Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.
Consider the latest leak sourced to Edward Snowden from the perspective of his detractors. The National Security Agency's defenders would have us believe that Snowden is a thief and a criminal at best, and perhaps a traitorous Russian spy. In their telling, the NSA carries out its mission lawfully, honorably, and without unduly compromising the privacy of innocents. For that reason, they regard Snowden's actions as a wrongheaded slur campaign premised on lies and exaggerations.
For more than a year, NSA officials have insisted that although Edward Snowden had access to reports about NSA surveillance, he didn't have access to the actual surveillance intercepts themselves. It turns out they were lying.1 In fact, he provided the Washington Post with a cache of 22,000 intercept reports containing 160,000 individual intercepts. The Post has spent months reviewing these files and estimates that 11 percent of the intercepted accounts belonged to NSA targets and the remaining 89 percent were "incidental" collections from bystanders.
Since 2006, the Surveillance State has continued to grow. Here in New York, several waves of new systems have been installed, with each one bringing more powerful (and expensive) cameras to our streets, subway stations and public housing units. As in Chicago and Washington, D.C., there is now a centralized, real-time, computerized surveillance meta-system at work. Its name is “Domain Surveillance” and it was developed in 2012 by the NYPD/CIA in conjunction with Microsoft.
Last week, the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF) released a trove of some 4,000 documents it obtained under the Freedom of Information Act showing that the movements of the mostly peaceful participants in the Occupy Wall Street protests were subjected to an “enormous spying and monitoring apparatus” that included coordination between the Pentagon, FBI, Department of Homeland Security, local police, private security contractors and corporate interests.
The Canadian military used its counter-intelligence unit to monitor the aftermath of last October’s RCMP raid on a Mi’kmaq Warrior Society-led anti-fracking camp in New Brunswick in preparation for the eventuality the situation went “sideways,” according to internal document obtained by APTN National News. Senior officers with Joint Task Force Atlantic, which is headquartered in Halifax, were also trying to assess who was leading the protests locally and the reaction protests planned across the country following the Oct. 17, 2013 raid, according to the documents, including email, released under the Access to Information Act.
For the first time, the founder of an encrypted email startup that was supposed to insure privacy for all reveals how the FBI and the US legal system made sure we don't have the right to much privacy in the first place.
Fittingly for an event held in a church, journalist Glenn Greenwald spoke with an almost evangelical tone about the effects of working with Edward Snowden in revealing the extent and scale of the National Security Agency's (NSA) unconstitutional, illegal, and unaccountable mass surveillance program.
Two informants who appear to have been very familiar with Washington, D.C. area anarchists helped FBI agents learn the identity of a photo journalist that attended and documented a small 2008 anti-IMF / World Bank protest that trashed the lobby of an upscale hotel. Now those informants may find themselves exposed if a D.C . judge’s orders are carried out.
Two new communiqués from the surveillance state this week. Over the weekend, the New York Times and Der Spiegel, the German newsmagazine, came up with another batch of documents released by Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor, who has told us in a year more truth about the world we live in than our media seem prepared to tell us in the next two decades.