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Sunday, January 5, 2014


Hi Everybody!!
One of the most significant news revelations of 2013 was in reference to Governments spying on each other and all citizens of the Planet. This activity has been going on since the beginning of humans most likely. However, the rules have changed. This is no longer a 'man in a trench coat with a spy glass'. For those of you like me who really do not understand what is happening, I have found a Special Current Events Report on Wikipedia with a timeline of reported events. I have shared this info below in a two part post.


Global surveillance disclosure

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ongoing news reports in the international media have revealed operational details about the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) and its international partners' global surveillance[1] of foreign nationals and U.S. citizens. The vast majority of reports emanated from a cache of top secret documents leaked by ex-NSA contractor Edward Snowden. In June 2013, the first of Snowden's documents were published simultaneously by The Washington Post and The Guardian, attracting considerable public attention.[2] The disclosure continued throughout the entire year of 2013, and a significant portion of the full cache of 1.5 million documents[3] was later obtained and published by many other media outlets worldwide, most notably the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (Australia), O Globo (Brazil), the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (Canada), Le Monde (France), Der Spiegel (Germany), L'espresso (Italy),NRC Handelsblad (the Netherlands), Dagbladet (Norway), El País (Spain), Sveriges Television (Sweden), and The New York Times (USA).[4]
In summary, these media reports have shed light on the implications of several secret treaties signed by members of the UKUSA Agreement in their efforts to implement global surveillance. For example, Der Spiegel revealed how the GermanBundesnachrichtendienst (BND) transfers "massive amounts of intercepted data to the NSA",[5] while Sveriges Television revealed that the Försvarets radioanstalt (FRA) of Sweden is continuously providing the NSA with intercepted data gathered from telecom cables, under a secret treaty signed in 1954 for bilateral cooperation on surveillance.[6] Other security and intelligence agencies involved in the practice of global surveillanceinclude those in Australia (ASD), Britain (GCHQ), Canada (CSEC), Denmark (PET), France (DGSE), Germany (BND), Italy (AISE),the Netherlands (AIVD), Norway (NIS), Spain (CNI), Switzerland (NDB), as well as Israel (ISNU), which receives raw, unfiltered data of U.S. citizens that is shared by the NSA.[7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14]
The disclosure provided impetus for the creation of social movements against mass surveillance, such as Restore the Fourth.Domestic spying programs in countries such as France, the UK, and India have also been exposed. On the legal front, the Electronic Frontier Foundation joined a coalition of diverse groups filing suit against the NSA. Several human rights organizations have urged the Obama administration not to prosecute, but protect, "whistleblower Snowden": Amnesty InternationalHuman Rights Watch,Transparency International, and the Index on Censorshipinter alia.[15][16][17][18]
On June 14, 2013, United States prosecutors charged Edward Snowden with espionage and theft of government property.[19] In late July 2013, he was granted asylum by the Russian government,[20] contributing to a deterioration of Russia–United States relations.[21][22] On August 6, 2013, President Obama made a public appearance on national television where he reassured Americans that "We don't have a domestic spying program" and "There is no spying on Americans".[23] Towards the end of October 2013, the British Prime Minister David Cameron warned The Guardian not to publish any more leaks, or it will receive a DA-Notice.[24]Currently, a criminal investigation of the disclosure is being undertaken by Britain's Metropolitan Police Service.[25] In December 2013,The Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger said: "We have published I think 26 documents so far out of the 58,000 we've seen."[26]


Barton Gellman, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist who led The Washington Post's coverage of Snowden's disclosures, summarized the leaks as follows:
"Taken together, the revelations have brought to light a global surveillance system that cast off many of its historical restraints after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Secret legal authorities empowered the NSA to sweep in the telephone, Internet and location records of whole populations."
The disclosure revealed specific details of the NSA's close cooperation with U.S. federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)[28][29] and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)[30][31] in addition to the agency's previously undisclosed financial payments to numerous commercial partners and telecommunications companies,[32][33][34] as well as its previously undisclosed relationships with international partners such as Britain,[35][36] France[12][37] Germany,[5][38] and its secret treaties with foreign governments that were recently established for sharing intercepted data of each other's citizens.[7][39][40][41]

Global surveillance[edit]

Global surveillance programs
ProgramInternational contributors and/or partnersCommercial partners
United States PRISM
United States XKeyscore
United Kingdom Tempora
United Kingdom Muscular
Germany Project 6
Last updated: December 2013

Historical context[edit]

In the 1970s, NSA analyst Perry Fellwock (under the pseudonym "Winslow Peck") revealed the existence of the UKUSA Agreement,[61] which forms the basis of the ECHELON network, whose existence was revealed in 1988 by Lockheed employee Margaret Newsham.[62] Months before the September 11 attacks and during its aftermath, further details of the global surveillanceapparatus were provided by ex-MI5 official David Shayler,[63] followed by James Bashford in 2001,[64] William Binney and colleagues in 2002,[65] Katharine Gun in 2003,[66] Clare Short in 2004,[67] journalists Eric Lichtblau and James Risen in 2005,[68] Leslie Cauley ofUSA Today in 2006,[69] Mark Klein in 2006,[70] Russ Tice in 2006,[71] Thomas Andrews Drake in 2010,[72] Julian Assange andChelsea Manning in 2011.[73]


In April 2012, Edward Snowden began downloading sensitive NSA material while working for the American computer corporation Dell.[75] By the end of the year, Snowden had made his first contact with journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian.[76]
January–May 2013
In January 2013, Snowden contacted documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras.[77] In March 2013, Snowden took up a new job at Booz Allen Hamilton in Hawaii, specifically to gain access to additional top-secret documents that could be leaked.[75] In April 2013, Poitras asked Greenwald to meet her in New York City.[76] In May 2013, Snowden was permitted temporary leave from his position at the NSA in Hawaii, on the pretext of receiving treatment for his epilepsy.[78] Towards the end of May, Snowden flew to Hong Kong.[79]



After the U.S.-based editor of The Guardian held several meetings in New York City, it was decided that Greenwald, Poitras and Ewen MacAskill would fly to Hong Kong to meet Snowden. On June 5, in the first media report based on the leaked material,[80] the Guardian exposed a top secret court order showing that the NSA had collected phone records from over 120 million Verizon subscribers.[81] Under the order, the numbers of both parties on a call, as well as the location data, unique identifiers, time of call, and duration of call were handed over to the FBI, which turned over the records to the NSA.[81]
On June 6, 2013, the second media disclosure was published simultaneously by Greenwald (The Guardian) and Poitras (The Washington Post).[74][82]
Documents provided by Edward Snowden and seen by Der Spiegel revealed how the NSA spied on various diplomatic missions of theEuropean Union (EU), including the EU's delegation to the United States in Washington D.C.,[83] the EU's delegation to the United Nations in New York,[83] the Council of the European Union in Brussels,[83] and the United Nations Headquarters in New York.[84]During specific episodes within a four-year period, the NSA hacked several Chinese mobile-phone companies,[85] the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University in Beijing,[86] and the Asian fiber-optic network operator Pacnet.[87] Only Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the UK are explicitly exempted from NSA attacks, whose main target in the EU is Germany.[88] A method of bugging encrypted fax machines used at an EU embassy is codenamed Dropmire.[89]
During the 2009 G-20 London summit, the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) intercepted the communications of foreign diplomats.[90] In addition, the GCHQ has been intercepting and storing mass quantities of fiber-optic traffic via Tempora.[91] Two principal components of Tempora are called "Mastering the Internet" (MTI) and "Global Telecoms Exploitation".[92] The data is preserved for three days while metadata is kept for thirty days.[93] Data collected by the GCHQ under Tempora is shared with the National Security Agency (NSA) of the United States.[92]
The Guardian also revealed the existence of XKeyscore, which allows government analysts to search through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals without prior authorization.[94][95][96] Microsoft "developed a surveillance capability to deal" with the interception of encrypted chats on Outlook.com, within five months after the service went into testing. NSA had access to Outlook.com emails because “Prism collects this data prior to encryption.”[45]
From 2001 to 2011, the NSA collected vast amounts of metadata records detailing the email and internet usage of Americans viaStellar Wind,[97] which was later terminated due to operational and resource constraints. It was subsequently replaced by newer surveillance programs such as ShellTrumpet, which "processed its one trillionth metadata record" by the end of December 2012.[98]
According to the Boundless Informant, over 97 billion pieces of intelligence were collected over a 30-day period ending in March 2013. Out of all 97 billion sets of information, about 3 billion data sets originated from U.S. computer networks[99] and around 500 million metadata records were collected from German networks.[100]
Several weeks later, it was revealed that the Bundesnachrichtendienst (BND) of Germany transfers massive amounts of metadatarecords to the NSA.[101]

On June 11, 2013, The Guardian published a snapshot of the NSA's global map of electronic data collection for the month of March 2013. Known as the Boundless Informant, the program is used by the NSA to track the amount of data being analyzed over a specific period of time. The color scheme ranges from green (least subjected to surveillance) through yellow and orange to red (most surveillance). Outside the Middle East, only China, Germany, India, Kenya, and the United States are colored orange or yellow


According to the Brazilian newspaper O Globo, the NSA spied on millions of emails and calls of Brazilian citizens,[102][103] while Australia and New Zealand have been aiding the United States in their surveillance program.[104][105]
The NSA gave the German intelligence agencies BND and BfV access to X-Keyscore.[106] In return, the BND turned over copies of two systems named Mira4 and Veras, reported to exceed the NSA's SIGINT capabilities in certain areas.[107] The NSA also provided the BND with analysis tools so that the BND can monitor foreign data streams flowing through Germany.[108][109]
Even if there is no reason to suspect U.S. citizens the CIA's National Counterterrorism Center is allowed to examine the government files of for possible criminal behavior. Previously the NTC was barred to do so, unless a person was a terror suspect or related to an investigation.[110]
Snowden also confirmed that Stuxnet was cooperatively developed by the United States and Israel.[111] In a report unrelated to Edward Snowden, the French newspaper Le Monde revealed thet France's DGSE was also undertaking mass surveillance, which it described as "illegal and outside any serious control".[112][113]

Timeline continued on page 2