Tag Archives: NSA

Current Event Cat of the Day: Revamped NSA Spying Program

Current Event Cat - GOv Spying NSA

In his much-anticipated NSA speech, President Obama outlined four major reforms to the National Security Agency in the wake of leaked documents by notorious leaker Edward Snowden. Better late than never?

Addressing the changes he is proposing to the NSA, Obama said he would end the vast collection of phone data as it exists today. The reforms include putting a stop to spying on “friendly” world leaders, new protections for foreigners caught in US data collection programs, and prohibiting the NSA from storing large amounts of data. Under this new plan, details of phone calls would be held by a third party, and the NSA would have to seek legal permission before it could access that information – ultimately moving the data out of the hands of the government.

“We will not monitor the communications of heads of state and government of our close friends and allies,” Obama promised.

“The leaders of our close friends and allies deserve to know that if I want to learn what they think about an issue, I will pick up the phone and call them, rather than turning to surveillance.”

But despite the sweeping reforms, Obama stood behind the surveillance program, claiming that the aggressive practices of the NSA did not break the law, and that in many cases they were necessary to protect national security. Obama said US intelligence had prevented terror attacks at home and abroad. How many terror attacks? Can’t say – it’s top secret. Just know that you WILL die in a terror attack if the NSA stops listening to your phone calls.

Via: New York Times

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Do the Snowden Documents Prove a US-Hitler-Aliens Link? No.

Aliens Hitler US

Iran’s semi-official news outlet, Fars News Agency, has taken conspiracy theories to the next level by proclaiming that the NSA documents revealed by Edward Snowden prove aliens have been secretly controlling U.S. domestic and also helped out Hitler.

Keeping in mind that Fars News is the same agency that picked up a story from the Onion back in September claiming an overwhelming majority of rural white Americans would rather vote for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad than U.S. President Barack Obama in the upcoming U.S. elections (actually that might be true…), to say that this story should be taken with a grain of salt is an understatement. This story should be taken with a 10 gallon bucket of salt.

Anyways, the latest news from Fars is that the United States government has been secretly run by a shadow government made up of space aliens called “Tall Whites”. The aliens, who have been controlling U.S domestic policy since 1945, are based out of Nevada and had previously run Nazi Germany. After the aliens grew tired of building hundreds of Nazi submarines with their superior technology (which somehow wasn’t enough to win the war), they set their sights on the United States. Now President Obama is just a tool of the aliens, whose ultimate mission is to install a global surveillance system that will, somehow, allow them to finally impose a one-world government and enslave humanity.

And the proof for this alien conspiracy is in the pudding. And by pudding, I mean the nearly 2 million “top-secret documents” revealed by Snowden to Russia’s Federal Security Services. Apparently these documents “confirmed” that the alien race was behind American efforts to create a global electronic surveillance system.

Need more proof than top secret documents that never actually made it to Russia? According to Fars News, former Canadian defense minister Paul Hellyer allegedly signed off on the story. Considering Hellyer is 90 and has previously argued that aliens have visited Earth many times, I suppose he could have, through his old-age fog, glanced at the Snowden documents and somehow confirmed Fars News’ suspicion that U.S aliens are on a path to world domination… I mean politicians have uttered weirder things, right?

Only one this is for sure with this story – we need Mulder and Scully on the case. The truth is out there! But you won’t find it at Fox Fars News.

Via: Washington Post & Fars News

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Likely Unconstitutional

Current Event Cat - Likely Unconstitutional

A federal judge ruled the National Security Agency’s mass collection of telephone data “likely unconstitutional.”

Stopping just short of unconstitutional, Judge Richard Leon said that the program clashes with the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable search and seizure and the electronic spy agency’s practice was an “arbitrary invasion”. The George W. Bush appointed judge went on to say the NSA’s collection of “metadata”, including telephone numbers and times and dates of calls, was “almost Orwellian”. Almost Orwellian? Likely Unconstitutional? Is Judge Leon just being cautious or is he afraid the NSA will secretly implant child porn on his computer if he pushes this any further?

Meanwhile, the man behind the whole NSA scandal has applauded the court’s ruling.

“Today, a secret program authorized by a secret court was, when exposed to the light of day, found to violate Americans’ rights,” wrote Edward Snowden. “It is the first of many.”

Snowden is still in Russia, searching for a place to call home (that’s not Russia). On Monday, the White House rejected an amnesty for Snowden and continued to push Russia to send the notorious leaker back to the States. But Snowden has a new plan: a Brazilian exchange. In an “open letter to the people of Brazil,” Snowden offered to help its government investigate U.S. spying in exchange for political asylum.

In his letter, Snowden writes, “Today, if you carry a cell phone in Sao Paolo, the NSA can and does keep track of your location: they do this 5 billion times a day to people around the world. When someone in Florianopolis visits a website, the NSA keeps a record of when it happened and what you did there. If a mother in Porto Alegre calls her son to wish him luck on his university exam, NSA can keep that call log for five years or more. They even keep track of who is having an affair or looking at pornography, in case they need to damage their target’s reputation.”

So I guess his plan is to terrify Brazilians into taking him in?

Via: BBC News & CNN

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Methodist Pastor Breaks Church Law… And Other News

Methodist Gay Son

A United Methodist pastor was convicted of breaking church law after he officiated at his gay son’s wedding.

After weeks of cross-examinations, witnesses and evidence, Rev. Frank Schaefer was found guilty of violating the faith on Monday by a 13-member jury of fellow Methodist pastors. More specifically, the charges were “conducting a ceremony that celebrates same-sex unions” and showing “disobedience to the order and discipline of the United Methodist Church.” Now the jury must decide Rev. Frank Schaefer’s penalty, which could range from a short suspension to losing all of his ministerial credentials.  Schaefer was the first of five Methodist ministers to be accused by church officials of violating the church doctrine on same-sex marriage and is no stranger to the gays – three of the pastor’s four children are gay. AP

Bynes SelfieAnd the word of the year is… selfie. Oxford English Dictionary paid tribute to narcissistic duck-faced teenagers everywhere by announcing ‘selfie” as the word of year, beating out ‘twerk’ and ‘bitcoin’. “It seems like everyone who is anyone has posted a selfie somewhere on the Internet,” wrote Oxford English Dictionary on its blog. “If it is good enough for the Obamas or the pope, then it is good enough for Word of the Year.” The dictionary’s publishers believe that ‘selfie’ first appeared in an Australian chat room on September 13, 2002, by an Australian who posted a drunken photo of his bleeding lip. And now it’s officially a word, meaning: “A photograph that one has taken of oneself, typically one taken with a smartphone or webcam and uploaded to a social media website.” CNN

NSAThe NSA is dealing with a large number of record requests. Fueled by the Edward Snowden scandal, more and more Americans are want to know if they’re being spied on. The NSA has been flooded with requests but they continue to give the same answer: we can’t tell you. Anyone requesting open records gets a standard pre-written letter in response that says NSA cannot confirm or deny any information has been gathered. Considering the Supreme Court recently upheld the controversial spying program, there are sure to be even more requests in the future. So I’ll just save everybody a lot of time by saying yes, you are being spied on, and no, they didn’t find anything interesting. USA Today

Rob Ford BlueRob Ford to become a born again Christian? Toronto’s crack smoking mayor has announced that he had a “come to Jesus moment” and he is “finished” with alcohol. No word yet on if he’s finished with crack, but at least this is a step in the right direction! So why did Jesus come to him and tell him to put down his keg? “Just the humiliation and the belittling and the people I’ve let down,” Ford said. “And it’s all because of alcohol. Excessive, stupid, immature behavior and that’s it.” Ford also vowed an “outright war” on city councillors who voted to further limit his powers, calling them Saddam Hussein – which would of course make him Kuwait. “You guys have just attacked Kuwait,” he said. So now he’s Kuwait, the White Obama, and a non-drinker? Yeah, he definitely hasn’t given up the crack. BBC News

DoodnaughtEveryone’s worst nightmare has come true – a doctor who fondles you while you’re sedated! A Superior Court judge has found Dr. George Doodnaught, a Toronto anesthesiologist, guilty of sexually assaulting 21 women while they were under conscious sedation in a hospital. Dr. Doodnaught (soon to be Prisoner Doodnaught) was known around the hospital as being touchy-feely – no kidding – and is believed to have been turned on by the excitement and risk of molesting his patients. Dr. George Doodnaught’s misconduct ranged from touching and breast fondling to having the women perform oral sex during surgeries at North York General Hospital. Since they were relatively unconscious, I assume that means he just placed his penis in their mouths. Whatever works for you… CBC News

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9/11 Is A Sound Bite That Resonates With The NSA… And Other News

9/11 defense NSA

If there’s one thing Americans can thank the terrorists who crashed into the Twin Towers for, it’s the use of the word 9/11.

9/11 is the best defense ever! Why did you invade Iraq? 9/11. Why did you pass the Patriot Act? 9/11. Why are you torturing those prisoners? 9/11. Why is defense spending 250% of our GDP? 9/11. Why did Dick Cheney shoot an old man in the face? 9/11. And now it’s being used as a defense for NSA surveillance. According to a memo obtained by Al Jazeera America, the NSA instructed its officials to shout “9/11!!!” whenever they had to justify their love of spying. Under the subheading “Sound Bites That Resonate,” the memo suggests using the following phrase to justify their eavesdropping: “I much prefer to be here today explaining these programs, than explaining another 9/11 event that we were not able to prevent.” Pretty good – but they can probably simplify it a bit by saying “9/11.” Al Jazeera

Square CrashThe Tiananmen Square car crash has been ruled a “premeditated, violent, terrorist attack”. Five people were arrested following an investigation into Tuesday’s attack in which an SUV drove into a crowd near the entrance of the Forbidden City. The car burst into flames and five people were killed – but three were suicide terrorists so that’s okay. The driver of the car, an ethnic Uighur named Usman Hasan, was accompanied by his wife and mother-in-law. Wait a minute… this doesn’t sound like a terrorist attack… this sounds like a convenient way to get rid of your mother-in-law. But police believe the attack was carefully planned and they found knives, iron rods, gasoline and a flag imprinted with religious slogans inside the burnt SUV. Ok, now it sounds more like a terrorist attack. CBC News

Evil ClownThis post brought to you by your worst nightmare: a child-abusing clown. A Milwaukee man, dressed as a clown, drunkenly held a child over a railroad overpass. After returning home from a Halloween party at 1a.m., Antonio Brown, asked his girlfriend’s two children, aged 13 and 8, to go on a walk with him. Lesson #1: never accept an invite from a drunken clown. Then Brown the Clown forced them to drink and dragged them into the woods. When they tried to escape, Brown picked up the older child and hung him by his feet over the railroad overpass while yelling, “If you do that again, I’m going to drop you.” Lesson #2: never try to escape from a drunken clown. Luckily a passerby saw the children crying, called the cops, and Brown was arrested and charged with two counts of physical abuse of a child and two counts of second-degree recklessly endangering safety. Gawker

WIneThis can’t be good… According to a report from Morgan Stanley Research, the world faces a global wine shortage. Consumer demand is already exceeding supply by 300 million cases a year. There are 1 million wine producers globally, making 2.8 billion cases each year – but that’s not enough. We need more wine! And who’s to blame for the global wine shortage? The Chinese! Wine is becoming increasingly more popular in China as their economy continues to grow. So next time you’re out binge drinking and you can’t seem to find enough wine, punch an Asian. And a European too, because apparently Europe’s wine production dropped 10% in 2012. CNN

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Russia Does Spying the Right Way – with Goodie Bags!

Russia Spying Goodie Bags

While the U.S scrambles to defend their love of eavesdropping in the wake of recent allegations involving spying on foreign leaders, Russia has found itself in the middle of its own spying scandal – involving goodie bags.

Russia has been accused of spying on G20 leaders using a clever goodie bag ruse. According to the allegations made by two Italian newspapers, devious Russian agents placed USB pen drives and phone chargers in goodie bags at the G-20 that would copy and send sensitive information.

The devices found in the goodie bags were given to foreign delegates, including heads of state, at the summit near St Petersburg. Apparently the USB sticks contained a Trojan horse programme designed to obtain information and the cell phone chargers were also capable of secretly tapping into emails, text messages and telephone calls.

Suspicions were first raised about the Russian spying trickery by Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Council. He ordered the “poisoned gifts” from Putin to be analyzed by intelligence experts in Brussels, as well as Germany’s secret service. European Commission spokesman Frederic Vincent said that so far the “analysis of hardware and software have not amounted to any serious security concerns” but the investigation is not yet complete.

Dmitry Peskov, Vladimir Putin’s spokesman, vehemently denied the allegations, dismissing the Italian stories as nothing more than a poorly disguised effort to divert attention from the whole NSA fiasco.

“This is undoubtedly nothing but an attempt to shift the focus from issues that truly exist in relations between European capitals and Washington to unsubstantiated, non-existent issues,” he was quoted as saying by RIA news agency.

To sum up: everyone is spying on you, ALL OF THE TIME.

Via: The Telegraph

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How To Save A Rhino By Shooting One… And Other News

Black Rhino

Kill a rhino, save a rhino! The Dallas Safari Club is auctioning off a permit to kill an endangered black rhino in Namibia.

Namibia has an annual quota to kill up to five black rhinos out of the country’s herd population of 1,795 rhinos. The rhinos who are singled out to be killed are aging, non-breeding beasts, which tend to kill off younger rhinos – so killing the mean older black rhinos is all part of Namibia’s population management technique. And now one lucky millionaire hunter can join in the fun! The Dallas Safari Club hopes to auction off the rhino kill for a million dollars – the proceeds of which will go towards The Conservation Trust Fund for Namibia’s Black Rhino. “First and foremost, this is about saving the black rhino,” Ben Carter, the executive director of the Dallas Safari Club said. But second and secondmost, it’s about killing the black rhino. Al Jazeera

Obama ScanThis week on Who is the NSA Spying on Now, Spain! The newest revelation to come from the Edward Snowden leaked documents is that the NSA collected data on 60 million phone calls in Spain over the course of December 2012. The news comes after confirmation that numerous world leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, have had their personal phones tapped. Obama apologized to Merkel but claims he did not know what the NSA was up to. The NSA has so many eavesdropping operations they can’t keep track of them – let alone brief the president on them! But now that Obama (and the rest of the world) knows, it’s time to put a stop to it. According to Senate Intelligence Committee Chairwoman Diane Feinstein, the White House has decided to halt the spying programs targeting allied governments. “Unless the United States is engaged in hostilities against a country or there is an emergency need for this type of surveillance, I do not believe the United States should be collecting phone calls or emails of friendly presidents and prime ministers,” she said. Unfriendly leaders, however, are fair game. Reuters

one-world-trade-centerAnonymous street artist Banksy isn’t making many friends in New York City. After spraying graffiti all over town, Banksy has now insulted One World Trade Center in a rejected New York Times op-ed. Calling the building “biggest eyesore in New York,” Banksy views One World Trade Center as “a betrayal of everyone who lost their lives on September 11th, because it so clearly proclaims the terrorists won. Those 10 men have condemned us to live in a world more mediocre than the one they attacked, rather than be the catalyst for a more dazzling new one.” Ouch. He the went on to say, “It’s vanilla. It’s like something they would build in Canada.” Looks like he’s not making friends in Canada either. The Guardian

NYC MayorThe New York City mayoral debate is being delayed so residents can properly reflect on Hurricane Sandy. For some reason no one noticed this earlier, but the final debate was scheduled for October 29, the one year anniversary of the storm. Both candidates asked for the debate to be moved to Wednesday so they could properly mourn/pull a few publicity stunts in a desperate attempt to win some last minute votes. Democrat Bill de Blasio and the Republican anti-kitten candidate Joe Lhota issued a joint statement saying “this day should be marked with solemn reflection and remembrance.” The New York Times

Putin GayPutin has promised to make gay and lesbian athletes “feel comfortable” at the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Russia has been criticized recently over a new law banning “homosexual propaganda” targeted towards youth, but now Putin wants to make clear that gay athletes are A-Okay. “We will do everything to make sure that athletes, fans and guests feel comfortable at the Olympic Games regardless of their ethnicity, race or sexual orientation,” Putin told the International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach. Although Putin feels most comfortable wrestling bears in the wilderness, so maybe he isn’t the best judge of comfort… CNN

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Angela Merkel & Her Phone

Current Event Cat - Angela Merkel Phone Calls

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called President Obama on Wednesday to have an angry chat over allegations a German paper made about the U.S tapping her cell phone.

This is how the awkward conversation went (in my mind):

Angela Merkel: I am VERY upset with you President Obama!

Barack Obama: I know. You’ve been calling everyone and complaining about it for days. I mean… nevermind… no one was listening.

The German magazine, Der Spiegel, broke the story, which prompted German intelligence to investigate. They determined that there was enough plausible information that Merkel’s cell phone was targeted by the NSA to warrant a stern talking to. The German chancellor is said to be “livid” over the reports and we all know what happens when a German leader gets angry… they make an angry phone call.

Angela Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert said in a statement that Merkel told Obama that Germany “has received information that the chancellor’s cellphone may be monitored by American intelligence” and that such practices are “completely unacceptable.”

But the Obama administration is denying that the National Security Agency tapped Merkel’s phone and Obama assured the German chancellor over the phone that the U.S. is not monitoring her every text. Just every other text…

I don’t know… Given the recent reports about U.S spying activities in Brazil, France, and Mexico, it’s plausible that the U.S. has been tapping Angela Merkel’s phone. How else would George W. Bush have known that she wanted a back rub?

Merkel Bush Massage

Via: The Guardian

NSA Head to Step Down… And Other News

NSA

The NSA is getting re-branded!

Army General Keith Alexander will step down after eight years on top of the NSA. The White House downplayed suggestions that Alexander’s decision to retire was because of the damage done to the NSA’s reputation after the Edward Snowden leak fiasco. But there’s nothing like a fresh face to win over the American public! As for Keith Alexander, you can add in a happy retirement note to your next email – he’ll find it. Fox News

Wrecking ballBreaking news: Ted Cruz is a sore loser. As Minority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor to announce the bipartisan compromise to end the shutdown, Cruz marched up to the TV cameras outside the Senate chamber and started complaining about the deal McConnell had just negotiated. After causing a mass amount of wreckage to his party, the economy, and his own political career, Ted Cruz still won’t let it go: “The American people rose up and spoke with an overwhelming voice and at least at this stage Washington isn’t listening to them,” Cruz said. “But this battle will continue.” Washington Post

stenographerAnother victim of the government shutdown: the House stenographer loses it! Amid all the chaos of the last-minute Senate deal to end the government shutdown and extend the debt ceiling, the House stenographer had what appeared to be a public mental breakdown. Dianne Foster Reidy calmly went up to a microphone and began screaming: “Do not be deceived. God shall not be mocked. A House divided cannot stand!” She was quickly escorted out by the Sergeant-at-Arms, leaving House members and aides speechless for the first time in two weeks. “I don’t know, she just snapped,” said a GOP aide. CNN

Exhume PresBrazil is bringing up the past – literally. The Latin American country is exhuming two former presidents, João Goulart and Juscelino Kubitschek, to settle the claim that they were assassinated in 1976. Digging up dead bodies is becoming quite the norm in Latin America. A Chilean judge recently ordered the body of poet and diplomat Pablo Neruda to be exhumed to determine whether or not he was poisoned. Francisco Caamaño, a guerrilla leader and former president of Domiincan Republic has also been ordered to return from the grave in order to be placed in Dominican Republic’s pantheon of heroes. And of course in 2010 Hugo Chávez famously dug up the remains of Simon Bolivar to try and prove that Colombians poisoned him. They did not. New York Times

AspergerMexican man with the autistic condition Asperger’s has won the right to make key decisions about his life without parental consent. Before the ruling, Mexican legislation banned him from doing simple tasks by himself, such as applying for a passport, and all papers had to be signed by his parents or legal guardians. But now he can do all the simple tasks he wants – without his parents approval! Now if only Britney Spears could do the same… BBC News

greenpeace actA week after Vladimir Putin lost the Nobel Prize to some chemical weapons inspectors, eleven Nobel prize-winners are asking the Russian president to drop the piracy charges against 30 Greenpeace activists and journalists. Are they trying to rub their prizes in his face or just trying to teach him how to win for next year? Either way, Russia isn’t budging. Message received: Moscow will not tolerate attempts to disrupt its development of its precious resource-rich Arctic. Reuters

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Dilma Rousseff

Current Event Cat - Dilma Rousseff

If there’s one person who hates the NSA more than Edward Snowden, it’s Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff.

Dilma Rousseff used her position as the opening speaker at the United Nations General Assembly as an opportunity to yell at the U.S for violating human rights and international law through espionage – including spying on her email. Those must be some pretty racy emails if she’s U.N angry (i.e super angry) … perhaps some love notes to her hero Fidel Castro?

Dilma Rousseff wasn’t just putting on an angry show for the U.N. – last month she canceled a planned visit to Washington at the last minute after the NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden revealed that the United States had monitored her phone calls, as well as Brazilian embassy calls and spied on the state oil corporation, Petrobras.

But since robbing Washington of her presence wasn’t enough to get the message across, the Brazilian president took to the UN stage to protest America’s love of spying. Rousseff told the assembled leaders that Brazil had been a target of intrusions and intercepts and there was no excuse for this kind of behaviour – not even to protect nations from terrorism!

“The arguments that the illegal interception of information and data aims at protecting nations against terrorism cannot be sustained. Brazil, Mr President, knows how to protect itself. We reject, fight and do not harbour terrorist groups,” Dilma Rousseff said to the crowd.

“In the absence of the right to privacy, there can be no true freedom of expression and opinion, and therefore no effective democracy. In the absence of the respect for sovereignty, there is no basis for the relationship among nations.”

She’s totally hiding something…

Via: The Guardian & Current Event Cats