Stop Spying on Me: Understanding the Incursion and What You Can Do

dontspyactionSummary

The attack on the US Constitution in the wake of US National Security Agency leaks over massive surveillance, compromises the fourth and ninth amendments. Massive surveillance programs indiscriminately monitor every kind of digital or electronic communication of Americans and foreigners. The United States and their relationships with the “Five Eyes” does this legally by monitoring foreign governments and having foreign allied governments monitor our citizens. Then under an agreement these allied powers exchange information about each other’s citizens and their digital communications to subvert the laws put in place to protect privacy. This is wrong.

This incursion happens to corporate secrets and could be viewed legally as espionage. The effect of this spying works to perpetuate the largess of multi-nationals while stifling competition and innovation through oppressive taxation and regulation. This happens without probable cause and reasonable assumption as required by the law. To the mis-fortunate, the burden of proof is shifted from the government of the United States to the citizen. Hindered by a police state, Americans who would otherwise remain anonymous before their government face instead a cliché exclaiming, “You have nothing to fear if you’re not doing anything wrong.” Countries who pursued this irrationality in the 20th century saw the death of over a 100 million people to Nazism, communism and socialism. This kind of nationalism should remain an anathema to American ideas, culture and legality. Instead this apparatus supports a crony-capitalistic nepotism to solve political and social problems created by the political class. Lobbying interests are served before the privacy of individual citizens. Corporations helping the government, obtain this ability help to cast a net of surveillance over all the citizens of the country with cameras in cop cars and at traffic stops. Snooping goes on with big data and the groceries you buy using your value card and each credit card transaction leaves a finger print of your buying habits to be scrutinized by an all-powerful state. This is all done by borrowing your money and that of your children’s to spy on you. This is an indignation that freemen should not suffer.

Americans face a deluge of revelations recently regarding their government spying on them. Edward Snowden released over 50,000 documents and only a small portion has been revealed to the public. Read on to discover what is known about this incursion against your human rights and click the links below to be part of the solution to the problem.

 

Origins and Basis

Following the Second World War, the US and its allies had defeated Nazi Germany. However, American and Soviet interests remained at a crossroads. Soviet power had increased in Eastern Europe and Communist interests in China overtook the nationals who fled to Taiwan. As states like East Germany, Poland, Hungary, and China fell under Communist power, the West watched an iron curtain hinder freedom in the form of tyranny and a police state. This subservience became a threat to US national interests globally even as the banking cartel in the US funded both sides. Having gained valuable insight into sharing information to ensure the success of allied forces in the contract, the governments of the United Kingdom and the United States agreed on March 05, 1946 to share intelligence information in what became the UKUSA Security Agreement [1]. In the following decades Canada, Australia and New Zealand were added to this initially secret treaty but only after the Australians investigated a location called Pine Grove that was initially run by the US Central Intelligence Agency early in the 1970′s and knowledge of this program was made public in a series of raids known as the Murphy Raids. The Australian Prime Minister was fired over it.

Article II, Section 2 of the US Constitution states, “The President…shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur.” Once the President decides a treaty is good it is sent to the US Senate’s Foreign Relations’ Committee for Ratification. After review it is sent to the full Senate, which ratification requires 67 votes. The Senate may consider amendments independent of the President and send the treaty back to the President for final ratification and implementation of the treaty.

While it is apparent in matters of national security, the US President may authorize international policy from an executive-only perspective. It is evident the USAUK Agreement was not negotiated with the Congress. A sole-executive agreement can only be negotiated and entered into through the president’s authority in areas of: (1) in foreign policy, (2) as commander-in-chief of the armed forces, (3) from a prior act of Congress, or (4) from a prior treaty. Agreements beyond these competencies must have the approval of Congress (for congressional-executive agreements) or the Senate (for treaties). Understanding the UKUSA Agreement above notes that this falls under the second portion of a sole-executive agreement and Congressional Consent and Approval is not required in these kinds of treaties. There are obligations of the executive that apply and shall be noted below. This is why militarism and terrorism are consistently used to spy on everyone.

The power of this law can not super-cede the US Constitutional limitations explicitly stated in first eight amendments of the Bill of Rights. This is supported by the US Supreme court, in a landmark 1957 case where a woman was accused and brought to trial by military tribunal of murdering her husband. The US and UK had a military agreement at the time that allowed US Servicemen and their families to be tried by military tribunal while stationed overseas as a matter of jurisdiction. In Reid v. Covert, the US Supreme Court agreed with the petitioners, concluding that United States citizens were entitled to the protections of the Bill of Rights, notwithstanding that they committed crimes in foreign soil. This was despite these agreements made by the executive [2].

The result of these arrangements has created the largest intelligence gathering apparatus in the history of the world. The governments of the “Five Eyes” have heavily invested in information gathering technology to the point of intrusive behaviors towards individual citizens who no longer can remain anonymous before their government. Personal emails, surfing habits and books that are checked out of libraries are spied on for suspicious behavior.

unclesam-spyingUncle Sam: Big Brother with a Watchful Eye

Recent revelations by Booz Allen Hamilton contractor and defector, Edward Snowden, have brought new light to several surveillance programs [3]. While the Echelon story broke in the UK back in 2001, Snowden’s revelations have brought several programs including, PRISM, XKEYSCORE, and TEMPORA to light. These revelations represent only a small portion of Edward Snowden’s 50,000 document leak and have caused  problems with US allies in France and Germany as a result. American civil liberties groups have formed efforts to restore constitutional protections toward the people of the United States as a result of these revelations and Congress has refused to impeach a single official in the Obama Administration over these issues and not a single special prosecutor has been appointed by the US Department of Justice. There are rogue extra-constitutional elements at play.

A country that refuses to target and profile Islamic terrorists for fear of reprisals from organizations like CAIR, but targets ordinary citizens instead because of their dissenting views, has a real problems. When the Fusion Center in Boston targeted peaceful anti-war Veterans groups instead of following the leads the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and Russian Intelligence Apparatus gave them, these limited resources failed to prevent the tragedy at the Boston Bombing. How many other opportunities are missed because this kind of intrusion is misappropriating the targeting of intelligence gathering assets? Why is not the consensus among Americans, journalists, writers and politicians in a non-partisan fashion exclaiming that our enemies of state aren’t ordinary people in the United States that need to be controlled but outlaw banks who launder billions for the US Central Intelligence Agency and drug traffickers?

ECHELON

This program, rumored since the 1970′s, is designed principally for non-military targets: governments, organizations and businesses in virtually every country. The Guardian UK broke a story from concerned civil libertarian groups noting its construction by the US National Security Agency and the British GCHQ. It was part of the “Five Eyes” agreements noted above [4]. ECHELON is a surveillance technology that focuses on electronic methods of communication like: cell phones, fax machines, and email networks. By listening to these communications, the technology behind this system searches for keywords. This system can even listen to phone calls and search them for keywords. Targeting is also determined by these keyword searches. The US and UK governments are through to tap the deep water cables that allow communications to exist between continents as well as satellite communications that perform the same tasks. It is believed that large pools of data are collected and then processed.

In an Operation known as, Operation Ivy Bells, the US Navy in conjunction with the US Central Intelligence Agency and US National Security Agency, learned of Russian military communications via an underwater cable in the Sea of Okhotsk. The US wanted to learn about the Soviets submarine capabilities [5]. During the Cold War, the Soviet Union had claimed this Sea as territorial waters which prohibited international sea traffic. The Soviet Union had installed sensitive listening capabilities to detect intrusion [6]. The USS Halibut, lead by Captain James Bradley, sailed into dangerous waters and given the sensitive nature of the story, the sailors aboard were told their mission was to recover a Russian SSN-N-12 AshM. This missile was an anti-ship missile that was deployed by Soviet Naval Forces and could be used against allied forces. US Navy divers performed the mission successfully; recovering over 2 million pieces. The intelligence gathered allowed the US to deploy appropriate countermeasures against this weapon. While the cover story stuck, the US was successful at penetrating the Soviet Communications in the Sea by tapping this undersea cable. Early in the 1980′s the mission was compromised by a disaffected National Security Agency employee, named Roland Pelton, who took information about this operation and sold it to the Soviet Union. The USS Parche was dispatched to recover the listening device but US Navy divers were unsuccessful in obtaining it [7].

The USS Jimmy Carter, was launched May 13, 2004 and was the third and final Seawolf-Class submarine delivered to the US Navy. While she was being built, a special $887 million contract was awarded to Electric Boat to make extensive modifications to the initial design [8]. These modifications included a multi-mission platform which allows divers to perform missions that include Remote Operational Vehicles and insertion of Seal Teams [9]. It is largely believed the modifications also include sensitive intelligence gathering technologies. This was the most expensive Naval program ever costing 25% of the US Navy’s construction budget since 1991 on and the USS Jimmy Carter is considered 70 times quieter than the initial class of Los Angeles attack submarines [10]. Rear Admiral Hank McKinney in a Defense-tech article about the USS Jimmy Carter, hypothesized the use of this platform in performing undersea cable taps noting:

The US Navy has for years carried out special surveillance missions with nuclear submarines. Most of these missions utilized attack submarines that were not extensively modified. Specialized communications intercept equipment were installed in existing spaces on board these submarines…In the case of USS Jimmy Carter, all the modifications were made before the submarine was delivered to the US Navy [11].

It is believed the USS Jimmy Carter has technology that allows the sub to tap undersea phone lines by inserting a sleeve over the undersea cable. Technology can be deployed that tethers a cable back out to sea in friendly waters and broadcast to a satellite information from the tap.

OTHER PRE-9/11 SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS

When the United States determines a threat to the government the financial database that is kept of their monetary interests. This database as of 2008 had some 8 million names in it and was called Main Core [12]. Projects MINARET [13] and SHAMROCK [14] were also operated by the National Security Agency. These programs targeted specific citizens and their communications traffic. Allegedly, there was no judicial oversight, and the project required no warrants for interception. Operating between 1967 and 1973, over 5,925 foreigners and 1,690 organizations and US citizens were included on the Project MINARET watch lists. National Security Agency Director, Lew Allen, testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee in 1975. He noted the National Security Agency had issued over 3,900 reports on the watch-listed Americans [15]. The program was terminated by the Attorney General, Elliot Richardson. Project SHAMROCK focused on all traffic leaving the United States. The National Security Agency was given daily microfiche of all outgoing telephonic calls from the United States and then passed the information along to other members of the Intelligence Community [16]. Another database was designed to track case management of the legal system. PROMIS allowed prosecutors to determine what attorney’s would plea-bargain a case out or who would take specific kinds of cases [17]. The leverage this provided prosecutors over judges and defendant’s counsel could inhibit the rights of the accused by gambling with probability on if an attorney would settle or not. Converted to intelligence management it can track assets in various countries and be used for case management of operations around the globe [18].

WAR ON TERROR SURVEILLANCE

The broad sweeping powers of US-PATRIOT Act [19] in 2001, following the September 11th attacks and the anthrax attacks on political opponents of George W. Bush [20], provided a legal framework for the National Security Agency to expand its surveillance powers [21].

The BLARNEY is a program started in 1978 and it is a communication surveillance program, started in 1978 and operated under the legality of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. It continued into the war on terror and it monitors wireless and wired communications where information is compiled by telephone companies [22]. Between 2003 and 2006, in a room located at 611 Folsom Street, in San Francisco, California known as Study Group 3 to AT&T, a secure enclave that has fibre optic back bone trunks that allow AT&T and their customers listen to, sift, read, and process Internet traffic regionally and globally [23]. Experts believe 20 such facilities exist around the US and that BLARNEY sifts through 75% of all Internet traffic [24]. Like other programs, its intrusive nature collected large amounts of personal contact information that didn’t require probable cause to initiate the surveillance.

A program called TURBULENCE does more than look over the Internet for the National Security Agency [25]. It is the progeny of the TRAILBLAZER project which was discontinued in 2006 due to being over budget and being unable to demonstrate results [26]. The TURBULENCE project allows agents of the Intelligence Community to interject offensive cyber-warfare capabilities like malware and spy-ware onto people’s computers using known weaknesses in operating systems. TURBULENCE was developed as a series of smaller pilot programs which demonstrated capability unlike TRAILBLAZER. Some sub programs decrypt information on the web with National Security Agency’s super-computing. Allegedly the National Security Agency are able to decrypt most algorithms [27]. This program has been criticized by Congress even after whistle-blowers went through official channels, for having similar problems as the TRAILBLAZER project to include massive fraud, waste and abuse. The Bush and Obama Administrations responses were to focus on leak with politically motivated witch hunts instead of correcting the problem [28] or as chief executives with their Attorney’s General choose to protect the constitutional liberties of their constituents for whom they were elected.

The National Security Agency collects additional information on global Internet traffic a database called PINWALE. It allows targeting directors and analysts to cherry pick the information and to target individuals [29]. This database and its collection technologies requires Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA) approvals and has a capacity of about 60GB of data production daily. Revelations about the database note it contains two partitions, “Sweet” and “Sour [30].” While the PINWALE database looks at Internet traffic, another database that manages the meta-data for people’s phone calls and is called MAINWAY. This database collects the information from calls originating with AT&T, SBC, Bell South and Verizon. It contains the meta-data of several trillion phone calls and also falls under the FISA judicial process.

edward-snowden-is-both-a-patriot-and-a-traitorEDWARD SNOWDEN’S REVELATIONS

Edward Snowden, son of a Coast Guard Officer, struggled in school at a young age. His parents got divorced and at age 16 he went to a local community college to study computers. His infamy however started long after he took courses at Anne Arundel Community College. He also had joined he Army. His stint with the Army resulted in a discharge due to him breaking both legs while still in training around 2003. This earned him a discharge. In 2005 he started working with the National Security Agency as a “Security Specialist” after initially being hired as a security guard. In 2006 Snowden landed a job with the US Central Intelligence Agency. In February of 2009 Snowden left the US Central Intelligence Agency to work for Booz Allen Hamilton in Japan and his opinions of the US surveillance programs shifted. He also realized that the processes built into the US system are created to keep the National Security Agency in check had failed. He was one of approximately 1000 system administrators who could surf the National Security Agency’s intra-net and not leave digital fingerprints. On 20 May he vanished after requesting a leave of absence from his employer and informing his employer he had a recent diagnosis of epilepsy [31]. When he resurfaced he had made liaison with Laura Poitras and her colleague Glen Greenwald with the Guardian UK, a large media outlet in the United Kingdom. They met in Hong Kong. After their interviews and meeting in secret, the story posted and became the most widely watched story The Guardian had ever produced. Edward Snowden’s story in 2013 brought these issues to the forefront of Internet security and privacy discussions while also making him out to be a hero and a traitor among his countrymen. He lost his country and citizenship and escaped to Russia where he is currently living. His revelations have not brought a single Special Prosecutor or action to impeach from the Congress on any National Security Agency official for lying to Congress or subverting the Constitution. Beyond the embarrassment of the US spying on its allies, the inability of the Congress to act on behalf of the American people to defend the Constitution on these matters, must appear to foreign allies and foes as another sign of weakness and ineptitude.

PRISM.

When Edward Snowden talked about the invasive aspects of the National Security Agency (NSA) he detailed a surveillance program called PRISM which allowed the National Security Agency to spy on businesses and individuals who used Microsoft services. Notably, Microsoft’s cloud based services and encryption technologies had been compromised by the Vendor. The allegation noted that Microsoft colluded with the National Security Agency. Furthermore, these revelations noted that Microsoft’s involvement with Skype allowed the National Security Agency to grab text, voice and video conversations from the communication software platform. This information was shared with the US Federal Bureau of Investigation and US Central Intelligence Agency [32]. Microsoft denied this collaboration. Is it any wonder why the US Justice Department dropped its Anti-trust suit in 2001 if this allegation is true?

XKEYSCORE

Mr. Snowden talked about the pervasive aspects of this program by stating that almost everything you do on-line is collected by the National Security Agency and they can do it without a warrant. Notably, your email, your social networking activity and browsing histories are collected in a repository. This collection technology included your meta-data as well. Snowden showed investigators the form used by National Security Agency to acquire this background information [33]. One can simply type in an email address and massive amounts of data are sifted to collect information about a target.

TEMPORA.

The most significant revelation from Mr. Snowden is a program that involves a “Full Take” system that records more than meta-data and search histories. It records almost three days worth of the Internet. It indiscriminately takes in entire swaths of the net with minimal regard to the Constitution. What is published on Facebook, on a web-page, what web page you visit, the pornography you download, the text message you send to your mother on the way home all gets rolled up in this database. “Full-take” means it doesn’t miss anything, and ingests the entirety of each circuit’s capacity. Snowden noted, “If you send a single ICMP packet and it routes through the UK, we get it. If you download something and the CDN (Content Delivery Network) happens to serve from the UK, we get it. If your sick daughter’s medical records get processed at a London call center … well, you get the idea [34].”

Justifications and Potential Good

Recently, the implementation of these programs are sold to the US Congress, when the Intelligence Community is not lying to them [35], under the guise of stopping terrorists. Scouring the third and developing world for violent political interests, where Internet connections can often be scarce, seems a bit like over kill when selling it to the American People with a healthy dose of fear of another terrorist attack. 20 years ago it was about limiting the influence and spread of Soviet and Chinese Communism. Both of these are essential to the legality of these programs, due to a military purpose on the sole-executive treaty powers noted above, when they could be better used to protect intellectual property rights with our trading partners. Apologists note when an adversary is identified, such as a terrorist or even the fear of a terrorist, and political influence wielded from these programs, monitoring the enemies of the state, as a matter of national security, is decidedly in the best interest of the country. The monitoring of the world in this fashion can serve the interests of the United States by following the money of our adversaries, by limiting their access to our markets, and using the intelligence information gathered to inhibit their operations abroad. This information can solve crimes, can help field commanders on the battlefield, and limit the traffic of persons and drugs around the world. As a result of these efforts, the National Security Agency claimed in October of 2013 that it had stopped some 50 terrorist attacks without providing evidence [36] to the Congress. While classified, an estimated black budget of $10 Billion annually demonstrates the expense of these preventative efforts [37].

With the disintegration of the Soviet Union and advent of a technological revolution via the Internet, the atomization of anti-American sentiments [38] provides a variety of surveillance opportunities to defend the interests of the United States. It seems that a top down approach to big data has empowered a government in spending money to solve a problem a minority helped to create. Surveillance technology of the database that was created with Saudi-Intelligence to identify arms and money flowing in and out of Afghanistan [39], which Robin Cook referred to as Al-Queda, could have identified Osama bin Laden as a potential threat long before the US decided he wasn’t an asset to the US Central Intelligence Agency any longer [40]. Surveillance technology could be used to stop the 12 million illegal alien immigrants who have invaded their porous borders [41]. Instead the US Department of Homeland Security subjects US citizens to physical humiliation each time they fly [42]. Grandmother’s in wheelchairs are groped. Cancer patients wearing diaper en-route to chem-therapy are humiliated and naked pictures of us all are taken in the name of safety. Nun are given pat-downs and pedophiles have been hired as they touch little children’s private areas in the name of national security. In the least we’re forced to be less productive when we travel, taking hours out of our schedule to stand in line and take our shoes off to be treated like second class citizens. No one is articulating the IQ of anyone who would want to stand in front of an x-ray machine for 8 hours a day either as a matter of economic choice. The state uses police powers to stop Americans at check points to harass them over their citizenship status, while simultaneously failing to deport known illegals by choice. The executive branch is not enforcing the laws to deport. The US government will not even profile Islamic terrorists but decide to profile your viewing habits if you feel their conduct deserves scrutiny. This is insanity!

This technology could be used to protect the individual rights of US citizens instead of targeting dissent by, protecting $200 billion annually in intellectual property of Americans that are stolen annually by competitive interests in Bangkok, Taiwan, Tokyo, Shanghai, Peking, and Hong Kong [43]. Our patents, copyrights, and materials produced in the United States are often competitively out produced cheaper in China after they have been invented or marketed initially in the United States. This is not competition but intellectual theft. American know-how in big agriculture and big pharmaceuticals have lost billions over the years as the National Security Agency spies on Facebook for anti-government postings instead of protecting people’s right to say it and helping out our industry in maintaining intellectual sovereignty. The technology could be used to stop the inside trading that went on September 11th [44], or the involvement of rogue elements with in the US Intelligence Community in the drug trade in Afghanistan [45], Bosnia[46], Mexico[47] and Vietnam [48] could be employed better than collecting what shows grandma is watching on the Tevo. This technology could be used to protect individual liberties instead of establishing a police state in places like Afghanistan and Iraq [49] where thousands of American servicemen died on behalf of their country. The brother of Afghanistan’s chief executive is connected to the drug trade and the Kharzi’s are back in power just like the US Central Intelligence Agency wanted before the Russian’s invaded in the 1970′s. While American Intelligence assets are being paid to watch for potential political dissent in the United States, this technology could have monitored the treacherous kleptomania behind the LIBOR banking scandal [50] in the UK where trillions were fleeced from the world economy or recently where silver and gold prices were manipulated by a minority [51]. Appropriately focused, efforts could have prevented the BCCI, a bank with connections to the US Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden, and the drug trade, to funding the Pakistani atomic bomb project and AQ Khan network [52]. This community of watchers could have prohibited Qaddafi’s Libya from obtaining 700 tons of Semtex explosives [53], or Saddam’s Iraq from obtaining large amounts of chemical weapons in the Iran-Iraq War [54]. In these instances it was the empowerment of rogue interests in the West, even with in these institutions whose shroud of secrecy exclaimed as a national interest, that allowed this to happen.

The National Security Agency should not be used to protect these rogue elements within the US or the UK. These are the real advantages of employing this technology for the National interest. Instead it appears that rogue elements with in the US Intelligence and Defense Establishments purposefully target these assets in multiple mis-directions and the foreign policy implementations perpetuate these nefarious activities only to have the US change its mind (i.e. double cross). Instead, we have Americans babysitting poppy fields in Afghanistan [55] and the chief executive stating that after a decade of fighting al-Qaeda we’re going to say they’re our allies in Syria. Saddam used those weapons against his people and against the Iranians. Qaddafi used the explosives to blow up a plane with innocent people on it near Lockerbie, Scotland. We can do so much better than misuse this on borrowed money from our grandchildren who have not even had a chance to vote on it yet, by people who aren’t following our laws or Constitution. This is lawless behavior and if the Congress will not act Americans must put someone in Congress who will. The House of Representatives must go back to the people every two years. Vote. Get involved. Stop this madness.

abuseofpowerAbuses of Power

The evolution of the US Government from the protectorate of civil libertarian freedoms toward a political police state [56] that is beholden to lobbing interests, has a devalued its currency [57]. Profits are made through crony business deals with the state, limits the options of individual citizens and the free markets. Americans have lost opportunity, representation and ground in the political systems which metastasize toward a ripe corruption. The inception of the American experiment, in its idealized form, began with a revolt against taxes. Americans opposed England’s force to use the king’s money instead of the colonial script in the Currency Act of 1764. The hard fought freedom caused their 7th President, to kill the central bank by refusing to renew the charter and earn the distinction of being the only president to pay off the national debt. In the early part of the 20th Century the US would establish a Central bank that would take the world’s most valuable currency and  devalue it. With in a few generations, the United States would go from the number one lender in the world in 1970 to the biggest debtor in the world [58]. America’s Gold from Fort Knox has disappeared [59] and while remaining the world’s mightiest military power, interventionist policies have largely inhibited the free and fair trade while benefiting a few globalists. The ire this has incurred from both friend and foe have limited the choices and professional and political opportunities of future Americans. It burdens Americans with a debt they are likely unable to repay [60]. America endures the worst business tax rate on the globe [61]. Many saddled with this debt cannot even vote yet and those who wish to engage in business and commerce are forced into business decisions looking elsewhere for opportunity. These are real challenges to the American people and their government, that is supposed to be working for them, rather than creating a culture of dependency, fails to inhibit the incursion of foreign debt from trading partners in China, Japan and Saudi Arabia. Trillions are owed.

Instead of using these immense powers of surveillance technology to protect the ability of the common man to engage fairly among their contemporaries in commerce, the aforementioned scandals appear at least superficially to be the result of insiders and corruption. They are lead by banks who’s lobbyists ensure the US Congress supports banking interests as sovereigns above the people. Americans must borrow each dollar this banking cartel before its put into circulation and pay interest on that dollar when Congress has been given the Constitutional authority to print money. With all this surveillance it is a shame $350 trillion in derivatives manipulation by several large UK banks were not under the purview of the ‘National Interest’ as a target of the Intelligence Community [62]. Instead these criminals falsely inflated or deflated the LIBOR (London Interbank Offered Rate) rates to profit from trades and then give the impression they were credit worthy when they were closer to insolvency. Those in the know profited while governments saddled with debt mounted to subjugate their people. The result will be undoubtedly, a sovereign debt crisis in the United States, likely where oil in the Western States will be sold to holders of those notes, as well as an oppressive tax that will look like debt slavery. The US Treasury has an arm of Intelligence Professionals that gather information in the national interests, for limiting fraud, organized crime, money laundering and other financial crimes [63]. Why were they not defending the interests of the United States in these matters instead of a few large political fat-cat baking donors?

On another note, the US Federal Reserve’s policy of monetizing one trillion dollars of bonds annually puts pressure on the hegemony the US dollar on world exchange markets. The dollar as a result of its history is the Reserve currency of the world. Markets saw the dollar fall relative to gold in recent years. Gold remained on the rise and hit $1900 an ounce in the fall of 2011 [64]. Officials realized this could cause a run on the dollar relative to its exchange rates with other currencies. Foreign and domestic holders of the dollar would sell, it was estimated, and this could crash the markets around the world. The Central Bank of the United States wasn’t the only player in the market, and in collusion with these commodities, selling gold to lessen demand and create an artificial market supply, absorbed demand that otherwise would have pushed gold prices higher [65]. This is fraud. They weren’t really trading physical gold but paper futures trades on the Comidity Exchange, Inc. Chicago’s Globex is a computerized trading system used for derivatives, currency and futures contracts. Several large global banks are trading members of the COMEX: JP Morgan, HSBC and Bank Nova Scotia and these members conduct the majority of the trading volume [65]. Why wasn’t this prevented as money was fleeced from what should have been a free exchange? Notably, Germany has asked for its gold back and these banks have not obliged. Where was the political will and focus on a Private banking cartel in the Untied States, who devalues the currency in such a fashion that could bring down the entire monetary system?

This is what the intelligence gathering apparatus of the United States were doing instead:

3000 National Security Agency (NSA) Violations Noted In Audit

Responding to the claims of Edward Snowden the US National Security Agency conducted an internal investigation. The Washington Post reported that the National Security Agency broke the law thousands of times in violation of US code and executive order between April 2011 and March 2012. Furthermore the audit showed the National Security Agency changed documentation, in reports to Congress and the Justice Department regarding specifics over National Intelligence issues as a matter of executive privilege [66]. No one in Congress has stepped up to demand a Special Prosecutor be appointed or officials in the executive branch become impeached. Notably Congress has not stepped up, a special prosecutor has not been appointed and no one in the executive branch has been impeached over this allegation.

Verizon Meta-data Warrant

In April of 2013, the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court issued a warrant to allow the National Security Agency to collect meta-data on all the phone calls made by Verizon Wireless, one of the largest telecommunications carriers in the United States. The Warrant required the telecommunications company to turn over its meta-data secretly to the National Security Agency all of its meta-data not focused on a specific case or area of probable cause but every day. The broad sweeping allegation was backed up by a warrant signed by a judge and presented to the Guardian UK [67]. Notably and as a side-bar, Verizon Wireless paid no income tax either [68]. Notably Congress has not stepped up, a special prosecutor has not been appointed and no one in the executive branch has been impeached over this allegation.

SEA-ME-WE-3 Allegation

In 2000 a consortium of countries led by the French and Chinese laid the world’s longest undersea cable. Administered by SingTel, the South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 3, runs from the German coast into the Mediterranean over 39,000 km through France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, India, Mamymar, Malaysia, Australia, Korea and Japan. This cable allows many of these countries to communicate on the Internet and via telephone. The German paper, Süddeutsche Zeitung, revealed the UK and US intelligence agencies tapped the SEA-ME-WE-3 cable completed in 2000 [69]. Notably Congress has not stepped up, a special prosecutor has not been appointed and no one in the executive branch has been impeached over this allegation.

Paypal Backdoor

Snowden’s documents provided to the Guardia note that Paypal has cooperated with the National Security Agency on multiple efforts. Notably, the National Security Agency gathers personal financial information of people who use this service and others, stores it and shares it as it deems appropriate. A Former National Security Agency official, William Binney commented on this use stating, “The ANS has had the cooperation of major financial institutions, including credit card companies, to obtain all financial transactions of these companies’ clients-international and domestic. Further, the ANS not only obtains and stores the financial data of Americans and foreigners, but it also shares them with other government agencies such as the FBI and DEA [70].” Notably Congress has not stepped up, a special prosecutor has not been appointed and no one in the executive branch has been impeached over this allegation.

What Does this Mean?

Civil Libertarians are concerned because even in instances where the National Security Agency is not violating rather than protecting the Constitutional Rights of the people. This is increasingly dangerous when the government views the individual citizens as a threat to the government and not an overreaching government as a threat to the people. With the sweeping powers of the USPATRIOT Act, the President can declare anyone a terrorist with very minimal burdens of proof placed upon the state to act [71]. The Federal Government having an alleged terrorist, instead of protecting the Constitutional rights of an American citizen, can then suspend Constitutional rights under the law to include the law of Habeus Corpus, a right to a speedy trial, and to confront their accused in court. The Federal Government under these powers can indefinitely detain a terrorist with out bringing the individual to a trial. Most Americans believing the enemy of State is a stereo-typical Wahabbist jihadi roaming the mountains of Afghanistan in search of people to blow up for his or her cause believe this is a good thing until they realize it could happen to them.

In 2009 President Obama called Christians terrorists [72]. A 2011 Politico article noted that Vice President equated members of the Tea Party movement in the Untied States as terrorists [73]. Life News reported in 2012 that President Obama called Americans with a pro-life view terrorists [74]. Similar views have filtered into other aspects of the executive branch. In Texas, during a pre-mobilization brief for soldiers at Fort Hood, the US Army identified Christians and Tea Party members as terrorists in 2013 [75]. Reporter Paul Joseph Watson reported in 2013, that the US Department of Homeland Security, as part of its public service announcements saw Veterans Groups and Tea Party members as terrorists [76]. It is evident that mixing politics as an opposition perspective can lead to a domestic classification as a terrorist under the PATRIOT Act and a large voting block in the US has been alienated and rendered a potential enemy of state.

The fourth amendment to the US Constitution states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

These broad surveillance powers compromise the most basic elements of our rights to privacy. In 1965 a landmark Supreme Court case, Griswold v. Connecticut ruled that Americans have a right to privacy guaranteed by the US Constitution citing the 9th amendment and protected by due process in the 4th amendment in the case [77]. In a Federal District case that is likely headed for the Supreme court, a judge ruled the National Security Agency programs as unconstitutional [78]. The judge noted the programs were almost Orwellian in nature. In a similar case in New York, William Paul Harvey III, a Federal district a judge, ruled the programs as Constitutional [79]. Judge Harvey noted that in the months before the attacks on September 11th, if the National Security Agency had been allowed to intercept phone calls from US domestic services from Khalid al-Mihdhar, who was living in San Diego and would become one of the hijackers the US Government could have stopped the attacks. The agency could not at the time capture that information.

Individual Activism

CLASS ACTION LEGAL ACTION

Echoing Senator Church in the 1970′s [80], Congressman Rand Paul has consistently addressed this issue stating that he will take it to the Supreme Court. He stated in a press conference, “I would love anybody that supports that fight to sign on to my class-action lawsuit.” The next step is, Is it constitutional to collect, with a single warrant to Verizon, can you collect 100 million people’s records?[81]” Americans have a right to privacy. Your government has to have probable cause to look at your text messages on your phone. It must have reasonable suspicion that you are breaking the law before reading your emails. Join Senator Rand Paul and sign the petition. Interested parties should visit the Congressman’s web site at:

sign-the-petition

CONTACT CONGRESS AND TELL THEM TO STOP THE SPYING AND IMPEACH

Americans need to contact their Congressperson and tell them that spying on Americans goes against the 4th and 9th amendments of the Constitution. Tell them to impeach officials of the executive branch to include the President if he is involved. The Attorney General’s office who approved these programs in their legality needs to be impeached. Impeachment must start in the US House of Representatives. Click the link, type in your zip code and write them.

contact-congress-300x176

OPERATING SYSTEMS

Companies in the United States like Microsoft and Apple come installed on computers that are sold in most retailers. Additionally, companies like Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile sell telephones with iOS and Android. The challenges with these systems, if Edward Snowden is to believed, is the reason for the frequent updates on these systems is due to security patches and flaws in the architecture. What is troubling is that these patches are consistent and have remained so through generations of software and rework to the point that planned obsolescence of Operating Systems seems to be the business model. When these companies roll out a new version of their OS it is ripe with security holes and unfortunately for the world of programmers who may have competencies to fix, they are unable to assist Apple, Google and Microsoft in fixing those problems. They have closed systems to protect their intellectual property which is not secure.

Furthermore, if the United States is a leader in the world of information software technology and networking hardware, the consortium of providers that run the back bone of the Internet, and telephone networks, has back doors built into it, it limits users of these networks to any back door surveillance the National Security Agency may be interested in watching. Logs are kept on switches by providers who are required by law to maintain those logs.

One way to address this concern amongst advocates against these closed systems is the open-sourced community. There are many distributions of an Operating System called LINUX which for basic computing that meets most users needs for both the desktop and telephonic operating systems. From humble beginnings this open sourced software has its code shared with millions of programmers around the world and any holes in the programming of the kernel or applications are noted by programmers adapting the programs to their specific needs. When weaknesses are found by the community, new updates are made often quicker than the pace that a private closed-sourced company like Apple or Microsoft performs. Even if you’re not a programmer with a strong background in information technology this Operating System has less virus and malware in existence for it while also having all the conveniences of a modern operating system. The advantage of switching to Linux is that across a platform you can have secure computing systems whose web cam or microphone can’t be listened to as a back-door process of the National Security Agency.

Switching Operating Systems cannot limit your Internet Service Provider or Wireless Service from logging your Internet surfing but anonymous surfing protocols below can assist you with that process. Furthermore, there are other technologies that can secure your system from cyber-snoops. To go Microsoft and Apple free try Ubuntu:

ubuntu-logo

The Communications-Electronics Security Group (CESG) reported on the security of Operating Systems in 2013. In a series of evaluation and testing conducted by this UK based group, they reviewed the following categories: Virtual Private Networking, Disk Encryption, Authentication, Secure Boot, Platform Integrity and Application Sand-boxing, Application Whitelisting, Malicious Code Detection and Prevention, Security Policy Enforcement, External Interface Protection, Device Update Policy, Event Collection for Enterprise Analysis, and Incident Response. Notably, Ubuntu 12.04 (Precise Pangolin) is the operating system that passed most of the tests, way ahead of Windows 8 or Mac OS X.

FIREWALL

A firewall places a barrier between your computer and the Internet. It can limit the kinds of things that your computer does over the network. Your computer communicates over the Internet through various ports and opening and closing or filtering these ports is something that an advanced firewall can do for your system. There are several open-sourced firewall programs for Linux, Windows, and Apple. Newer Operating Systems seem to have some of these features built in built in firewall but if Edward Snowden is to believed, the closed-sourced ones like Windows, Apple, iOS, and Android have back doors built into bypass these firewalls. Firewalls help monitor your system’s communication between your network and the Internet to help stop intrusions and attacks. They are particularly useful for controlling the activities of Internet facing applications.

A firewall should protect while not being too intrusive or too complicated to handle. Firewalls come in two flavours; software based and hardware based

A secure third party product like pfSense is a great solution for the large scale networks. Endian makes an exceptional product if you are looking for a hardware based product that can integrate with your network and can scale users to a small network. IPCop is another product that you can install and it performs the following duties: packet filtering, proxy, traffic shaping, Virtual Private Networking and secure remote access, user authentication, name services, and time server. AVS is another product you can use to secure your system from intrusion.

HARD DRIVE ENCRYPTION

There are several great products that are not tied to your Operating System as an out of the box solution. Like the other systems described by Edward Snowden, if the encryption algorithms are compromised on these systems when you install them perhaps some open-sourced encryption algorithms will assist you in securing your data. A Leading product in this market is True-Crypt. It works on Windows, Apple, and Linux distributions. It’s website notes:

TrueCrypt is software for establishing and maintaining an on-the-fly-encrypted volume (data storage device). On-the-fly encryption means that data is automatically encrypted right before it is saved and decrypted right after it is loaded, without any user intervention. No data stored on an encrypted volume can be read (decrypted) without using the correct password/keyfile(s) or correct encryption keys. Entire file system is encrypted (e.g., file names, folder names, contents of every file, free space, meta data, etc).

Files can be copied to and from a mounted TrueCrypt volume just like they are copied to/from any normal disk (for example, by simple drag-and-drop operations). Files are automatically being decrypted on the fly (in memory/RAM) while they are being read or copied from an encrypted TrueCrypt volume. Similarly, files that are being written or copied to the TrueCrypt volume are automatically being encrypted on the fly (right before they are written to the disk) in RAM. Note that this does not mean that the whole file that is to be encrypted/decrypted must be stored in RAM before it can be encrypted/decrypted. There are no extra memory (RAM) requirements for TrueCrypt. For an illustration of how this is accomplished, see the following paragraph.

EMAIL ENCRYPTION

Securing your data in email is another challenge. The minute you send that key over the network to another server you may have problems. While there are a few programs that will help you secure your email over yahoo, gmail, and other free mail servers its best to probably pony up the cash and get a $10/Yr email service from a provider that is not your Internet service provider. If you’re committed to using free mail you can use Mailvelope to secure some of your traffic so its not all out in the open. You can manage also your own mail server and encrypt it, which usually is not an option for the technically challenged. If you’re looking to empower your desktop mail client you’ll need an encryption plug-in. Enigmail is a Thunderbird Extension that allows you to install the GNUPG encryption algorithm. If you’re going to install this GNUPG on Windows you need to install GPG4Win to facilitate this for your system.

The GNU Privacy Guard Website states:

GNU Privacy Guard or GNUPG is the GNU project‘s complete and free implementation of the OpenPGP standard as defined by RFC4880. GnuPG allows to encrypt and sign your data and communication, features a versatile key management system as well as access modules for all kinds of public key directories. GnuPG, also known as GPG, is a command line tool with features for easy integration with other applications. A wealth of frontend applications and libraries are available. Version 2 of GnuPG also provides support for Secure/Multipurpose Internet Mail Extensions.

ptbirdeniggpg

ANONYMOUS WEB SURFING

When your Internet Service Provider can track the web sites that you’re traveling to this happens because they have DNS servers that answer all the calls you put to the server for the sites you type into your browser. One way to avoid this is to anonymously surf the web and a tool to do this is called TOR. Download TOR and TORMail if you want. What makes this unique is that TOR allows your computer to become a Peer-To-Peer Network around the globe and surf the net anonymously with other TOR users on the network by hopping through several other computers so that people watching for you can’t see you at your address on the Internet.

The TOR Website Notes:

The TOR software protects you by bouncing your communications around a distributed network of relays run by volunteers all around the world: it prevents somebody watching your Internet connection from learning what sites you visit, it prevents the sites you visit from learning your physical location, and it lets you access sites which are blocked.

The Tor Browser Bundle lets you use TOR on Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux without needing to install any software. It can run off a USB flash drive, comes with a per-configured web browser to protect your anonymity, and is self-contained.

An increasing number of censoring countries are using Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) to classify Internet traffic flows by protocol. Tor uses bridge relays to get around a censor that blocks by IP address, the censor in these countries and likely the National Security Agency can use DPI to recognize and filter TOR traffic flows even when they connect to unexpected IP addresses.

Conclusions

The invasion of privacy from the National Security Agency and the hostile attitude of the US Government towards ordinary citizens, including Christians is a cause for alarm. Our founding fathers left England and the Netherlands to venture to a place where freedom of worship was a hallmark of the society. Tolerance and pluralism are great American values the rest of the world has looked to us for leadership. Our Members of the society have a right to remain anonymous before their Government until probable cause is brought by the state and that burden of proof remains on the state to prove! Having Big Brother look at their systems and spy on allies of the United States only to exchange that data with the “five eyes” to get around the US laws robs all of their freedom. Furthermore, this technology is employed on a large scale to benefit friends and companies in crony deals to offset markets and by looking the other way with these resources, usually at dissent, allowing large financial institutions to steal trillions of dollars. Americans are subjected to groping at airline security check points as a matter of national interest. This is madness and it needs to stop.

Get involved. Step away from your distractions. Protect yourselves and inform others. You are America and they work for you. Remind them of that when you vote.

Sources

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