John McCain says NSA chief Keith Alexander ‘should resign or be fired’ | The Guardian
Senator John McCain has called for Keith Alexander to “resign or be fired” as the head of the National Security Agency, in an interview with the German news weekly Der Spiegel published on Sunday.
The senator for Arizona, a former Republican presidential candidate, said Alexander should be held accountable for the leaks of thousands of documents by the whistleblower Edward Snowden, which revealed NSA surveillance and spying on a massive scale. McCain said Snowden, who worked for the NSA as a contractor, should never have had access to classified information. [Read the full article]
NSA leadership shakeup would mean squat | Salon
NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander is due to retire next spring, clearing the way for potential shakeups in the leadership of the agency, evermore prescient in the broadening wake of Snowden’s NSA surveillance leaks. According to the Guardian Monday, “the Obama administration is giving strong consideration to appointing a civilian to run the surveillance apparatus and splitting it from the military command that has been its institutional twin since 2010.”
It’s a Kabuki move, carrying no real promise of limitations to the dragnet surveillance of our every communication, nor does it bode better for agency transparency about covert overseas and domestic programs (like, say, secretly hacking in to Google data centers around the world to access millions of emails, or purposefully weakening encryption standards). [Read the full article]
Quantum Spying: GCHQ Used Fake LinkedIn Pages to Target Engineers | Spiegel
The Belgacom employees probably thought nothing was amiss when they pulled up their profiles on LinkedIn, the professional networking site. The pages looked the way they always did, and they didn’t take any longer than usual to load.
The victims didn’t notice that what they were looking at wasn’t the original site but a fake profile with one invisible added feature: a small piece of malware that turned their computers into tools for Britain’s GCHQ intelligence service. [Read the full article]
Congress could see power to confirm NSA chief | Politico
Frustration with the National Security Agency’s spying and the impending departure of its longtime director have fueled a congressional push to put its future leaders through the potentially grueling process of Senate confirmation — a scenario the White House has warned in the past could harm intelligence efforts.
The idea — backed by California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the leader of the Intelligence Committee and one of the NSA’s top allies in Congress — is among the more prominent agency reforms percolating on Capitol Hill, where lawmakers are rethinking the agency’s expansive surveillance authorities in light of Edward Snowden’s leaks. [Read the full article]
NSA’s Vast Surveillance Powers Extend Far Beyond Counterterrorism, Despite Misleading Government Claims | EFF
Time and again we’ve seen the National Security Agency (NSA) defend its vast surveillance apparatus by invoking the spectre of terrorism, discussing its spying powers as a method to keep America safe. Yet, the truth is that counterterrorism is only a fraction of their far broader authority to seek “foreign intelligence information,” a menacing sounding term that actually encapsulates all sorts of innocuous, everyday conversation.
The New York Times demonstrated this disconnect last week, reporting, “the [leaked NSA] documents make clear, the focus on counterterrorism is a misleadingly narrow sales pitch for an agency with an almost unlimited agenda. Its scale and aggressiveness are breathtaking.” [Read the full article]
Will NSA Reforms Protect Citizens? | Consortium News
The latest diplomatic tussles triggered by revelations of massive National Security Agency spying, including on U.S. allies and multinational organizations, focus less on intrusions into the privacy of average citizens than on the secrets of the powerful.
Indeed, the debate in Europe illustrates how global leaders are more concerned about the NSA and other intelligence services crossing a red line by intercepting the communications of global leaders, as well as large corporations and powerful institutions, than those of regular citizens. And there are reasons for this selective outrage. [Read the full article]
- U.S. popularity in Germany on a steep decline in wake of spy scandal | McClatchyDC
- NSA Fallout: Berlin Moves to Increase Mobile Phone Security | Spiegel
- Stop the NSA “Fake Fix” Bill | EFF
- GOP lawmaker: Europe can help curb NSA | The Hill
- Why Does The NSA Keep An EGOTISTICALGIRAFFE? It’s Top Secret | NPR
- Utah firefighters frequent visitors to NSA data center | Salt Lake Tribune