theguardian -- NSA

Trump reverses stance on surveillance law in series of contradicting tweets
Thu, 11 Jan 2018 23:14:05 GMT

Trump encourages House to renew program to collect intelligence on foreign targets abroad despite initial tweet saying it may have ‘abused’ his campaign

In a confusing series of tweets, Donald Trump on Thursday pushed the House to renew a critical national security program that allows spy agencies to collect intelligence on foreign targets abroad, after having earlier attacked the legislation.

A White House official said staffers had consulted with Trump after his initial tweet opposing the administration’s stance.

Related: Trump plays down prospect of special counsel interviewing him about Russia

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The future of American privacy rights will be defined this year | Trevor Timm
Thu, 30 Nov 2017 11:00:11 GMT

On Wednesday, the US supreme court heard a landmark cellphone privacy case. The ruling will have implications for virtually every single American

If you care about privacy, whether it’s online or on your smartphone, the coming weeks will define the scope of privacy rights for Americans for the next decade or more. Two issues – whether the police can track on our cellphone location 24/7 without a warrant, and the potential to curtail some of the NSA’s most controversial powers to spying on Americans – will be decided by Congress and the US supreme court, and it’s hard to overstate their significance.

On Wednesday, the US supreme court heard a landmark cellphone privacy case called United States v Carpenter. The case, brought by the ACLU, ostensibly involves only one defendant: someone accused of participating in a series of robberies, where the police collected location data from cellphone towers to determine where he was over a series of months.

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Ex-intelligence chiefs: Trump is being played by Putin and US is in 'peril'
Sun, 12 Nov 2017 17:59:39 GMT
  • Trump partially backtracks on Russia election meddling remarks
  • Ex-CIA chief Brennan: president’s criticism is a ‘badge of honour’

Two former US intelligence chiefs have said Donald Trump poses “a peril” to the US because he is vulnerable to being “played” by Russia, after the president said on Saturday he believed Vladimir Putin’s denials of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

Related: Trump says he'd never call Kim 'short and fat' in response to 'old' barb

Related: Vietnamese musician and activist evicted after Trump protest

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Palantir: the ‘special ops’ tech giant that wields as much real-world power as Google
Sun, 30 Jul 2017 13:59:21 GMT
Peter Thiel’s CIA-backed, data-mining firm honed its ‘crime predicting’ techniques against insurgents in Iraq. The same methods are now being sold to police departments. Will they inflame already tense relations between the public and the police?

In Minority Report, the 2002 movie adaptation of the Philip K Dick novel, Tom Cruise plays a police officer in the LAPD “pre-crime” unit. Using the premonitions of sentient mutants called “pre-cogs”, the police are able to predict when someone is going to commit a crime before it happens, swooping down from helicopters and arresting them on the street before they can do anything. Their “crime” is that they merely thought about it.

Palantir, the CIA-backed startup, is Minority Report come true. It is all-powerful, yet no one knows it even exists. Palantir does not have an office, it has a “SCIF” on a back street in Palo Alto, California. SCIF stands for “sensitive compartmentalised information facility”. Palantir says its building “must be built to be resistant to attempts to access the information within. The network must be ‘airgapped’ from the public internet to prevent information leakage.”

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Google, not GCHQ, is the truly chilling spy network | John Naughton
Sun, 18 Jun 2017 06:00:04 GMT

Daily surveillance of the general public conducted by the search engine, along with Facebook, is far more insidious than anything our spooks get up to

When Edward Snowden first revealed the extent of government surveillance of our online lives, the then foreign secretary, William (now Lord) Hague, immediately trotted out the old chestnut: “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.” This prompted replies along the lines of: “Well then, foreign secretary, can we have that photograph of you shaving while naked?”, which made us laugh, perhaps, but rather diverted us from pondering the absurdity of Hague’s remark. Most people have nothing to hide, but that doesn’t give the state the right to see them as fair game for intrusive surveillance.

By now, most internet users are aware that they are being watched, but may not yet appreciate the implications of it

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Russia and Trump: the chronicle of a scandal
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:09:00 GMT

Allegations of uncomfortably close relations with Russia have been brewing for some time, a closer look to the surprising sequence of events reveals

The Trump administration has been dogged by allegations of being too close to Russia from day one of the presidency – or in fact, long before that.

Here we take a look at the key developments in the ongoing scandal, from the US presidential election to the present day:

Related: Lawyers who said Trump has no ties to Russia named Russian law firm of 2016

Related: Trump faces new revelations as Comey prepares to testify

James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!

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US intelligence chiefs rebuff questions on Trump inquiry
Wed, 07 Jun 2017 17:39:32 GMT

Director of national intelligence Dan Coats and NSA head Michael Rogers face tough questioning from Senate committee

US intelligence chiefs have refused to say whether Donald Trump asked them to curb an FBI-led investigation into contacts between his campaign and Moscow.

The director of national intelligence, Dan Coats, and the head of the National Security Agency, Michael Rogers, faced tough questioning from the Senate intelligence committee on Wednesday about their communications with the president, after a spate of reports that he had asked them to use their influence to stop or restrict the investigation.

Silencing @SenKamalaHarris for not being “courteous” enough is just unbelievable. Keep fighting, Kamala! #NeverthelessShePersisted

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Reality Winner: NSA contractor and environmentalist repulsed by Trump
Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:16:42 GMT

Friend describes Winner, first person charged by Trump administration with violating Espionage Act, as ‘obsessed’ with fight against Isis

  • The arrest of Reality Winner highlights US intelligence vulnerability

When Reality Winner got out of the US air force last December, she was despondent.

The 25-year-old vegan yoga enthusiast, who enjoyed adopting abandoned pets and sending shoeboxes full of gifts to Afghan children, was repulsed by the US president-elect, her polar opposite.

Related: Reality Winner's arrest highlights US intelligence vulnerability

Related: Donald Trump promised to go after leakers. Now he's doing just that | Arjun Sethi

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NSA contractor faces 10-year sentence in first Espionage Act charge under Trump
Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:16:18 GMT

DoJ says in criminal complaint Reality Winner admitted to leaking document that revealed Russian hacking of US voting systems manufacturer before election

Reality Winner, the woman alleged to have leaked classified information about Russian interference in the US election, could face up to 10 years in prison if the Trump administration pursues its complaint that she violated the Espionage Act.

The 25-year-old allegedly shared documents that reveal Russian intelligence agents hacked a US voting systems manufacturer in the weeks immediately before the 2016 presidential election.

Related: Donald Trump promised to go after leakers. Now he's doing just that | Arjun Sethi

Related: Obama's abuse of the Espionage Act is modern-day McCarthyism | John Kiriakou

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Reality Winner’s parents speak out: ‘This is all very shocking’ – video
Tue, 06 Jun 2017 22:16:10 GMT

The mother and stepfather of Reality Winner, the 25-year-old facing a 10-year prison sentence for allegedly leaking classified information about Russian interference in the US election, call the accusations ‘shocking and overwhelming’. Billie Winner-Davis says she just wants her daughter to be ‘treated fairly’

  • Reality Winner faces 10-year sentence in first Espionage Act charge under Trump
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