Tag Archive for Surveillance State

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Plumbing the Depths of NSA’s Spying

Former National Security Agency official William Binney sitting in the offices of Democracy Now! in New York City. (Photo credit: Jacob Appelbaum)

The complexity of the National Security Agency’s spying programs has made some of its ex-technical experts the most dangerous critics since they are among the few who understand the potential totalitarian risks involved, as ex-NSA analyst William Binney showed in an interview with journalist Lars Schall.

The Mystery of Ray McGovern’s Arrest

Former CIA analyst Ray McGovern

Exclusive: On Oct. 30, ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern was arrested for trying to attend a public speech by retired Gen. David Petraeus. McGovern had hoped to ask Petraeus a critical question during Q-and-A but was instead trundled off to jail, another sign of a growing hostility toward dissent, McGovern says.

Obama’s Last Chance

President Barack Obama walks with Senior Advisors on the Colonnade of the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Exclusive: For six years, President Obama has bent to the will of Official Washington by reneging on promises to the American people for “transparency” and operating instead as an out-of-touch “insider.” Now, the Democratic election debacle offers him a last chance to remember why he was elected, writes Robert Parry.

Citizenfour’s Escape to Freedom in Russia

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden speaking in Moscow on Oct. 9, 2013. (From a video posted by WikiLeaks)

Exclusive: An international community of resistance has formed against pervasive spying by the U.S. National Security Agency with key enclaves in Moscow (with NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden) and in London (with WikiLeaks’ Julian Assange), way stations visited by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

James Risen’s Painful Truths

New York Times national security reporter James Risen, author of the new book, Pay Any Price.

President Obama promised a “transparent” administration – but the American people didn’t know the transparency would go only one way, letting the government look at the people while blocking the public’s view of the government, a reality described in James Risen’s new book, reviewed by Norman Solomon.

Cameras to Detect ‘Abnormal’ Behavior

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport.

In the chimerical pursuit of perfect security, Western countries are turning to advanced technology to detect and stop terrorist attacks. But these expensive schemes often fail to deliver greater safety while further eroding personal freedom, as Sander Venema observed in the Netherlands.

PRISM’s Controversial Forerunner

William Hamilton, developer of the PROMIS software, and his wife Nancy.

From the Archive: Richard L. Fricker, a courageous journalist and frequent writer at Consortiumnews, died on Sept. 12 from heart failure. Among Fricker’s important work was his investigation of the U.S. government’s PROMIS software which preceded the NSA’s Orwellian PRISM, as Fricker noted last July.

Obama’s Failure to Rein in CIA and NSA

CIA Director John Brennan at a White House meeting during his time as President Barack Obama's counterterrorism adviser.

Despite Barack Obama’s promises during the 2008 campaign to reform the U.S. intelligence community, he has continued to tolerate its abuses, enable its excessive secrecy and indulge its bone-headedness, as ex-CIA analyst Melvin A. Goodman explains.

Does Cell-Phone Case Imperil NSA Spying?

U.S. Supreme Court

Though the Republican-controlled U.S. Supreme Court often splits 5-4 on partisan and ideological issues, a consensus is emerging against the government’s electronic intrusion on personal privacy, which could portend trouble for NSA spying, says Marjorie Cohn.

Treating Snowden as a ‘Personality’

Vanity Fair graphic accompanying its profile of National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The mainstream U.S. media prefers personalities over substance, so it was perhaps not a surprise that its focus at the first anniversary of Edward Snowden’s NSA leaks was on his alleged peculiarities, not the frightening prospect of a Big Brother state, says ex-State Department official William R. Polk.