War from the Shadows | OpEdNews

It seems like this well-thought out plan that the people behind the curtain had devised to implement the Americanization of this planet has suddenly blown up in their faces. One does not need to be an economist or work for a think-tank to realize the fact that Washington’s schemes and machinations have definitely gone awry… big time. Please try to bear with me as I go through the litany of failed policies that have come so precariously close to setting the World alight.

I’ll begin with the Vietnam War which was a horrible military and political mistake. To most Americans we lost lives and trillions from our treasury. We tarnished our image in the eyes of the World and divided the country into a left-right dog and pony show that continues to this day. In the eyes of the average American the Vietnam experience was a bad time for many Americans (and Vietnamese) and it was a losing proposition. [Read more]

The Surveillance Engine: How the NSA Built Its Own Secret Google | The Intercept

The National Security Agency is secretly providing data to nearly two dozen U.S. government agencies with a “Google-like” search engine built to share more than 850 billion records about phone calls, emails, cellphone locations, and internet chats, according to classified documents obtained by The Intercept.

The documents provide the first definitive evidence that the NSA has for years made massive amounts of surveillance data directly accessible to domestic law enforcement agencies. Planning documents for ICREACH, as the search engine is called, cite the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Drug Enforcement Administration as key participants. [Read more]

Airbnb Turns Over Data on 124 Hosts in New York City | Mashable

Airbnb has provided the New York attorney general with personal information about 124 hosts, a “vast majority” of which are no longer on the site. It’s an expected next step in the ongoing saga between city and state officials and the wildly popular short-term rental website.

In May, Airbnb and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman reached an agreement about what user info would be provided to the government. It is unclear what the next steps are by the attorney general, who did not respond immediately to a request for comment. [Read more]

This is why you can’t trust the NSA. Ever. | The Week

The notion that the National Security Agency could police its own internet dragnet program with minimal oversight from a secret court has long drawn scoffs from observers. Now it appears that skepticism was completely justified, following the release of a bunch of documents on the program earlier this month by the office of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper (ODNI), which came in response to a Freedom of Information Act request filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

Exhibit A is a comprehensive end-to-end report that the NSA conducted in late summer or early fall of 2009, which focused on the work the agency did in metadata collection and analysis to try and identify people emailing terrorist suspects. [Read more]

Bush and Obama Spurred Edward Snowden to Spill U.S. Secrets | The Atlantic

Before Edward Snowden joined Daniel Ellsberg and Chelsea Manning in the annals of American whistleblowers, he was a young man who witnessed the attacks of September 11, 2001, and enthusiastically volunteered to join the national-security state. Back then, he believed in the wisdom of the War in Iraq, saw the National Security Agency as a force for good, and hoped to serve within the system. Since his first interview with Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras, we’ve known that he gradually lost faith in the federal government, believed it to be engaged in illegal, immoral acts, and decided to gather and leak some of its secrets.

One of the most comprehensive narratives of what specifically prompted his transition from insider to conscientious objector appears in the recently published interview he granted to James Bamford, author of several books on the NSA. Whether one believes Snowden’s leaks to be salutary or deeply regrettable, it’s useful to understand and grapple with what prompted him to act as he did, especially as the Obama administration works to make future leaks less likely. One method for preventing leaks that hasn’t been discussed: Run a federal government that carries out fewer morally and legally objectionable actions in secret. [Read more]

Secret boosts privacy features following Brazil legal woes | zdnet

Since last week’s ruling that determined the suspension of mobile confessional app Secret in Brazil and recent revelations that the tool may not be all that anonymous after all, its developers have released a series of improvements to the app in a bid to safeguard user privacy.

Last week, a Brazilian judge ruled that the app be removed from the iTunes Store and Google Play and gave the companies 10 days to do so on the grounds that the Brazilian constitution vetoes anonymity and also states that privacy is inviolable, despite guaranteeing freedom of expression to citizens. [Read more]

Electronics end privacy for many employees | The Columbus Dispatch

In an era of company-issued GPS-enabled smartphones and tablets, employers now have the technology to track workers’ every move from sunrise to bedtime.

Companies say tracking employees can be good for business. For example, it can help improve safety — ensuring that truckers drive safely and get the rest required by law. Tracking can also make companies more productive and competitive by monitoring performance and productivity. [Read more]

Not-so NATO-ally? Germany spying on Turkey for ‘38 years’ | RT

German foreign intelligence agency has been tapping Turkey for almost four decades, reports Focus amid the ongoing spy scandal between Berlin and Ankara. Some German officials defend the practice, saying that not all NATO allies can be treated as friends.

The German Federal Intelligence Service, BND, has been eavesdropping on Turkey since 1976 following the Social Democrat Chancellor Helmut Schmidt’s government approval, Focus magazine wrote on Saturday. [Read more]


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