See, They Just Didn’t KNOW That the NSA IS Listening to Your Phone Calls

Should we just assume that he just hadn’t been read into the whole program as yet, nor had General Alexander, Robert Mueller or Mike Rogers and Diane Feinstein, all of whom said it would take a FISA warrant to be able to listen in once a person’s metadata profile were adequate enough to obtain one?  Yes; that would indicate our trust in the President and the rest of them; that’s what we have been  ordered to do.  Maybe their security clearances aren’t high enough or something.  Does suspicion of Moral Turpitude disqualify a person, for instance?

In any event, methinks they should read this (ahem) info from C|net, don’t you?  That is, once they get home from a long day of Father’s Day partying.  Or church; whatever.  It seems that Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) heard it very differently during a classified NSA briefing to Congress on June 13.

From C|net;  the subtitle:  ‘NSA spying extends to contents of U.S. phone calls; National Security Agency discloses in secret Capitol Hill briefing that thousands of analysts can listen to domestic phone calls. That authorization appears to extend to e-mail and text messages too’

‘The National Security Agency has acknowledged in a new classified briefing that it does not need court authorization to listen to domestic phone calls, a participant said.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler, a New York Democrat, disclosed on Thursday that during a secret briefing to members of Congress, he was told that the contents of a phone call could be accessed “simply based on an analyst deciding that.”

If the NSA wants “to listen to the phone,” an analyst’s decision is sufficient, without any other legal authorization required, Nadler said he learned. “I was rather startled,” said Nadler, an attorney and congressman who serves on the House Judiciary committee.

Not only does this disclosure shed more light on how the NSA’s formidable eavesdropping apparatus works domestically, it also suggests the Justice Department has secretly interpreted federal surveillance law to permit thousands of low-ranking analysts to eavesdrop on phone calls.  [snip]

The Washington Post disclosed Saturday that the existence of a top-secret NSA program called NUCLEON, which “intercepts telephone calls and routes the spoken words” to a database. Top intelligence officials in the Obama administration, the Post said, “have resolutely refused to offer an estimate of the number of Americans whose calls or e-mails have thus made their way into content databases such as ­NUCLEON.” [snip]

That law says surveillance may be authorized by the attorney general and director of national intelligence without prior approval by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, as long as minimization requirements and general procedures blessed by the court are followed.’

Remember: a requirement of the 2008 FISA Amendment law is that the NSA “may not intentionally target any person known at the time of acquisition to be located in the United States.”

So many links are in the piece; do take a gander.  Warning: beware of Scary Di-Fi photo!  But wait; it’s getting more fun all the time.

A Guardian exclusive:

Foreign politicians and officials who took part in two G20 summit meetings in London in 2009 had their computers monitored and their phone calls intercepted on the instructions of their British government hosts, according to documents seen by the Guardian. Some delegates were tricked into using internet cafes which had been set up by British intelligence agencies to read their email traffic.

The revelation comes as Britain prepares to host another summit on Monday – for the G8 nations, all of whom attended the 2009 meetings which were the object of the systematic spying. It is likely to lead to some tension among visiting delegates who will want the prime minister to explain whether they were targets in 2009 and whether the exercise is to be repeated this week.

The disclosure raises new questions about the boundaries of surveillance by GCHQ and its American sister organisation, the National Security Agency, whose access to phone records and internet data has been defended as necessary in the fight against terrorism and serious crime. The G20 spying appears to have been organised for the more mundane purpose of securing an advantage in meetings. Named targets include long-standing allies such as South Africa and Turkey.

Setting up internet cafes where they used an email interception programme and key-logging software to spy on delegates’ use of computers;

Penetrating the security on delegates’ BlackBerrys to monitor their email messages and phone calls;

Supplying 45 analysts with a live round-the-clock summary of who was phoning who at the summit;

Targeting the Turkish finance minister and possibly 15 others in his party;

Receiving reports from an NSA attempt to eavesdrop on the Russian leader, Dmitry Medvedev, as his phone calls passed through satellite links to Moscow.

The documents suggest that the operation was sanctioned in principle at a senior level in the government of the then prime minister, Gordon Brown, and that intelligence, including briefings for visiting delegates, was passed to British ministers.

 The Wiki entry on the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) is here.  Ah; spooks and spies…keeping us safe from…what was it, again?   I’m sure all the leaders at the G-20 will take it all in stride, though.  A lot of the comments at the Guardian piece indicated: ‘yawn; that’s what spies do, isn’t it?’

 Should we start a petition to the NSA to ask that all these folks be read into the various NSA programs…so it won’t seem like they’re just lying to us?

 Oh, and Happy Father’s Day, everyone.


(by Anthony Freda via wendyedavis @flickr)

15 responses to “See, They Just Didn’t KNOW That the NSA IS Listening to Your Phone Calls

  1. Oceania Big Brother SS (and Li’l Bro’) Gestapo Ueber ALLES. Bugging HALFASCISTS!

  2. It really is getting too absurd isn’t it? And so many are still genuflecting before the security state. I poked into a site at which i used to post after the tpm cafe closed, and found stuff like this. fried my brain. twice. Another was ‘I don’t give a damn about privacy’. Obots: last to the revolution.

    ‘Nonviolent, the Emperor has no clothes’, Mr Mueller, i should add.

    Thanks for ‘Halfascists’, Bruce. ;~)

  3. realitychecker1

    Disgusting developments, for sure, but nobody should be surprised. Once a technology gets developed, it is inevitable that it will get deployed and used in every conceivable situation. The only concession that ever gets made is to honor political realities by doing it slowly and invisibly enough that the frogs won’t notice the rising heat. But eventually, the technology finds its way into every niche, every cranny, where it can be effectively used (that’s “effective” in the eye of the user, not meaning to say it could always pass muster in an objectively rational analysis), Where does it end?–should I skip my colonoscopy this morning, and just ask the NSA what is up in there lol? Very seriously, though, the thing that eats at me about all these issues that implicate the Fourth Amendment is that the jurisprudence has long defined “reasonable expectation of privacy” with a heavy dose of “what is possible technologocally.” IOW, if it is possible for tech to invade your privacy, in the eyes of the Supes, to great degree, then you can’t reasonably expect your privacy to go unviolated. (After all, only an innate sense of governmental restraint and respect for your humanity would motivate them to stop short of all the intrusions they were capable of, right?–how “reasonable” would a survellance target be to expect such unforced righteous restraint? Totally unreasonable, IMO.) Anyone with half a brain can see that this line of reasoning will eventually lead us to a place where tech will be so advanced that ANY expectation of privacy will have become unreasonable. Personally, I don’t really want to live in that world.

  4. your final sentence is exactly what Snowden said had prompted him to not only give the documents to greenwald, (or at least to see them, it’s not clear yet to me), but to go public himself. yes, it may be unreasonable for ‘targets’ to fail to assume that every means at their disposal would be used, but we have to remember that there will be more and more targets. few of us will have suspected that the surveillance has been so vast for so long, and that so many contract employees not only had access to it, but could themselves order constant wiretapping, hacking, etc.

    some new wrinkles have come to light.

    Commenter EternalVigilance at EF Beall’s recent post brought a link to Naomi Wolf’s Facebook page casting doubt on Edward Snowden’s story and authenticity, implying he may still be working for the NSA. She offers eight reasons for her creeping concerns’.

    Dave Lindorff of spoofs her a bit while countering her arguments. (Single page version)

    I hope your procedure goes well, shows nothing negative…except for the package the nsa operatives had put up your bum last time… will the technician let you know? stay tuned…. and tuned… and tuned… ;~)

  5. At least Americans are concerned. Same thing probably going on in Canada, and nobody seems to care much.

    I think governments have been spying on each other, since the days when there were only two of them.

    I’d be surprised if any important person didn’t have some super secure way of communicating.

    are carrier pigeons gonna make a comeback?

    They never talk.

  6. It’s beyond me why any person would believe anything that Obama says. there’s just no reason to believe him.

    The guy makes me sick. I can’t listen to two words from him. I just immediately turn off any program or clip anywhere

    when I hear the words “President Obama said”…..these words are always directly and rapidly followed by “click”.

  7. i guess there are ways to encrypt communications, one of which snowded showed greenwald by way of a video he made him. others? what your sentence pinged in my mind were the outside-the-white-house email systems the bushies used (and got caught at). it’s the law that all communications go through the ‘official’ system, and they are supposed to be archived.

    now i think i remember reading that this white house is using other systems as well, but why not? bush wasn’t impeached, no one was fired, jailed…at least anyone ‘important’. it’s just bidness, and americans (USians) don’t seem to care longer than five minutes if anyone gets ‘caught’ engaging in even more illegal behaviors, if there is such a thing. well, of course there is…lying to congress? who cares now? how many generals lied just this past week?

    yeah, i went to fetch that video, and only listened to make sure it was the one i’d sought.

    ‘the framers’ got a whole lot of it right, but especially the bill of rights. they were for the citizens, as far as i can tell. but who might have imagined that the media would one day be 99.4% owned by the oligarchs, and that electronic communications would have advanced so far that privacy would have needed to be one of the most closely held and protected freedoms?

    toby: your ‘reasonable expectations to privacy’ just haunts me, and has caused me to try to remember so many decisions, scotus and otherwise. knowing that there is no longer any reasonable balance of power allowed, whether inside the nation, or in the west’s foreign policy is hideous. no checks and balances, not within this government, not in any of the approved global institutions (un, the icc, iaea…) is something that must put right, or we go down collectively, and much of it will be laid at our door.

  8. I’m simply delirious at the attitudes of Obama condoners and defenders. Not deleterious in a good way such as “I’m in love for the first time”, but bad delirious as in “why is my head spinning and my stomach heaving”. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced hypocrisy on this scale, not even with the Reverend Haggards of this world.

    I voted for Stein/Honkala, but thinking back to the jeers I received from the “You’re just a Rethug in disguise” crowd, I’ve come to the conclusion that it would have been better if Romney had won, for if he had, the Dem-bot mouth-foamers would be directing their venomous ire at him and the “Rethuglicans” instead of us irrational sparkle-pony cravers with underlying mental issues who also hate black presidents.

  9. minty fresh! how lovely to see you here! your Paging Herr Doktor Fruedian slip was magnificent. ‘deleterious’ as in: damaging, decaying, harmful, destructive…is just right. my stars; reverend ted: he’s back in c springs, daughter aurora says, busy remaking himself. but at least he was only a hypocritical christianist, not a freaking president, eh? those folks asked for it, i reckon. and more will get it again. ;~)

    Obots rationalizing drone assassinations was sick; claiming ‘he was blocked by R’s at every turn i tell ya’ was tribalist lying, but now…watching them excuse the nsa’s hoovering of all our communications is actually hilarious. their personal psychologies prevent them from seeing the truth.

    one of my tipping points series posited that the dem base folks would be the last to sign on to the need for revolution *as long as a dem was in the oval, and i tried to make a case for why that was. seem i was right, although i wish it weren’t so.

    i read at over the past few days (i used to post there; we…er…agreed to part ways, lol) to see what the Librul Latte crowd was saying about all this stuff, and i got brain-bleed for my efforts. snowden, of course, is likely a chinese agent, yada, yada, although naomi klein thinks so as well.

    but goodness, sweet patootie, do come around now and again to see us, and do click the Notify buttons if ya want emails from a thread.

    as a welcome reward for your virgin appearance cuz i know ya love her (and so do i):

  10. Yah, I was getting horny for Cyndi while all the other boys were getting blue balls for Madonna :)

    You can assign credit or blame for the use of the word deleterious on the dagnabbit spellchecker and not on my subconsciousness.

    But as far as “damaging, decaying, harmful, destructive” goes, the damage has already been done, I’m afraid. We now have a new low in the normal, business as usual, behavior we accept (and expect) from the “good guys” side of the political charade we, as a country, allow ourselves to be captured by.

    What would be interesting, and very humorous, in a “just when you think you’ve seen it all” kinda way, would be to see how the Dems contort themselves to get upset at the next Republican president when he essentially follows in Obama’s footsteps.

    Sometimes I think the above scenario is a given with the caveat that the Repubs manage to nominate a half-way charismatic candidate with the brains to craft a middle of the road, yet populist, campaign.

    However, I’ve come to believe that with Obama, the PTB have confirmed that that a Dem president will succeed for them beyond their wildest dreams and we are doomed to a repeat of 2012 ad infinitum, or at least until the inexorable slide into fascist authoritarianism ignites revolution.

    PS. You mean Naomi Wolf, don’t you?

  11. lord luv a duck yes, i meant wolf. maybe that’s what the perfessor meant over yonder about my ‘error or lindorff’s?’ klein: shock doctrine. wolf: vaginas and yalie superior political operative.

    dave lindorff skewered her, lol.

    please say there will be a revolution first, if for no other reason that we collectively can’t live through another 2-year election season! it will be hill and jeb, won’t it? i think you’re right that the oligarchs would love another obomba, unless they reckon the brand has been temporarily damaged. money’s pourin’ in for hill they say. the cow.

    but no dear, you know that republican X will be far, far, worse and evil. a black romney, for instance. i wish that in one year’s time, folks would organize a serious No Vote campaign as has been done successfully in a couple of countries (forget which). unless it’s serious, ya just don’t show up…meh.

    at the site i linked, one of their biggest gripes about fdl was that ‘they don’t think government is a force for good’. holy hell, congress polls at 10% approval rating, wtf? one asshat i used to duel with has a post up asking how a black man (sic) be a republican. Oy. dude hates, loathes cornell west, which is one issue we argued over. their coterie of whingeing blacks always backed him, of course.

    anyhoo, your spellcheck called the good doktor, eh? cool. and cyndi always admired your horns, iirc.

    anyhoo, so nice to see ya, darlin’ dear. we all miss you, especially the democratic operatives. i’ll email ya a fun exchange you’ll love. er…when i get caught up; my inbox is out of control again. always.

  12. for later perusal, grey dog’s diary.

    greenwald: fisa court oversight.

    bloomberg news: US agencies said to swap data with thousands of firms

  13. I hope this will fit here – just a copy of some comments over at on a diary by MSPB Watch, beginning with his link to the latest release by Glenn Greenwald:

    MSPB Watch June 20th, 2013 at 11:45 am 67
    New documents were just revealed by the Guardian:
    Flag this comment as inappropriate
    AitchD June 20th, 2013 at 11:48 am 68
    Marcy Wheeler is featured in the new issue of The Nation magazine.
    Flag this comment as inappropriate
    AitchD June 20th, 2013 at 11:54 am 69
    In response to yellowsnapdragon @ 66
    Internet/email & phone txt exchanges can be forged so that not even Barry Scheck can prove they’re not genuine.
    Flag this comment as inappropriate
    juliania June 20th, 2013 at 12:05 pm 70
    In response to onitgoes @ 56
    The difference is it’s global. Oh, and yes, unConstitutional; that too.
    You could say, maybe, ‘Well, we’ve always had Third Reichs’ – sort of doesn’t sound like a system we’d enjoy living under, even with corporate funded slick PBS programs.
    MSPB Watch June 20th, 2013 at 12:06 pm 71
    Huff Post picked up the youtube/interview:
    Flag this comment as inappropriate
    juliania June 20th, 2013 at 12:15 pm 72
    This from the article linked by MSPB Watch @ #67:
    “…Since the Guardian first revealed the extent of the NSA’s collection of US communications, there have been repeated calls for the legal basis of the programs to be released. On Thursday, two US congressmen introduced a bill compelling the Obama administration to declassify the secret legal justifications for NSA surveillance.
    The disclosure bill, sponsored by Adam Schiff, a California Democrat, and Todd Rokita, an Indiana Republican, is a complement to one proposed in the Senate last week. It would “increase the transparency of the Fisa Court and the state of the law in this area,” Schiff told the Guardian. “It would give the public a better understanding of the safeguards, as well as the scope of these programs.”…
    Why on this earth should those legal justifications be secret? The public has a right to know what this government is doing (or not doing) to follow the Constitution. Didn’t they take an oath? Bravo Schiff and Rokita, but I think you can move on now to hearings.
    yellowsnapdragon June 20th, 2013 at 12:33 pm 73
    In response to MSPB Watch @ 71
    That’s good news.
    Flag this comment as inappropriate
    juliania June 20th, 2013 at 1:00 pm 74
    This comment from the link @ #67:
    20 June 2013 8:10pm
    “Where the NSA has no specific information on a person’s location, analysts are free to presume they are overseas, the document continues.
    ‘In the absence of specific information regarding whether a target is a United States person,’ it states ‘a person reasonably believed to be located outside the United States or whose location is not known will be presumed to be a non-United States person unless such person can be positively identified as a United States person.’
    If it later appears that a target is in fact located in the US, analysts are permitted to look at the content of messages, or listen to phone calls, to establish if this is indeed the case.
    This seems pretty consistent with the adminstration’s method for determining the difference between “militants” and civilians: assume everyone is a legitimate target, until a post facto review shows otherwise.
    Pretty sickening.”
    [My bolds.]
    juliania June 20th, 2013 at 1:05 pm 75
    It appears I was far too generous in stating that the FISA court is a figleaf. It is not even that. The documents released have the court stating explicitly hands off, no interest in even knowing the identities of the persons being spied upon. No need, NSA, no need at all – just go do your stuff.
    Not only sickening. Unbelievable!

  14. Sorry to do that at length, but I think it is tremendously important news. We just might have reached a tipping point.

  15. Revealed: the top secret rules that allow NSA to use US data without a warrant
    Fisa court submissions show broad scope of procedures governing NSA’s surveillance of Americans’ communication

    Government Spying: Why You Can’t ‘Just Trust Us’ (Emptywheel)

    The Guardian carried one of Marcy’s pieces last week. Cool.

    Thank you; I made them slightly more accessible in Edit. So good to see them rolling things out; the truth may be unstoppable this time. Will folks listen and want to know? We hope and pray so.

    Dunno about this one from Kevin Gosztola, but….i’ll save it.

care to comment? (no registration required)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s