search for things directly in your chat.
How does Allo plan on predicting your every word and witty emoji, you ask? “The more you use it, the more it improves over time,” which basically means they’ll collect and store as much of your data as possible and then use artificial intelligence to guess your replies.
However, the efficiency of time-saving typing may end up costing customers their already compromised privacy.
When Google first announced the introduction of Allo earlier this year they, too, had planned end-to-end-encryption in “Incognito Mode” and assured they would only store messages transiently, rather than indefinitely.
However, it now appears that Google won’t be doing that after all. Wednesday’s announcement revealed Google plans to store all conversations that aren’t specifically started in “incognito mode” by default.
As Snowden pointed out, last year every single one of the NSA and FBI’s 1,457 surveillance requests was granted by the US foreign intelligence surveillance court… and Allo’s stored data (i.e. your data) will be fair game too.
In contrast, all of WhatsApp’s chats are encrypted and unreadable – although they did announce last month that they will now be sharing your contacts and who you talk to with Facebook.
When Edward Snowden took all those NSA documents that exposed our country’s extensive surveillance techniques, he brought them to four news outlets: The Gaurdian, the New York Times, the Intercept, and the Washington Post. All of them have called for Snowden’s pardon, essentially getting Snowden’s back, as their source. All of them except for one, that is – the Washington Post. Their editorial board actually just published an article entitled, ‘No pardon for Edward Snowden.’ The Resident discusses. Follow The Resident on Twitter athttp://www.twitter.com/TheResident
Taping over or otherwise covering up your computer’s web camera is a “sensible” thing that everyone should do, according to FBI Director James Comey. US spy agencies have had the ability to hack into webcams for years, according to whistleblowers.
Giving a keynote address at a conference marking the 10th anniversary of the National Security Division at the US Department of Justice, Comey sat down with Assistant Attorney General John Carlin and discussed things such as webcam security and Twitter. The event was hosted by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), a Washington, DC think tank.
“Do you still have a piece of tape over your cameras at home?” Carlin asked.
“Heck yeah, oh, heck yeah,” Comey replied.
“It’s not crazy that the FBI director cares about personal security as well, and so I think people ought to take responsibility for their own safety and security,” Comey continued. “There are some sensible things you ought to be doing, and that’s one of them.”
The practice is apparently widespread at US government offices, according to the FBI chief.
“You go into any government office and we all have the little camera things that sit on top of the screen. They all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so that people who don’t have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing,” Comey explained.
While the FBI director admitted he was “mocked” after bringing up the tape trick in April this year – in part because he was involved in a heated dispute with Apple over access to the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone at the time – it appears many have taken his advice to heart. A photo of Facebook tycoon Mark Zuckerberg earlier this year showed his office laptop with a piece of tape covering the webcam.
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed in 2013 that the government had tools to access not just computer webcams, but also the cameras in iPhones and BlackBerries.
Alleged OPSEC brief lists Democrat nominee a “insider threat”
AUGUST 22, 2016
An alleged U.S. Army training slide is circulating online with an image of Hillary Clinton and David Petraeus listed as “Insider Security Threats” along with Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.
According to the “U.S. Army W.T.F! moments” Facebook page, who posted a photo of the slide Sunday, the image originally came from a servicemember stationed at Missouri’s Fort Leonard Wood.
Admins for the page told the Daily Caller that they have now received two photographs of the slide in the last 6 months.
The images bares resemblance to a 2015 Justice Department slide thatsimilarly listed Snowden and fellow NSA whistleblower Thomas Drank as “those that have done us harm.”
The Army has thus far not responded to questions concerning the slide’s legitimacy.
Joanna Cherry, a Scottish National Party (SNP) MP, made the comments in reference to the Investigatory Powers (IP) Bill, which has been introduced to extend surveillance and data-gathering laws. It will allow UK intelligence agencies to collect, store and access information about internet users.
The government says such a move is necessary to combat terrorism. Critics of the bill have branded it a “snoopers’ charter” on the grounds it infringes privacy and undermines basic human rights.
Cherry says: “At least the IP Bill is honest about the fact that it permits the collection of bulk data. However, we shouldn’t be too congratulatory of the bill as we have now gone further than any other Western democracy.”
Although surveillance powers are necessary to protect from terrorist threats, security measures need to be justified, she said.
The SNP unsuccessfully opposed the IP Bill in the House of Commons.
“Certain aspects of the bill will not survive under the European Convention on Human Rights, if we manage to stay in the EU,” Cherry argued.
“The SNP felt that the bill should be in accordance with European Union law, that we shouldn’t be going further than other Western democracies and that we were interested in having suspicion-based surveillance rather than suspicionless surveillance.”
She added: “America has rolled back from bulk collection at the very time that Britain is trying to roll out greater surveillance powers on a statutory basis.”
‘Suspicion-based surveillance’ is when intelligence services have an interest in a particular person or organization that they wish to target using surveillance. In contrast, ‘suspicionless surveillance’ refers to the collection of bulk data without any justifiable reason why the data is needed.
An independent barrister charged with reviewing counter-terrorism laws, meanwhile, has said bulk data interception is critically important to Britain’s national security.
David Anderson QC, who serves as the government’s Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation, published a report on the controversial practice of mass data collection on Friday.
“Bulk interception is of ‘vital utility’ to the security and intelligence agencies and that alternative methods fall short of providing the same results,” says Anderson.
He also claimed data collection is important for a range of intelligence operations “including counter-terrorism, counter-espionage and counter-proliferation.”
“There are likely to be cases where no effective alternative is available,”he stressed.
Prime Minister Theresa May, who championed such powers while serving as David Cameron’s home secretary, said she is “grateful to David Anderson for this report, which follows a detailed and thorough review in which the government has provided unfettered and unprecedented access to the most sensitive information about our security and intelligence agencies’ capabilities.”
She said the investigation had shown that the bulk provisions in the Investigatory Powers Bill “are of crucial importance to our security and intelligence agencies.”
“These powers often provide the only means by which our agencies are able to protect the British public from the most serious threats that we face,” she said.
“It is vital that we retain them, while ensuring their use is subject to robust safeguards and world-leading oversight which are enshrined in the Investigatory Powers Bill.”