Tag Archives: NSA

François Hollande Is Also Spying On The French

François Hollande

President François Hollande is looking foolish today after the French newspaper Le Monde revealed that France is the latest country to be given the Big Brother label.

Just days after François Hollande gave the United States a stern talking to, telling them to stop eavesdropping on Europe if they want progress on a trade deal, Le Monde accused France of spying on its own citizens’ phone calls, emails, and internet activity.

François Hollande gave a speech last week calling the revelations that America spies on its allies “unacceptable” and demanding an immediate assurance that survelliance would be stopped or he would block negotiations on a transatlantic free trade treaty.

“We cannot accept this kind of behaviour between partners and allies,” Mr Hollande said. “We ask that this immediately stop. There can be no negotiations or transactions in all areas until we have obtained these guarantees, for France but also for all of the European Union, for all partners of the United States.”

Well the joke’s on Hollande now because he’s doing the same thing to his own constituents.In a similar style to the NSA’s Prism program, Le Monde reports that France runs a vast electronic surveillance operation, intercepting and stocking data from citizens’ phone and internet activity. The program reportedly doesn’t look at individual intercepts for content, but uses the data to connect the dots and networks of communication, essentially creating a map of “who is talking to whom”.

But the French also record data from large American networks like Google and Facebook, the newspaper said. Apparently, data on “all emails, SMSs, telephone calls, Facebook and Twitter posts” are collected and stored in a massive three-floor underground bunker at the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure’s headquarters in Paris.

I think it’s pretty safe to say at this point that every government everywhere has some kind of surveillance system in place. Except maybe in Vanuatu – they haven’t discovered computers yet.

Via: LA Times

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The Search for Edward Snowden Continues… And Other News

Where is Edward Snowden

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego Edward Snowden?

Nobody knows Edward Snowden’s current whereabouts for sure but word on the street is that he left Hong Kong on Sunday for Moscow and was then rumored to have boarded a flight to Havana, Cuba. The mystery deepened when then his seat was vacant on the Havana flight, raising the possibility that the Russian government had detained him. Obama is urging Putin to boot him out of Russia on a one-way flight back to the United States. But Putin’s never been one to follow orders so who knows where Snowden will go. His final/ideal destination is thought to be Ecuador, where he is reportedly seeking asylum.

For those who have been living under a rock in a wi-fi free zone, Edward Snowden has been charged with illegally disclosing classified documents about American surveillance programs. Since leaking the NSA documents, he has fled to countries that better value government transparency and freedom of speech: China, Russia, Cuba… wait a minute…  New York Times

Texas Abortion RallyThose sneaky Texans… Texas Republicans pushed through some anti-abortion legislation in the wee hours of the night. The abortion bill bans all procedures after 20 weeks and tightens restrictions on Texas clinics to the point where nearly all of them would be forced to close. The bill tentatively passed 97–33 at 3:20 a.m. after nearly 15 hours of debate. The final vote passed early Monday morning. The bill still has to head to the Senate where the Democrats are waiting to filibuster the crap out of it. If it can make it through the Senate, Governor Rick Perry said he will sign it into law, guaranteeing that all but five of the state’s abortion clinics will be forced to shut down in 2014. Raw Story

Coy MathisCoy Mathis, a transgender first grader from Colorado, has won a civil-rights case against her school district to use the girls’ bathroom, despite being born a boy. “Schools should not discriminate against their students, and we are thrilled that Coy can return to school and put this behind her,” Kathryn Mathis, Coy’s mother, said in a statement. “All we ever wanted was for Coy’s school to treat her the same as other little girls. We are extremely happy that she now will be treated equally.” Denver Post

Ruby the heart stealerFormer Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been sentenced to seven years in jail and banned from public office for having sex with an underage prostitute. Berlusconi is known for many sex scandals (as well as tax scandals, corruption scandals – basically all types of scandals) but in this particular ruling Berlusconi was convicted of abusing his power and engaging in sex-for-hire with a 17-year-old Morocco girl known as “Ruby the Heart Stealer”. The ruling will not be implemented, however, until Berlusconi has had the opportunity to appeal. Both Berlusconi and “Ruby” deny the charges – both are under the impression that what happens at the bunga-bunga parties stays at the bunga-bunga parties. BBC News

Affirm ActionSometimes the Supreme Court just doesn’t want to deal with things. That’s what happened on Monday when the Supreme Court deferred ruling on the merits of affirmative action, choosing instead to send the case back down to a lower court for further review. The suit, Fisher v. the University of Texas at Austin, argued that affirmative action policies of the University of Texas violated the equal protection rights of some white applicants. Abigail Noel sued the state university after her college application was rejected in 2008. She blamed her rejection on her race – arguing that less qualified minority candidates were accepted due to the schools policies. CNN

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Booz Allen

Current Event Cat - Booz Allen

The firm Booz Allen Hamilton has fired Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old contractor who exposed the National Security Agency’s phone and Internet monitoring program. You would have thought he formally quit when he leaked top-secret documents and fled to Hong Kong, but no, he did not.

Booz Allen released a statement on Monday confirming that Snowden was, in fact, an employee of the firm stationed in Hawaii but for fewer than three months. Other items Booz Allen revealed? His salary and the fact that he was fired:

“Snowden, who had a salary at the rate of $122,000, was terminated June 10, 2013, for violations of the firm’s code of ethics and firm policy,” the company said in a statement. “We will work closely with our clients and authorities in their investigation of this matter.”

Booz Allen was reportedly “shocked” by the reports that one of its employees was the leaker of the NSA’s telephone and internet data collection program. And they’re probably pretty pissed too considering the firm gets 99% of its revenue from a variety of government contracts. Booz Allen is supposed to provide cyber security services and technical support for intelligence and defense agencies as well as civilian branches of government. Needless to say, shares of Booz Allen have been declining. I guess Snowden won’t be winning employee of the month any time soon.

Via: Current Event Cats & CNN

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Edward Snowden

Current Event Cat - NSA Leak Snowden

The individual responsible for the NSA leak has been revealed: Edward Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical assistant for the CIA and current employee of the defence contractor Booz Allen Hamilton.

Last week the Guardian revealed top-secret information about the National Security Agency’s widespread spying program. Basically that US agencies gathered millions of phone records and monitored internet data. That report was then followed by revelations in both the Washington Post and Guardian that the NSA tapped directly into the servers of nine internet firms including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo to track online communication in a programme known as Prism.

Their source? Edward Snowden. Snowden has been working at the National Security Agency for the last four years as an employee of various outside contractors. Working out of the Hawaii office, Snowden decided three weeks ago that it was time for the leak to happen. So he copied some documents, sent them out, packed up his bags and flew to Hong Kong, where he is currently staying until this whole thing washes over. So for a long time…?

His motive? He doesn’t like the spying! Snowden told the Guardian:

“The NSA has built an infrastructure that allows it to intercept almost everything. With this capability, the vast majority of human communications are automatically ingested without targeting.

“If I wanted to see your emails or your wife’s phone, all I have to do is use intercepts. I can get your emails, passwords, phone records, credit cards.

“I don’t want to live in a society that does these sort of things… I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.”

The Justice Department said on Sunday that it has launched a criminal investigation into Edward Snowden. In a statement, the Justice Department said it is in the “initial stages of an investigation into the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by an individual with authorized access.”

But Snowden doesn’t seem too frightened:

“I have no intention of hiding who I am because I know I have done nothing wrong,” he said.

I am not afraid, because this is the choice I’ve made.”

Although he is hiding out in Hong Kong…

Via: Current Event Cats & Raw Story