And just for a little more fun and outrage, from WaPo:
‘The National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of contact lists from personal e-mail and instant messaging accounts around the world, many of them belonging to Americans, according to senior intelligence officials and top-secret documents provided by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
The collection program, which has not been disclosed before, intercepts e-mail address books and “buddy lists” from instant messaging services as they move across global data links. Online services often transmit those contacts when a user logs on, composes a message, or synchronizes a computer or mobile device with information stored on remote servers.
Rather than targeting individual users, the NSA is gathering contact lists in large numbers that amount to a sizable fraction of the world’s e-mail and instant messaging accounts. Analysis of that data enables the agency to search for hidden connections and to map relationships within a much smaller universe of foreign intelligence targets.
During a single day last year, the NSA’s Special Source Operations branch collected 444,743 e-mail address books from Yahoo, 105,068 from Hotmail, 82,857 from Facebook, 33,697 from Gmail and 22,881 from unspecified other providers, according to an internal NSA PowerPoint presentation. Those figures, described as a typical daily intake in the document, correspond to a rate of more than 250 million a year.
Each day, the presentation said, the NSA collects contacts from an estimated 500,000 buddy lists on live-chat services as well as from the inbox displays of Web-based e-mail accounts.’
But never fear: a spokesflack for the NSA said, “We are not interested in personal information about ordinary Americans.” And remember the words of General BeamMeUp: ““You need the haystack to find the needle.”
Aaaaand… from the Guardian live blog of gathering Snowden revelation stories, Western Australia Today is reporting that:
‘Australian authorities gathered more than 300,000 contact lists on a single day from personal email and instant messaging accounts, on behalf of the US National Security Agency, a new report has claimed.’
And while the Aussie government hasn’t ‘fessed up to being the ‘DS’ they assume stands for the spy agency, the former Defence Signals Directorate, given that the US has drone staging bases in AU, we can prolly bet the bank on it being so. Also, that the FISA court doesn’t allow for recording, storage, investigation of ‘US citizens’, the NSA can claim ‘We’re Innocent’ given that the sources of USian communications are…foreign, according to the intel and communications agencies (Five Eyes, and more), who are just ‘helpin’ out’ (ya know: Good Samaritans and all that rot…) The dodge language is bolded by me.
‘The NSA has not been authorised by US Congress or the special intelligence court that oversees foreign surveillance to collect contact lists in bulk, and senior intelligence officials said it would be illegal to do so from facilities in the United States. The agency avoids the restrictions in the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act by intercepting contact lists from access points “all over the world”, one official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss a classified program. “None of those are on US territory.”
Because of the method employed, the agency is not legally required or technically able to restrict its intake to contact lists belonging to specified foreign intelligence targets, he said.
When information passes through “the overseas collection apparatus”, the official added, “the assumption is you’re not a US person.“
But the big news that came in with LUV news this a.m. is that Greenwald’s leaving the guardian to head a new news organization funded by someone named pierre omidyar, at least according to reuters via buzzfeed.
And common dreams is reporting:
‘Greenwald: ‘Most Shocking’ NSA Stories Yet to Come:
Greenwald, Snowden in daily contact to reveal massive trove of revelations’
“The new stories, Greenwald said, should be expected in international media in the coming months. The first will include details of U.S. spying in France and Spain, similar to revelations of U.S. spying in Brazil that has angered the Brazilian government and set off a chain of tense exchanges between the two.
Greenwald also noted that he is in daily contact with Edward Snowden, as well as with the Berlin-based U.S. filmmaker Laura Poitras, who has been working with him on the NSA stories. Together they are carefully sifting through the “thousands and thousands” of NSA documents yet to shock the world, said Greenwald.
“We are undertaking high-risk journalism. We shall continue doing so until we publish the last document I have,” Greenwald recently told a Brazilian congressional panel investigating the allegations that Washington spied on Brazil.”
Go get em, glenn, but stay safe.
The reuters piece only said that: “Omidyar’s active Twitter account suggests he is very concerned about the government spying programs exposed by Greenwald and Snowden.” his twitter page sounds at least a bit encouraging, and he notes that (meh) jay rosen wrote up a phone interview with him here.
But please; do read Ray McGovern’s piece on this event; it should be nailed to countless doors that open into the Oligarch’s castles. I could kiss ya right on the mouth, Ray!
“I’ve had a couple of days to reflect after arriving back from Moscow where my whistleblower colleagues Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Tom Drake and I formally presented former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden with the annual Sam Adams Associates award for integrity in intelligence.”
Meanwhile, some seriously bittersweet news:
‘Aaron Swartz’s last gift to journalism and online privacy finds a new home’
“Before Aaron Swartz‘s suicide in January, he had nearly completed work with Wired’s Kevin Poulsen on a secure system to accept messages and documents from anonymous sources over the Internet. The result of that effort was DeadDrop, an open- source python platform. The system assigns each source a unique code name so a relationship can be established without news organizations ever knowing the source’s identity.
Poulsen managed the program for the first six months since going public six months ago. On Tuesday, the Freedom of the Press Foundation announced it will be taking over the project, renaming it SecureDrop and providing on-site installation for news organizations along with ongoing technical support.”
Rest in Peace, Aaron Swartz. We hate that they drove you to suicide.