Etiket arşivi: NSA

SURVEILLANCE /// Judge : NSA doesn’t have to keep all data as part of key surveillance lawsuit

Gov’t counsel: Forcing us to save Section 702 data would harm national security.

Electronic Frontier Foundation "Jewel" Team"

Dave Maass

OAKLAND, CA—The federal judge that had temporarily ordered the National Security Agency to preserve all evidence in a longstanding surveillance case, including data gathered specifically under the government’s Section 702 program, has now reversed that order.

“In order to protect national security programs, I cannot issue a ruling at this time. The Court rescinds the June 5 order,” Judge Jeffrey White said from the bench.

Further Reading

In two key cases, activists now ask judge to order NSA metadata preservation

After FISC reverses itself, EFF also asks Feds to disclose what was deleted.

Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act is the legal authority which the NSA uses as the basis for PRISM and other surveillance and data collection programs. The government is still required to preserve data collected under Section 215 of the Patriot Act, the law which governs the telecom metadata handover program, the first disclosure to come from the documents provided by Edward Snowden.

In a hastily-called hearing before a federal judge on Friday, lawyers from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) faced off against lawyers from the Department of Justice (who appeared by telephone) in a case that long pre-dates the Snowden revelations.

Following a request for an emergency hearing from the EFF, Judge White had issued an order in Jewel et al. v. NSA, requiring the government to preserve all collection records, including those specifically under Section 702. The EFF had wanted the NSA to preserve all data collection in bulk, regardless of what legal authority it was collected under—that way, the government would be forced to hand it over as part of the discovery process as the case moves forward.

“I don’t want the preservation effects to get in the way of national security, but I don’t want national security to checkmate our case,” Cindy Cohn, an EFF attorney, told the court.

She vigorously argued that the government’s actions dating back to the beginnings of this case should be thought of in two sections, the first being the bulk collection, and the second being the filtering through the government’s minimization procedures.

“The fight in our case has been largely about Step 1,” she said. “The government’s argument is about Step 2. We’re arguing on behalf of the millions of people whose e-mails were collected.”

In filings submitted before the evidence hearing, the government argued that being compelled to retain such information in this case would be catastrophic.

“Any attempt at an immediate solution would unleash a series of consequences that the US government cannot predict because a requirement to preserve all data acquired under Section 702 presents significant operational problems, only one of which is that the NSA may have to shut down all systems and databases that contain Section 702 information in order to preserve,” wrote Richard Ledgett, the NSA’s deputy director, in a filing (PDF). "The suspension of such operations would immediately impair the national security of the United States."

“I’m trying to protect the NSA’s national security interest,” Anthony Coppolino, a government attorney, told the court. “The steps that they have asked are not reasonable because they are far too burdensome.”

Although the ruling is a temporary setback for the plaintiffs, the case nevertheless will continue forward. The judge also set filing dates for new documents for late this month.

Going back to 2008

The case was originally brought by the EFF on behalf of Carolyn Jewel, a romance novelist who lives in Petaluma, California, north of San Francisco.

In the 2008 original complaint (PDF), Jewel and the other plaintiffs alleged that the government and AT&T were engaged in an “illegal and unconstitutional program of dragnet communications surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency and other Defendants in concert with major telecommunications companies.” The evidence stemmed from materials leaked by former San Francisco AT&T technician Mark Klein in 2006.

For years, the case stalled in the court system, but it gained new life after the Snowden disclosures last summer.

On March 10, 2014, Judge Jeffrey White issued a temporary restraining order (PDF) compelling the government to retain everything it collected even after the standard five-year deletion period, so that the plaintiffs could pursue civil discovery and if necessary, prove that their calls were among those swept up.

Since the Snowden leaks, federal courts nationwide, including the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) have taken the unprecedented step of declassifying a number of court orders and related documents that have shed light on its legal rationale and actions.

In August 2013, the FISC declassified an opinion from September 25, 2012 that described how the government “orally informed the Court that the NSA had made a ‘corporate decision’ to purge all data in its repositories that can be identified as having been acquired through upstream collection before the October 31, 2011 effective data of the amended NSA minimization procedures approved by the Court in the November 30 Opinion.”

In short, no one is really sure exactly what the NSA has already deleted.

An accidental discovery

Friday’s hearing in Oakland came about due to a very recent e-mail exchange (PDF) between one of EFF’s lawyers, Cindy Cohn and Marcia Berman, a Department of Justice attorney.

When Cohn asked Berman and other Justice officials to confirm that no additional information would be destroyed given a government-requested extension for a reply brief, Berman’s reply on June 2 was terse.

Cindy—what it means is that we have already explained in our opening brief that we are in compliance with our preservation obligations and do not feel that we should have to make any further assurances or undertakings to accommodate plaintiff’s need for additional time.

After a few more exchanges, Berman elaborated on June 5:

We do not understand why you see the need to file another [temporary restraining order] motion, because the Court is aware of the parties’ disagreement regarding the scope of the Government’s preservation obligations in this case, and has established a briefing schedule to resolve the issue.

. . .

We have also detailed our preservation activities with respect to the President’s Surveillance Program. The Court is presently considering whether the Government must preserve material obtained under Section 702 of [the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act] in the context of the Jewel/Shubert litigation.

To which Cohn replied:

We understand your response to say that the government is continuing to destroy evidence relating to surveillance under Section 702.

When Cohn informed Judge Jeffrey White of the potential violation, he ordered Friday’s hearing (PDF) and reiterated:

In the interim, the restraining order remains in effect: Defendants are ordered not to destroy any documents that may be relevant to the claims at issue in this action, including the Section 702 materials.

But after listening to the government’s arguments both in filings and the in-court hearing, Judge White reversed himself.

“These persons can’t possibly be 702 targets”

Beyond harming national security interests, the government also argued in court that Jewel and the other plaintiffs lacked standing to sue the government. Specifically, he cited the February 2013 Supreme Court decision, Clapper v. Amnesty International, which found that individuals or groups can’t sue the government because they can’t prove that surveillance took place. But that decision was rendered prior to the Snowden disclosures.

As the government’s attorneys told the court, Section 702 is designed to target non-US persons outside the United States, and there are procedures in place to enforce those restrictions. Jewel and the other plaintiffs, they argued, lack standing, because they are Americans living in the United States.

“These persons can’t possibly be 702 targets,” Coppolino said. The judge did not rule specifically on this point.

One person in the courtroom who wasn’t buying the government’s arguments was Mark Klein himself, the AT&T technician who kicked off the entire case. Since working for AT&T, Klein has retired, and until recently, was spending his free time volunteering at the Marine Mammal Center in nearby Marin County.

“The government is a bunch of slimeballs,” he told Ars. “It’s eight years already and they’re still saying that [the surveillance program] only involves targeted people. Now we have Snowden’s undeniable slides. Everyone in the country is affected. We know they’re collecting everything.”

MK ULTRA PROJECT : NSA able to target offline computers using radio-waves for surveillance, cyber-attacks

The National Security Agency has implanted software in about 100,000 computers around the world, allowing the United States to surveil those machines while creating a trail that can be used to launch cyber-attacks.

Though most of the software is installed by gaining access to computer networks, the NSA can also employ technology that enters computers and alters data without needing internet access.

The secret technology uses covert radio waves transmitted from small circuit boards and USB cards clandestinely inserted into targeted computers, The New York Times reported. The waves can then be sent to a briefcase-sized relay station intelligence agencies can set up just miles away, according to NSA documents, computer experts and US officials.

The radio frequency technology – which often needs to be physically inserted by a spy, manufacturer or unwitting user – has helped US spies access computers that global adversaries have gone to great lengths to protect from surveillance or cyber-attack.

The NSA calls use of the infiltration software and radio technology – all part of a program known as Quantum – “active defense” against cyber-attacks, though it has condemned use of similar software by Chinese attackers against American companies or government agencies.

“What’s new here is the scale and the sophistication of the intelligence agency’s ability to get into computers and networks to which no one has ever had access before,” James Andrew Lewis, cyber security expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, told The Times. “Some of these capabilities have been around for a while, but the combination of learning how to penetrate systems to insert software and learning how to do that using radio frequencies has given the U.S. a window it’s never had before.”

Quantum targets

The Chinese Army has been the most frequent target of Quantum. The US has accused the Chinese Army of infiltrating American industrial and military targets to often pilfer secrets or intellectual property.

Other Quantum targets include Russian military networks, systems used by Mexican police and drug cartels, trade institutions within the European Union and even allies like Saudi Arabia, according to American officials and NSA materials that show sites that the agency calls “computer network exploitation.”

There is no evidence that Quantum’s capabilities were used in the US. While not commenting on the scope of the program, the NSA said Quantum is not comparable to actions by the Chinese.

“NSA’s activities are focused and specifically deployed against — and only against — valid foreign intelligence targets in response to intelligence requirements,” Vanee Vines, an agency spokeswoman, said in a statement. “We do not use foreign intelligence capabilities to steal the trade secrets of foreign companies on behalf of — or give intelligence we collect to — U.S. companies to enhance their international competitiveness or increase their bottom line.”

Parts of Quantum were revealed by documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. A Dutch newspaper published a map indicating where the US had inserted spy software, usually in secret. Der Spiegel recently published the NSA’s collection of hardware products used for transmitting and receiving digital signals from computers, known as ANT.

The NSA’s Spy Catalog (Image from

An NSA advisory panel, ordered and staffed by President Barack Obama to review NSA practices following the Snowden leaks, recommended the spy agency cease exploiting flaws in common software in the name of US surveillance. The panel also suggested the NSA stop undermining vital encryption protections.

“Holes in encryption software would be more of a risk to us than a benefit,” said Richard A. Clarke, a former intel official and member of the review group. “If we can find the vulnerability, so can others. It’s more important that we protect our power grid than that we get into China’s.”

President Obama is scheduled to announce Friday what portions of the panel’s recommendations he is accepting. Reuters reported Tuesday that one policy suggestion from the panel received criticism from an unlikely place recently.

In a letter sent to Obama on behalf of the federal judicial system as a whole, former federal judge John Bates, the director of the Administrative Office of the US courts, warned against a possible "Public Interest Advocate,” which would represent privacy and civil liberty concerns before the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court. The secretive FISA court approves US government spying requests.

100,000 implants worldwide

A 2008 map, revealed in the Snowden leaks, offers 20 programs to gain access to major fiber optic cables in the US and places like Hong Kong and the Middle East. The map indicates that the US has already conducted “more than 50,000 worldwide implants.” Though a more recent budget document said that by the end of 2013, the figure would be at around 85,000. A senior officials told The Times the figure was more like 100,000.

Officials told The Times most of the implants, by far, were for surveillance and to serve as early warning for a cyber-attack aimed at the US. One official likened them to buoys used to track submarines.

The US has targeted a Chinese Army unit thought to be responsible for most of the bigger cyber-attacks wielded against the US. Documents from Snowden’s trove show the US has two data centers in China from which it can insert malware into computers.

The US maintains Quantum is not used for economic purposes, as it has complained that Chinese attacks have done.

“The argument is not working,” said Peter W. Singer, co-author of a new book called “Cybersecurity and Cyberwar.” “To the Chinese, gaining economic advantage is part of national security. And the Snowden revelations have taken a lot of the pressure off” the Chinese.

The radio-transmission technology employs many gadgets revealed by Der Spiegel in December. Among them is Cottonmouth I, a normal-looking USB plug with a small transceiver that transmits information from a computer “through a covert channel” that allows “data infiltration and exfiltration.” Most of the revealed products are at least five years old, The Times reports, but have been updated to make the US less dependent on hardware installation in its surveillance operations.

The NSA would not discuss the devices despite publication of the documents describing them by the European news outlets.

“Continuous and selective publication of specific techniques and tools used by NSA. to pursue legitimate foreign intelligence targets is detrimental to the security of the United States and our allies,” said Vines.

Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of US House lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday that would require President Obama to unveil budget figures for all 16 spy agencies. The secretive black budget for US intelligence agencies was reported to be $53 billion for fiscal year 2013, based on documents from Snowden reported by The Washington Post.

Edward Snowden Reveals What the NSA Can Allegedly Do With Your Phone – Even if It’s Off

Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden says the U.S. government has the capability to remotely turn on a targeted cellphone and then secretly activate the device’s camera and microphone.

NBC News

In an exclusive interview with NBC News’ Brian Williams, Snowden elaborated on some of the revelations made in the leaked documents that rocked the nation last year.

“The NSA, the Russian intelligence service, the Chinese intelligence service, any intelligence service in the world that has significant funding and a real technological research team can own that phone… as soon as you turn it on, it can be theirs,” Snowden said. “They can turn it into a microphone, they can take pictures from it, they can take data off of it.”

He did clarify, however, that such surveillance is “typically done on a targeted basis.”

When asked by Williams if the government could turn on a phone remotely if it’s off, Snowden said “yes.” He answered the same way when asked if they can turn on apps or access Google history.


Snowden also defended himself against critics who allege he has ties with Russia or the country’s president, Vladimir Putin.

“I have no relationship with the Russian government, I’ve never met the Russian president. I’m not supported by the Russian government. I’m not taking money from the Russian government,” Snowden said. “I’m not a spy, which is the real question.”


He said he “never intended to end up in Russia.” Instead, he claims the U.S. revoked his passport before his flight from Russia to “Cuba onwards to Latin America,” stranding him in Russia.

He made it clear that he would like to return to the United States, saying he misses his family, friends and even his old job.


Snowden, a former systems analyst for the NSA, downloaded intelligence documents and leaked them to select journalists, including Glenn Greenwald. The documents revealed, among other things, that the U.S. government was collecting bulk phone and email data on American citizens. Snowden maintains he took action because he felt the American people had the right to know about the surveillance programs.

Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday called Snowden a fugitive and urged him to “man up and come back to the United States.”

“If he cares so much about America and he believes in America, he should trust the American system of justice,” Kerry said.

For more on the interview visit

This story has been updated.

Greenwald to publish list of U.S. citizens NSA spied on

Glenn Greenwald, one of the reporters who chronicled the document dump by National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden via the U.K. press, now said he’s set to publish his most dramatic piece yet: The names of those in the United States targeted by the NSA.

“One of the big questions when is comes to domestic spying is, ‘Who have been the NSA’s specific targets?’ Are they political critics and dissidents and activists? Are they genuinely people we’d regard as terrorists? What are the metrics and calculations that go into choosing those targets and what is done with the surveillance that is conducted? Those are the kinds of questions that I want to still answer,” Mr. Greenwald told The Sunday Times of London.

Mr. Greenwald also pointed to the failures of the NSA to catch Mr. Snowden during his download and theft of 1.7 million documents, and said that’s further evidence of the government’s inability to guarantee data security.

“There is this genuinely menacing [spy] system and at the same time, [they] are really inept about how they operate it,” he said, Newsmax reported. “Not only was he out there under their noses downloading huge amounts of documents without being detected, but to this day, they’re incapable of finding out what he took.”

Mr. Greenwald, who’s promoting his new book, “No Place to Hide,” said the list will be published on The Intercept, the website he established after leaving The Guardian.

MK ULTRA PROJECT /// Photos of an NSA “upgrade” factory show Cisco router getting implant

Servers, routers get “beacons” implanted at secret locations by NSA’s TAO team.

A document included in the trove of National Security Agency files released with Glenn Greenwald’s book No Place to Hide details how the agency’s Tailored Access Operations (TAO) unit and other NSA employees intercept servers, routers, and other network gear being shipped to organizations targeted for surveillance and install covert implant firmware onto them before they’re delivered.

These Trojan horse systems were described by an NSA manager as being “some of the most productive operations in TAO because they pre-position access points into hard target networks around the world.”

The document, a June 2010 internal newsletter article by the chief of the NSA’s Access and Target Development department (S3261) includes photos (above) of NSA employees opening the shipping box for a Cisco router and installing beacon firmware with a “load station” designed specifically for the task.

The NSA manager described the process:

Here’s how it works: shipments of computer network devices (servers, routers, etc,) being delivered to our targets throughout the world are intercepted. Next, they are redirected to a secret location where Tailored Access Operations/Access Operations (AO-S326) employees, with the support of the Remote Operations Center (S321), enable the installation of beacon implants directly into our targets’ electronic devices. These devices are then re-packaged and placed back into transit to the original destination. All of this happens with the support of Intelligence Community partners and the technical wizards in TAO.

MK ULTRA PROJECT /// VİDEO : ‘Gang-Stalking’ And Electronic Mind Control Community Spreads Online

A massive expansion to the online “gang-stalking” community has occurred in recent years, with the spread of thousands of websites, videos and organized events for people expressing their concerns that there is systematic form of electronic and physical pursuit of “targeted individuals” being conducted by government and corporate entities. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) – A massive expansion of an online community battling what they call “gang-stalking” has occurred in recent years, with the spread of thousands of websites, videos and organized events for followers of the movement. Those who believe “gang stalkers” exist publicly and brazenly express their concerns that there is a systematic form of electronic and physical pursuit of “targeted individuals” being conducted by government and corporate entities.

Videos show purported victims of “gang-stalking” physically approaching and filming U.S. Postal Service employees, electrical company technicians, and people simply walking down the street to implore them to stop gang-stalking them. One viral video poster repeatedly shouts that she “has done nothing wrong,” and that the seemingly dumbfounded “gang-stalkers” should “stop following” her.


Gang-stalking bloggers utilize thousands of likes, shares and video posts describing gang-stalking as “a highly criminal campaign, one directed at a Target Individual, and one that aims to destroy an innocent persons life through covert harassments, malicious slander and carefully crafted and executed psychological attacks.”

By nature of their fears, gang-stalking victims and those in the organized stalking online community are difficult to contact in a face-to-face meeting or via means not behind a computer screen.

The list of terms used to describe “gang-stalking” and the concepts that surround it are numerous and frequent, with comment sections to stories remaining one of the largest hotbeds of such discussion:

The varied vocabulary includes: “Targeted Individual or TI, Electronic Stalking and Mind Control (ESMC), gang stalking, multi-stalking or multiple stalking, organized stalking, revenge stalking, vigilante stalking, group stalking, baiting, brighting, gaslighting (named for the movie ‘Gaslight’), Orwellian surveillance (“1984”) handler, misconduct, noise campaigns, psychotronics, street theater, and swarming.”

Freedom from Covert Harassment and Surveillance, an online organization that ensures other gang-stalking victims that they are “not alone,” describes the gang-stalkers themselves as “perpetrators.”

One website, “Gang Stalking World,” describes people’s “adventures with gang stalking,” with the bloggers adding, “I really didn’t choose this adventure, it chose me about six years or so ago.”

Last year’s National Security Agency leaks from Edward Snowden sparked hundreds of gang-stalking bloggers and websites, touting their accuracy and knowledge of the pervasive government spying all along.

Many websites declare that the Affordable Care Act is among many “lists” being formulated to track targets without their knowledge. “Whistleblowers” and the “outspoken” are among the most targeted characteristics.

“This is used as a means of retaliation, blacklisting, silencing, or controlling members of society. Once on the notification system, warnings about the targets are sent out to every individual the target comes in contact with, thus poisoning their associations, and socially annexing the targeted individual,” according to Gang Stalking World.
East Germany’s Stasi, the Soviet Union’s KGB, and the Nazi’s are commonly referenced as having used these “zersetzung” – German for “decomposition” or “corrosion” tactics to psychologically tear down victims.

In the majority of gang-stalking related media circulating online, at least one large body of government or corporate individuals is accused of targeting and attempting to control the lives of the alleged gang-stalking victims.

“This harassment includes electronic mind/body attacks, street harassment skits, destruction of family and other relationships and destruction of careers,” writes one blogger.

Most descriptions of gang-stalking claim that people are not only physically following them, but also that there are “psycho-electronic” mind control tactics being used.

A 2012 KMIR News report found a group of men who all believed that “corrupt business officials” and “rogue government officials” were sponsoring “synthetic telepathy” and other forms of “electronic harassment” that allowed them voice-to-skull manipulation of the men’s minds.


“How much more can you invade me, than to go into my brain,” Cathedral City resident, Randall Ringger, told KMIR-TV. “It sounds like somebody else is reading the book, except it’s thoughts,” said Palms resident, Kevin Bond.

“We’re not having a group hallucination, this is actually something that is happening,” said Palm Springs resident, Bob Stansfield.

“I started hearing as you’ll hear, hearing voices and what they’ll call voice to skull or microwave hearing,” said Bond, who said he’d found more than 300 people in the local community who had experienced similar electronic harassment.

Benjamin Simon’s Yahoo! Blog post describes his own run-ins with gang-stalkers: “Breaking in and vandalizing your home; Knowing you and your family’s schedule; Placing wiretaps/hidden cameras in your home. They usually have ties to, are protected by, or go easily undetected by any government branch (police, psychiatric hospitals…essentially any organization that’s supposed to help you). They are well organized, and seem to have unending resources (I’ve been followed at/around concerts, events, freelance job positions, many of which I found out about last minute). If you’re being harassed, forget about turning to higher authority to help you- they are usually the ones hurting you.”

Experts have noted a range of paranoid persons who deliberately fake accusations of stalking – someone who enjoys power through manipulation “mobilizing” others around their own lies, specifically to “reinforce a notion of himself as an oppressed victim” by concocting bizarre narratives.

A 2004 UK and Netherlands study estimated that 11.5 percent stalking claims were false, and that 70 percent of false stalking reports were made by people suffering from psychological delusions.

But there are those who truly believe they are being stalked, with such delusions often stemming from past situations where the person did feel targeted or mistreated and has learned to be constantly on the defensive.

“Tendency towards paranoia often originates from a place in which the person had to be hyper-vigilant to protect himself, whether physical or emotionally,” notes clinical social worker Laura Miller, adding that “there is generally a grain of truth at the base of even the wildest delusions.”

The ongoing NSA revelations have given nuggets of truth for wide-ranging theories across the online gang-stalking community.

Miller notes that on the “extreme end” of some of these communities, some sites “do more to sever ties between these people from reality and the grounding relationships in their lives and may serve as a poor substitute to real relating interpersonally.”

“The social isolation that results serves to insulate that person in a cocoon in which others can’t hurt him because he is on the defensive constantly,” explains Miller. “But he also pushes others away with his behavior in such a way that he is often left ostracized and lonely. The cruel irony that the very person who believes so many people are employed full-time to watch his every move is more and more alone as the delusion grows is deeply sad and potentially not unrelated.”

Gang-stalking is far from just an American concept.

In a study published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, Pathe Mullen and Purcell compared twelve individuals who falsely claimed to be victims of stalking to 100 actual stalking victims.

The study found that false victims “consumed more medical services” than genuine stalking victims, and were “more likely to be embroiled in legal action” as well as reporting their alleged harassment to authorities faster and more frequently than actual stalking victims. Conspiracy theorists frequently describe the use of “psychotronic weapons” among the many mind control techniques.

Psychiatrists and psychologists have at least partially blamed the internet itself for such theories, citing an “extreme community” that encourages delusional thinking – that people in red and white cars are watching them, individuals lurking by their bedside as they sleep, and seemingly complete strangers are actually snickering at them in public, The New York Times describes.

Although the internet has helped many afflicted with mental health problems, psychiatrists suggest a “dark side of social networking,” where the mentally ill can have delusional theories reinforced.

“The views of these belief systems are like a shark that has to be constantly fed,” Dr. Hoffman told The New York Times. “If you don’t feed the delusion, sooner or later it will die out or diminish on its own accord. The key thing is that it needs to be repetitively reinforced.”

Hoffman added that many of his research subjects have mentioned that they have visited mind-control sites that have confirmed their own paranoid suspicions.

MK ULTRA PROJECTS /// VİDEO : Cheney to NSA: Spy on Supreme Court Judges


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