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NSA Leaks: Verizon Metadata, PRISM, and More!

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In case you haven't heard about them or the controversy surrounding them already, these links from Ars Technica do a good job of summarizing the contents of the recent NSA leaks reported by The Guardian.




On Wednesday, The Guardian published a secret order issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court allowing the National Security Agency (NSA) to demand vast swaths of metadata from Verizon. The order, which specifies that Verizon hand over the information on an “ongoing, daily basis,” encompasses the phone records pertaining to all of Verizon's American customers, whether the communications are between US-based callers, or between a US caller and an international caller.





Just one day after disclosing a secret court order between the National Security Agency (NSA) and Verizon, The Guardian and The Washington Post both published secret presentation slides revealing a previously undisclosed massive surveillance program called PRISM. The program has the capability to collect data “directly from the servers” of major American tech companies, including Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and Yahoo. (Dropbox is said to be “coming soon.”)





The Guardian reporter Glenn Greenwald has published a third top-secret NSA document in less than 48 hours. The 18-page document is a presidential directive regarding "Offensive Cyber Effects Operations," which can "offer unique and unconventional capabilities to advance US national objectives around the world with little or no warning to the adversary." The effects of such approaches "rang[e] from subtle to severely damaging."



Sadly, not completely surprising. But hopefully the exposure of what the government's been doing up to this point will be a turning point on how the US chooses to proceed in the whole privacy versus security debacle. Americans need to draw a line in the sand, and soon.

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The only new info here is the name of the program.  Anyone who read the patriot act and modified FISA bill already knew all about this.


It's pretty much just Glenn Greenwald stirring shit because it's all he knows how to do.


Before anyone else starts running around with their hair on fire, read this:



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  • 1 month later...

That's the whole thing. I don't understand the whole fuss about this, since the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been talking about this for years. And there were plenty of people who mentioned it under Bush too, but they were told they were being paranoid and not patriotic. Now that there's a black guy in the White House, all the loonies have been pulling a Col. Reneau act as they walk out of the casino with money falling out of their pockets. 


By the way, elements of the Patriot Act were put into place under Clinton, primarily by the mostly Republican US Congress. The wholesale spying on citizens and non-citizens alike? Under Bush/Cheney, with the full blessing of conservative commentators and politicians, which includes conservative Democrats (yes they exist; in another era, Obama would be seen as a Rockefeller-style Republican). 

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