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Revealed: The NSA’s Secret Campaign to Crack, Undermine Internet Security

Newly revealed documents show that the NSA has circumvented or cracked much of the encryption that automatically secures the emails, Web searches, Internet chats and phone calls of Americans and others around the world. The project, referred to internally by the codename Bullrun, also includes efforts to weaken the encryption standards adopted by software developers.

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Donald W.

Sep. 17, 2013, 4:36 p.m.

Leo,
  How do I attribute it, quiet easily actually. The ability of the NSA has grown astronomically high with its’ capabilities of bugging and keeping track of persons since Vietnam. States are now able to reach across other states with vigorous attack tactics thanks to the new Homeland Security. Also, more spy agencies are much more coordinated and many more of them exist since the Vietnam protesters, one already mention which is Homeland Security. Technology and the ability to spy on citizens has grown 1000s of times more advance since the days of the Vietnam protesters. More laws are now enacted which not only directly violates our ability to protest but also which says we basically have no rights under the new National Securities Laws. Yes citizens has been detain and put under torture without no trial whatsoever in the United States. Google it! Try starting with the Patriot Act. Your question shows no thought at all except as a clever tactic to under-mind the argument which was presented to you. ?The whole article and these comments are about an out-of-control Government which is violating our freedom. I myself have been a victim of this, so I am not just talking from reading opinions and articles. The U.S. Government went so far as to violate my religious rights and even sent someone into a RCIA program which I was attending trying to join the catholic church which was a church which he absolutely despise. So, if you think that the Government will police themselves and control what they do with the information they collect on people, you are absolutely insane.Think about it, they destroy a group of men and women who was protesting communism and Wall Street help of the rise of a more powerful communist state(China) which is threaten the entire world with its’ bullying. My God, men, what does it take to wake a person like you from the dead! How do you think Hitler got his money funded for the Nazi party? OUR WALL STREET. Google it, for Christ’s sake!

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 11, 2013, 12:06 p.m.

More words of “wisdom” from our friend Bradford, posted at the Oath Keepers web site in April 2013:

“…Hey, FOLKS!
3 REMINDERS about that “Pledge of Allegiance….
It was first written, in a shorter version, around ~1900, by a SOCIALIST / ANARCHIST!…
Originally “missing” were 2 key phrases, added later, by Acts of Comgrss”
2.: “…and to the republic…”
3.:…”…under God…”….
YES!…The ORIGINAL PLEDGE was DEMOCRATIC, and ATHEIST….”

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 11, 2013, 11:37 a.m.

@Bradford,

I guess I should not have expected you to be smart enough to recognize sarcasm. My comment was not flattery, it was ridicule, which you richly deserve.

Oliver Osswald

Sep. 11, 2013, 11:34 a.m.

@Leo Cotnoir:.

> 1) how do you identify your opponents without an intelligence apparatus?

The number of Caeda supporters will shrink to an insignificant number if one helps the people in the supporting areas to live according to THEIR needs and wishes. Just consult ethnologists of your universities, study books and the news - and one can identify such regions (like the sahel zone, etc) no need for PRISM here.

> 2) the primary reason for hostility toward the US among Muslims is our mindless support of Israel’s atrocities toward the Palestinians. Do you really expect that to change?

Don’t bring weapons but listen to the needs of ALL parties involved. Express what you heard so they know they have been heard. (Isreal needs security. Palestinians need independance and a future for their children. etc) Provide help.  Nothing more. Only then the fire will eventualy stop burning.

> 3) we actually do quite a bit to address human needs around the world but since that provides little profit to the military/industrial complex it is not widely supported by the American people or the Congress.

yes

Bradford

Sep. 11, 2013, 11:21 a.m.

@“Leo Cotnoir”...
See, more tactics of FedGov Agents revealed…
Rather than engage in productive discussion, we see Mr. Cotnoir try the Trojan-horse tactic of personal flattery, and the mis-direction of big words designed to create the impression of genuine thought and interest in the topic…
Just like the lame-stream media hoping the American People won’t notice the latest ploys of the MIC, if the media is filled with fluff, and the latest HollyWood celebrity hype…
BTW, Leo, I live in a perspica TOWN, not a “city”...
Maybe THAT is why the NSA can’t seem to find me, no matter how hard I try to flag them down…

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 11, 2013, 11:05 a.m.

Oliver, you make some good points but they have several problems.

1) how do you identify your opponents without an intelligence apparatus?

2) the primary reason for hostility toward the US among Muslims is our mindless support of Israel’s atrocities toward the Palestinians. Do you really expect that to change?

3) we actually do quite a bit to address human needs around the world but since that provides little profit to the military/industrial complex it is not widely supported by the American people or the Congress.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 11, 2013, 10:58 a.m.

@Donald,

The civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements faced far more intense and aggressive police action that OWS yet they survived and succeeded. To what do you attribute that?

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 11, 2013, 10:57 a.m.

@Bradford,

So what tipped you off to my using my real name as a pseudonym? I am in awe of your brilliance and perspicacity.

Oliver Osswald

Sep. 11, 2013, 10:05 a.m.

Instead of spending billions on defence strategies, do the following:

1) Identify your oponents
2) Identify their unfulfilled human needs, which make them so angry
3) Help them to get those needs fulfilled

Someone who enjoys sustenance, freedom, security, social contacts, education and meaning (to name some fundamental needs) will not attack others.

With the Marshall plan after world war II, the US has gained a good friend with Germany - one had learned from the errors after world war I, which lead to German nationalism and subsequent catastrophies.

So instead of using all this brainpower to break into the privacy of people, why don’t you invest in some kind of new Marshall plan to identify the needs of your angry oponents - and pacify them by helping to get those needs fulfilled?

What once worked with ‘Nazis’ would work with ‘Terrorists’ as well. If you look closely you will discover that they are human beings with exactly the same human needs as you and me.

Bradford

Sep. 9, 2013, 9:26 p.m.

@Donald W….
Donald, the *ONE* guy in my town, who actually set up an “OWS” tent/camp, *WAS* shut down by the local police…politely and peacefully, yes, but still…If not for the FORCIBLE law-enforcement shut-downs, most American cities would still have small, but flourishing OWS encampments…
Mr. “Leo Cotnoir” is a FedGov agent-provacateur…His *job* is to spread mis-, and dis- information… It’s best to ignore him…

Donald W.

Sep. 9, 2013, 9:12 p.m.

Leo, thanks for the reply. While I agree with your views about some of the reasons which it fail, I respectfully disagree with the notion that it was not also because of police action. Using my own source of intelligence—that is the Google search engine. I see many articles where police action was one of the direct causes of its’ failure. The new homeland security being a major factor in coordinating the police action against them, which means that they were targeted as a National Security issue. Also, emails were intercepted where Private Security Firms targeted them, These firms can almost always be traced back to Government intelligence operations. I really do not think that the NSA involvement to intercept communications and pass this information to various law enforcement which targeted these mostly peaceful demonstrators is so far-fetch. But for sure it is one of the most successful operations they have ever had against its’ own citizens and the most shameful and unconstitutional one.

Bradford

Sep. 9, 2013, 9:04 p.m.

@“Leo Cotnoir”...
By picking up the topic ball, where-ever it’s fumbled, and running off into some other, even less relevant direction, Mr. “Leo Cotnoir” (pseudonym) has again shown he a merely a demi-god of distraction, mis-direction, mis-, and dis- information, and PROBABLE OPERATIVE AGENT for the CRYPTO-SYSTEM…
Sure, Mr. “Leo Cotnoir” claims that I’m a “raving lunatic”, but hey, I will let *YOU* American people be the judge of THAT…
“OWS”, or Occupy Wall St., didn’t “fail” at all…Even Burning Man lasts only a week, it’s not 24/7, 365/6…

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 9, 2013, 7:34 p.m.

Donald, OWS did not fail because of police action, even the heavy handed tactics used in NYC and Oakland in particular. It failed because 1) it lacked direction and clear purpose, 2) it was hamstrung self-imposed gridlock caused by the insane idea that one person could block any decision, and 3) in many places it was largely subverted by the Ron Paul libertarians who are essentially a corporatist front group.

Donald W.

Sep. 9, 2013, 6:54 p.m.

@Lorenzo Diego
  The problem sir is that the information is available for attacking the America people right to protest. Ever heard of the OWS movement and how it was squash and the tactics use by fronts posing as corporations. I myself was sent an attempted hack into my bank account by such individuals. No doubt getting their information from some source like the NSA. These fronts are control by intelligent groups; and probably, in-fact are intelligence groups. Do you honestly think that they would collect such a vast amount of information on every citizen of the U.S.A. and not use it? Have you not notice how effective they were in destroying the only group who oppose doing business with a Communist regime and wanted to bring jobs back to the U.S.. If that was not enough to scare you, then as a fellow citizen, I must be afraid for you.

Lorenzo Diego

Sep. 9, 2013, 5:38 a.m.

I don’t see what the big uproar is about the NSA discovering a means to crack SSL, TPL, or AES encryption.  First, I would rather it be the NSA discovering how to do this instead of Russia, China, and Arab country or worse (e.g., North Korea, Syria, Pakistan, to name a few). 
What American citizen has been arrested unlawfully (or even lawfully) based on NSA cybersleuthing?  None to my knowledge.
And, if a US citizen is accused of a criminal act, he or she would have to face a public trial. 
As for snooping on foreign governments, so what?  Do you really think that they do not snoop on us?  Sure they do, even our friends.  That is the nature of the game.
Now, if the NSA is taking US citizen info and providing that to other law enforcement (e.g., grabbing banking info and giving it to the IRS, or revealling private medical info to whomever), then there is a problem.  But there is no evidence that anything like this has been going on.
The real issue is the need for oversight, and such oversight must be airtight.  For example, if a Nixonian-like president has access to such information, that could be trouble.  But, again, with proper security and oversight, then that should be preventable.
For those all worried about conspiracies by our government, you might want to look first at corporations which have no interest in your rights or the sanctity of your liberties.  All they care about are profits, So with the information they have at hand, that is even more troubling. 
And, worse, there are some very unsavory governments in this world.  They would not care one iota if you suffer or died in a heartbeat.  In fact, a dictator like that in Syria or North Korea would kill any of us without giving it a second thought.  The NSA and other western country intelligence agencies protect not just our way of life, but our very lives.  For all of the critics out there, do you really think life is better in such horror zones?  If so, go live there….please, just go.
And, with respect to so-called “whistle-blowers,”  who hide out in Russia or other authoritarian countries, well, I hope you’re enjoying your stay in the land of the free (not).
So, you don’t want to be spied upon?  Simple, don’t do anything stupid such as communicate with terrorists.  Seriously, though, if you call, or email, or communicate with people outside of the United States, and especially in areas of threat (e.g., Arab countries, Russia, China, etc.), you will be flagged, as you should be.  I don’t care if the U.S. government spies on foreigners.  I expect our government to do just that.  I expect that foreign governments are spying on us.  I would be more concerned if the U.S. didn’t spy on foreign governments and their citizens.

gezzerx

Sep. 8, 2013, 9:22 p.m.

The Fourth Amendment would be a good place to start. Anything less than
that is unacceptable,after all the members of of our 3 branches of Gov’t
took an oath to do just that ! ! ! Members of all 3 branches have betrayed us !

Wake up America, Democrats or Republicans. liberals or conservatives it’s two sides of the same evil coin it’s called Fascism. So the next time a Democrat or Republican asks for your vote, support or money just say no & vote for an independent candidate. Send a message they can’t ignore & will understand ! ! Both parties have been complicit in this criminal activity.

The Government will continue its propaganda campaign useing the following
tactics as quoted by Joseph Goebbels during the 1930’s & 1940’.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such
time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic
and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important
for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth
is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the
greatest enemy of the State.”  AND

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless
one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine
itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

The supreme law of The USA is the Constitution, not the Patriot act the
FISA act, or any other such acts that have unconstitutional provisions,are
invalid & it matters not how many public officials say it’s legal, it’s NOT for the 1st,4th,5th,6th 9th & 14th amendments say otherwise ! ! To say it is legal only shows the public their betrayal of the Constitution, their oath of office, and the American people.

No more lies, excuses rationalizations,or justifications, the public needs
to hold these officials to account to the fullest extent of the law under
Title 18 sec. 241 & 242 So any future traitors will know there will be
consequences to such behavior. I am sure the United Kingdom must have equivalent laws.

REMEMBER: POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
Benjamin Franklin

Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those
entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it
into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 8, 2013, 7:05 p.m.

Thank you, Bradford, for proving that you are a raving lunatic.

Bradford

Sep. 8, 2013, 6:39 p.m.

Leo Cotnoir

Today, 1:46 p.m.

@Bradford,

Besides the fact that you are a cowardly anonymous stalker, you are also wrong about nearly everything you post.

I called you “little boy” because no sentient adult calls anyone “dude.”

You did claim that 9/11 was an inside job.

My guess is that you are a deranged Ron Paulbot.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
HEY, FOLKS!...here’s how FedGov stooges, such as “Leo Cotnoir”,  try to manipulate us…
1. I simply “google.com/images” “Leo Cotnoir”, and glanced at the first few responses, which I mentioned above, just to *TEST* Mr. “Leo Cotnoir”...He could have easily done the same for me, as I DID give him my full, real name…journalists call that “due diligence”, in “fact checking”, but Mr. Cotnoir calls it “cowardly”, and “stalking”...
1.A.: Mr. Cotnoir simply says that I’m “wrong about everything…”, but he CITES NOTHING SPECIFIC, that I have written, nor even attempts to debate, refute, cite alternative facts, sources, etc…
2. My calling him “dude” came AFTER he called me little boy…
(...if I really DID call him “dude” first, it was an simply a casual lapse into real-speak…whatever, dude…*grin*.... Apparently, Mr. Cotnoir insults as easily as an insecure High School boy on his first date with the Head Cheerleader…)...
3. I NEVER used “inside job” to refer to 9/11, nor suggested that typical FedGov red herring-speak…
The OFFICIAL FedGov 9/11 Report *IS* a white-wash, and cover-up, with NO mention of Building 7, etc…and NO mention of where the “debris” from Shanksville, PA was forensically analyzed, or remains identified…(...it wasn’t, and THEY weren’t…*WHY*...???...)...
4. “Deranged Ron Paulbot”...???...LOL…LOL…LOL…ROTFLMFAO…

Mr. Leo Cotnoir, you got NOTHING, dude…nothing at all…
Surrender-monkeys like you, sleep peacefully in your beds at night
CONUS, because rough men like me, stand ready to deploy, DO deploy, engage the enemy, and defeat them in combat which is all-at-once physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and psychological…
America, Her People, and Her Constitution, have NO enemies, Foreign -OR- Domestic, which *WE* will not DEFEAT, so that you can continue to sleep your life away, Mr. Cotnoir…
Whaddya got to say to THAT, kiddo…???...

Donald W.

Sep. 8, 2013, 3:52 p.m.

And since I am on a rampant raging madness. I tell you someone else who probably believes that Mr. Snowden is a double-agent and that is the only one who spoke the truth about the Little Rock , Arkansas chemical war-agents being stock-piled by the U.S. Government when that scientist was kidnap and torture and found in the Garbage dump. And the same military chemical dump shortly there after being infiltrated and chemicals release into the River and air stream. Fortunately, only some dead birds drop out of the sky into an elemetary school in Louisiana. Well that man is Mr. Putin who released an intelligence report to the American public. It is a sad government which claims to be all about freedom and openness that hides such information from the American public. Well perhaps Mr. Putin will not use the George “the torturer” Bush techniques to extract information from Mr. Snowden. May Saint Mary his mother bless him (that is Mr. Putin and not Mr. Snowden).

Don

Sep. 8, 2013, 3:26 p.m.

To the other ron,
  I complain over 10 years ago about an FBI program which I found on my microsoft system operating system. It was in the open and plain as could be for anyone who dug into their system operating files to see. I copy and sent this file to the FBI website with the complaint of their spyware; so basically, Snowden has so far not reveal any real intelligence but only what is already known by anyone who has the authority to make changes or what many articles has already done written by savvy techs. What is his next latest infiltration technique going to be, “we are being watched by our new LCD Television. Sorry Mr. Snowden, that has also been reveal to the American public several years ago. Best of luck to your double agent life.

Donald W.

Sep. 8, 2013, 3:10 p.m.

Snowden is plain and simple a double agent for the United States Government. Why else run to a communist country and complain about our Freedom being undermine. You do not go to the world worst human rights violators to complain about human rights violations. His second try was the second most wanted agency which the U.S. Government wanted to infiltrate and that is being wikileaks.

Mark Ganter

Sep. 8, 2013, 2:36 p.m.

@wag the dog Seems to me you hit the nail squarely on the head. Right on…

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 8, 2013, 1:46 p.m.

@Bradford,

Besides the fact that you are a cowardly anonymous stalker, you are also wrong about nearly everything you post.

I called you “little boy” because no sentient adult calls anyone “dude.”

You did claim that 9/11 was an inside job.

My guess is that you are a deranged Ron Paulbot.

Nabeel Zabak

Sep. 8, 2013, 9:09 a.m.

There will be individuals who have healthy questions, reasonable questions, and legitimate questions that their government must answe.  Answers will always be condescending, misleading and incomplete.

Then you have individuals who will for the must part blindly and with out question follow their dictators voice.  That has to do with braun and behavior.  Many research articles about the brain types of individuals who grow up to be democrats, ones who see many shades of gray and those the must part who grow up to become Republicans, they trend to see thongs in black and white. What I do not understand, how willing Republicans are to abdicate control to their government, even when the possibility of said government is one half step from a police state.

Mr Monsanto

Sep. 8, 2013, 1:32 a.m.

Dear ConcernedCitizens:
The DNA in cornflakes and high-fructose corn-syrup hacks your brain. We control your thoughts. We control the NSA, they do what we say. Resistance is Futile!

Peter

Sep. 8, 2013, 12:16 a.m.

Failed foreign policy that pissed many people off helps create this mess. Foreign govt coups, interventions: purely for pursuing interests in natural resources, and/or changing ideology. I don’t see countries like Switzerland, Finland, Denmark, or New Zealand getting terrorsit attacks. To “them” and the military industrial complex, this is job security. War on terrorism is such an open-ended perpetual war. But to the People who have to go thru airport maze, hearing repeated color-coded fear levels, and now losing a sense of privacy, this is so unfair. The very govt that supposed to serve us, enslaves us.

Bradford

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:58 p.m.

@Leo Cotnoir:
Are you the one from Johnson City, Binghamton, or BAE Systems…???...not that I really care…whatever…
Yeah, I called you out, and you balked, then BLEW IT, dude…
You’re an arrogant, ignorant, blow-hard, spouting mis-, and dis- information… In your cutesy little itemized reply, you clumsily avoided any kind of coherent, direct response…you sound like a typical Repubtard…a Nixon, or Ronnie Raygun Repubtard…YOU brought up your previous employament by NSA…so what?...they showed you what they wanted you to see, and you swallowed the bait whole…Adding some (maybe bogus) AF service adds NOTHING to your non-existent credibility…Here’s MY list:

1. I never said 9/11 was an in- or out-side job, only that the official FedGov story is a LIE…or, a whitewash & cover-up, if you prefer the weasel word version…

2. Resorting to profanity is immature, at best, and calling ME “little boy” can’t help but bring to mind “I know you are, but what am I”...said in your best kindergarten voice, of course…

3. I called you out. You balked. You BLEW IT. You’re as irrelevant as the NSA…

4. How do you KNOW for SURE that Cointelpro was “shut down in 1972”...How do you know that it wasn’t simply renamed, and reborn, thus continuing NOW…???...

Don’t bother replying, you’re NOT that amusing, and I wanna watch some LOL Cats vids on youtube…or some Miley Cyrus, “Party In the USA”...

Mark Ganter

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:47 p.m.

People and organizations absolutely have a right to know whether or not their information/data is secure. Having access to that knowledge is actual freedom and not the pseudo “Freedom” the NSA would like us to have. Like us to think we have. The kind where they essentially say “trust us”, the same line politicians and used car salesmen hand out.  My hat is off to the news organizations that are providing the information about the NSA so we all can make some kind of actual informed decisions.  Then of course there will be those that say “If you aren’t doing anything wrong what does the NSA spying matter?”  Such a statement so completely and absurdly misses the point. One may as well say “If you aren’t doing anything wrong then shredding the constitution and those principles many have died to secure doesn’t really matter”.

Richard Kerr

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:20 p.m.

It used to be the case that foreign governments spying on the United States, had to go to multiple sources to obtain this information. It must be so much easier now to obtain almost any information on any person, groups of people, corporations, etc., as the NSA has now collected this vast digital library, a “virtual” America, if you will, while conveniently over-riding encryption programs. It seems to me that America has become infinitely more vulnerable through the efforts of the NSA, not less.

Mark Ganter

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:13 p.m.

Think cloud computing…  The NSA lining up with american companies to weaken encryption or otherwise provide backdoors basically makes takes american vendors out of a hugely profitable marketplace.  Those vendors (who they are ??) cannot be trusted with providing for secure data.  There goes many billions of dollars and lots of jobs out of the USA to somewhere else.  It will be interesting to see how our government and media make this minor tidbit go silently away.

Rob Martin

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:02 p.m.

I would be thrilled if Glen & co were to focus their spotlights on the expected payoff from NSA’s compromising of internet security towards the membership of funds like the Carlyle Group.

Our loss is their gain; again and again…

Mark Ganter

Sep. 7, 2013, 7 p.m.

Me thinks that people that actually do or did work at the NSA don’t go around telling people they do or they did.  Umm… for a bunch of very reasonable reasons the defense industry and intelligence types frown upon folks that advertise such things.

Melchior Smith

Sep. 7, 2013, 5:02 p.m.

The primary role of the NSA since its founding has been to defeat encryption protocols, and they are doing a great job.  Members of the US media on the other hand have recklessly disclosed our capabilities to the world and hence our adversaries such as Al Qaeda and Iran.

The NY Times and ProPublica should be charged on the Espionage act.

vaporland

Sep. 7, 2013, 4:57 p.m.

We have met the terrorist, and he is us.

Ed

Sep. 7, 2013, 4:48 p.m.

The history of our intelligence agencies is absolutely relevant to this issue. Do you think spying on anti-war groups has stopped? That the government does not continue to infiltrate and disrupt groups? Wasn’t 10 years ago they were infiltrating anti-war quakers..quakers. You know, the consummate pacifists.

You want to say history shows these wrongs have been corrected, you’re going to have to prove it. Who went to prison over cointelpro? Who went to prison over the NSA’s illegal warrantless wiretapping (you know, recently)? How about the “loveint” business? Any time these wrongs get “corrected” as you say, they merely reappear in some other fashion a little while later and almost always with very little or no consequence. Cointelpro was not corrected, that particular program merely stopped, the damage was already done.

“The Committee finds that the domestic activities of the intelligence community at times violated specific statutory prohibitions and infringed the constitutional rights of American citizens. The legal questions involved in intelligence programs were often not considered. On other occasions, they were intentionally disregarded in the belief that because the programs served the “national security” the law did not apply. While intelligence officers on occasion failed to disclose to their superiors programs which were illegal or of questionable legality, the Committee finds that the most serious breaches of duty were those of senior officials, who were responsible for controlling intelligence activities and generally failed to assure compliance with the law.”

Ah, “national security”, the catch-all justification for everything.

If I’m blabbering nonsense, you should have no trouble tearing apart any point I’ve made. Unlike you (at least the way you’re acting now) I welcome any rebuttal that could enlighten my thinking on the subject. If instead you’re only capable of talking down to people, one must wonder why you even bother; all you’ll do is further solidify the opinions of those who disagree with you.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 7, 2013, 4:14 p.m.

Ed, I fail to see how things that happened in the 1960s are relevant to the topic at hand. No one is claiming that some in the government have not overstepped their bounds but history shows that those wrongs were, in time, corrected.

Yes, I was patronizing because you are blabbering nonsense.

Ed

Sep. 7, 2013, 4:06 p.m.

“In one particularly controversial 1965 incident, civil rights worker Viola Liuzzo was murdered by Ku Klux Klansmen who gave chase and fired shots into her car after noticing that her passenger was a young black man; one of the Klansmen was acknowledged FBI informant Gary Thomas Rowe.[49][50] Rumors were spread that Liuzzo was a member of the Communist Party and abandoned her children to have sexual relationships with African Americans involved in the Civil Rights Movement.[51][52] FBI records show that J. Edgar Hoover personally communicated these insinuations to President Johnson.[53][54] FBI informant Rowe has also been implicated in some of the most violent crimes of the 1960s civil rights era, including attacks on the Freedom Riders and the 1963 Birmingham, Alabama 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.[49] According to Chomsky, in another instance in San Diego the FBI financed, armed, and controlled an extreme right-wing group of former Minutemen, transforming it into a group called the Secret Army Organization which targeted groups, activists, and leaders involved in the Anti-War Movement for both intimidation and violent acts.”

Courtesy of the U.S. Government. I’m sorry, but history does not exist in a vacuum and to ignore it or deny it’s relevance is to open the door to further abuse.

Ed

Sep. 7, 2013, 3:37 p.m.

Nice effort at being patronizing there.

The point is, it happened. J Edgar Hoover is dead, does that mean his keeping files on individuals and politicians in order to exert control simply doesn’t matter?

People do not trust these sorts of programs for very good reason. You cannot dismiss history as irrelevant. Especially when it’s the history of the very country in question.

You could try making a point next time you respond, I wasn’t being an ass when I wrote that, it does you no credit to respond as though I were.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 7, 2013, 3:16 p.m.

Ed, try to keep up. Cointelpro was an FBI program that was shut down in 1971.

Ed

Sep. 7, 2013, 2:40 p.m.

@Leo

How do you feel about Cointelpro? A system which has the ability to siphon unimaginable amounts of information on the general public (of this country, and the world), is in place. It essentially exists in a vacuum of accountability, the fact that these revelations and documents now exist in the public sphere shows you just the sort of safeguards against abuse they’ve got.

These capabilities have been abused, likely currently are being abused in some fashion, and almost assuredly will be in the future. They didn’t catch the Boston Marathon bombers, didn’t catch Times Square attempted bombing, shoe-bomber, etc.. Events which, just like 9/11, had numerous red flags that could have or should have been spotted which could have prevented them.

So doesn’t seem like they’re all that good at preventing the thing they claim they must have access to EVERYTHING to do. The minimal threat of terrorism which has a multitude of other ways to be combated with existing and fully legal police powers does not warrant this vast intrusion upon everyone. The fact they don’t even seem to be able to effectively use this vast intrusion effectively only makes that point louder.

What are we more likely to end up with, allowing such things? Obviously not stopping terrorism so far. But let’s look for a moment at what our government has done, and by no means was Cointelpro an isolated event in our history: “between 1965 and 1975, the FBI opened more than 500,000 intelligence files on more than one million Americans, according to a Congressional report….Among the Bureau’s targets: Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, anti-Vietnam War Groups, and the underground press.”

Worrying about the NSA (and the other myriad intelligence agencies we have, what number are we up to now? 6? 7?) is absolutely NOT paranoid.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 7, 2013, 12:55 p.m.

Bradford:

1) I am retired and do not work for anyone. I was at NSA many years ago when I was in the Air Force. However, I did get see what kind of people work there and their dedication to the law.

2) If you believe that 9/11 was an inside job you are simply crazy.

3) Who the fuck are you to call me out? Get a life, little boy.

Bradford

Sep. 7, 2013, 12:38 p.m.

Leo Cotnoir

Sep. 5, 6:46 p.m.

I wonder whether anyone, besides me, posting here has every worked at NSA. Judging by the insanity of most of the comments, I rather doubt it.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
“Leo Cotnoir” = FedGov STOOGE, who used to “work(ed) at” the NSA, ......
but who is now only a paid subcontractor for an NSA publicity firm…
YO!, Leo, The Twin Towers DID NOT, and COULD NOT have collapsed SOLELY as the result of aircraft impact & resulting fires, the *object* that struck the Pentagon was most likely a cruise missile, and NOTHING crashed in Shanksville, PA that day…Show me even ONE documented photo showing recognizable aircraft debris, explain *WHY* there was *NO* attempt to forensically identify *ANYBODY* from PA., and what is the signifigance of *which* side of the Pentagon that was struck…???... Without even mentioning, NYC, *YOU* will *NOT*BE* able to answer ANY of these questions, will you, Mr. Cotnoir..???...wait and see, folks, wait and SEE…I am calling you OUT, dude…
signed, Bradford Hutchingson…
Yes, that IS my real name…
(...“yea, though I live in the Country of the FedGov&NSA;, I will fear no man, for the Lord my Buddha is my refuge and protector…~Tenzin Gyatso, HHDalai Lama of Tibet…)...
*SEMPER*FIDELIS*America*
~silentum~:~excubitor~
.rides.legacy.773.

Mark Fraser

Sep. 7, 2013, 11:03 a.m.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin, 1755

NSA paraphrase of Franklin, To keep you safe we must know what everybody is doing. At least Chinese citizens have no illusion that all their communications are under government scrutiny.

Wag the Dog

Sep. 7, 2013, 9:46 a.m.

“That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the CONSENT OF THE GOVERNED, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” - In CONGRESS, July 4, 1776, The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.

These radical words resulted, in part, from the King of Great Britain’s history of “repeated injuries and usurpations” adversely affecting the natural rights and liberties of the American People. Properly framed, the present debate is not so much about what the NSA does (spying, decryption, etc.) or even why there may be a need for its actions (911, al Qaeda, etc.); rather, it whether we the People choose to surrender our natural right to give (or withhold) our consent regarding the powers of Government to an agency whose own internal organization is clouded in nearly impenetrable secrecy. The arguable risks to our national security resulting from having this open and public debate pale in comparison to the perilous precedent we set by avoiding it under the dangerous assumption that those in power will always place the wellbeing of the People above their own interests.

Who cares!

Sep. 7, 2013, 8:11 a.m.

Of all of these naive and vastly misinformed comments from individuals claiming the NSA and other government agencies are violating their privacies by reading emails and what not, I ask; Have you forgotten 9/11?; do you feel comfortable going to sleep every nite knowing that despite the fact you are getting some shut eye, you are being protected!!. Did you ever feel that if you have nothing to hide you should have nothing to fear? Get real. Some of you curse at these acts, yet EVERYONE wants a piece of mind and feel safe. Nothing cost nothing.

SWeber

Sep. 7, 2013, 7:41 a.m.

@Leo Cotnoir
@Cdelairre

The two most accurate comments of this article & issue.  Cheers!

G. Kerry Comerford

Sep. 7, 2013, 6:17 a.m.

As a retired old fart who has nothing of importance to hide, I would like to say…FUCK YOU,YOU TOTALITARIAN ASSHOLES.

Suny

Sep. 7, 2013, 3:54 a.m.

I just wanted to say thank you to the good journalists, engineers and scientists who are working to protect freedom in this unique world wide web. Since the dawn of the civilization, humans have been fighting in the name of race, religion, tribe and all other sundry reasons. The world wide web, enabled breaking cultural, religious, racial and economic barriers around the world, it is truly amazing and extremely under-appreciated. The WWW can be easily termed as the next level of human civilization, which has great potential to bring world harmony, prosperity and greater understanding among people and culture.
I hope the Engineers and Scientists who are colluding with the governments around the world do some soul searching and realize that they are taking away liberty from people they love and future generation. Terrorists could be just 0.1% of global population, and these snooping acts are not at all to deter that minority, this has much more sinister intentions by the powerful police state in the making.

gezzerx

Sep. 7, 2013, 3:22 a.m.

The Fourth Amendment would be a good place to start. Anything less than
that is unacceptable,after all the members of of our 3 branches of Gov’t
took an oath to do just that ! ! !  All 3 branches have betrayed us !

Wake up America, Democrats or Republicans. liberals or conservatives it’s two sides of the same evil coin it’s called Fascism. So the next time a Democrat or Republican asks for your vote, support or money just say no & vote for an independent candidate. Send a message they can’t ignore & will understand ! ! Both parties have been complicit in this criminal activity.

The Government will continue its propaganda campaign useing the following
tactics as quoted by Joseph Goebbels during the 1930’s & 1940’.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will
eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such
time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic
and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important
for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth
is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the
greatest enemy of the State.”  AND

“The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless
one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly - it must confine
itself to a few points and repeat them over and over”

The supreme law of The USA is the Constitution, not the Patriot act the
FISA act, or any other such acts that have unconstitutional provisions,are
invalid & it matters not how many public officials say it’s legal, it’s NOT for the 1st,4th,5th,6th 9th & 14th amendments say otherwise ! ! To say it is legal only shows the public their betrayal of the Constitution, their oath of office, and the American people.

No more lies, excuses rationalizations,or justifications, the public needs
to hold these officials to account to the fullest extent of the law under
Title 18 sec. 241 & 242 So any future traitors will know there will be
consequences to such behavior.

REMEMBER: POLITICIANS AND DIAPERS SHOULD BE CHANGED OFTEN AND FOR THE SAME REASON.

He that is good for making excuses is seldom good for anything else.
Benjamin Franklin

Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those
entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it
into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson

Patricia L. Henry

Sep. 7, 2013, 2:20 a.m.

Snowden is a national hero.  I can now see why government and big business are trying to silence him

Commenting is not available in this section entry.
This article is part of an ongoing investigation:
Surveillance

Surveillance

ProPublica investigates the threats to privacy in an era of cellphones, data mining and cyberwar.

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