APRIL 24, 2013 | BY TREVOR TIMM
Report: Obama Officials Authorized New ‘Cybersecurity’ Warrantless Surveillance Program, Fresh Immunity Given to ISPs
Yesterday, in a disturbing report published on CNET, new documents obtained by EPIC reveal that Obama administration officials have authorized a new government program involving the interception of communications on Internet service providers, including AT&T —one of the key players in the NSA warrantless wiretapping program.Under long-standing federal law, the government needs to use legal process to compel service providers to hand over customer communications, yet reportedly, the government is promising these companies they will not to prosecute them for violating US wiretapping laws if they hand over the information voluntarily. And the secret surveillance authorization seems quite broad, touching on huge swaths of private, domestic activity:The secret legal authorization from the Justice Department originally applied to a cybersecurity pilot project in which the military monitored defense contractors’ Internet links. Since then, however, the program has been expanded by President Obama to cover all critical infrastructure sectors including energy, healthcare, and finance starting June 12.CNET reported also that the National Security Agency (NSA) and Department of Defense were “deeply involved in press for the secret legal authorization” further underscoring widespread worries that the military may be given access to Americans’ personal information through cybersecurity operations. The report comes as Congress is debating CISPA, a dangerous bill that carves a “cybersecurity” loophole in all our privacy laws.While we are still sifting through the more than thousand pages of documents—obtained by EPIC Privacy through the Freedom of Information Act and posted to their website—the most controversial aspect of this program seems to be that the government has not used legal process to obtain Internet traffic from AT&T and other ISPs involved in the program. Instead, the Justice Department has handed them what the Justice Department calls a “2511 letter”—named after a section of the Wiretap Act—which purports to immunize them from prosecution.Section 2511 makes it a crime to wiretap—intercept electronic communications—with some exceptions, like a properly issued warranted. It provides no exception for a letter from the Justice Department. CNET reported an industry representative told them “the 2511 letters provided legal immunity to the providers by agreeing not to prosecute for criminal violations of the Wiretap Act. It’s not clear how many 2511 letters were issued by the Justice Department.”Beyond what CNET reported, we still need to analyze these new documents to determine how pervasive this surveillance is and its impact on the American public. We are currently reading them over and will have a more detailed analysis soon.
Do you believe in parallel realities?
Have you ever speculated whether it just may be possible for each of us to exist within multiple, slightly varying, universes -all at once?
Have you ever found yourself wondering what it might be like to walk a day (perhaps a week, or maybe a month) in one of your “alternate’s” shoes …doing any, or all, of the things you currently wish you were doing, feel that you need to be doing, or even think that you should be doing, now –during this life, in this specific reality?
If you were able to live out your life as a different version of yourself…
1) What is at least one goal or accomplishment you’d aim to achieve?
2) Is there anything you can think of that you would consciously do differently?
Hopping everyone has an eggcellent day…
Happy “Easter” / Belated Ostara!
The emotions this song stirs hit too close to home…
A truly impressive display of both- the potential Power of the Mind and the Law of Attraction:
Only a couple of hours ago, I’d voiced my concerns (publicly, via various social networking sites) on our desperate need for rain, and apparently the gods not only heard my pleas, but also saw fit to provide! Thunder rolled non-stop for close to an hour, and we finally received at least a good half hour’s worth (or longer) of rain. Thanks to Mary, a neighbor of mine, I was even granted the opportunity to capture a handful of beautiful photographs of a full rainbow. (I’ll be adding those to this post at a later date.)
All in all, …it was a genuinely amazing experience; I’m awestruck.
“Thank you, gods!”
[New post on WordPress.com News] –
Help defend our right to freedom of speech…
Join Our Censorship Protest! by Jane Wells
Have you been paying attention to all the hubbub online about the proposed U.S. legislation (SOPA/PIPA) that threatens internet freedom? I wrote about it last week over on WordPress.org, but the gist is this: there’s a bill in the U.S. Senate that if passed would put publishing freedom severely at risk, and could shut down entire sites at the whim of media companies. Fight for the Future created this nifty video to sum it up better than I can.
On January 18, 2012, sites all over the internet will be blacking out to protest and try to mobilize more people to speak out against this bill coming up in the Senate next week, S. 968: the Protect IP Act (PIPA) in an attempt to let U.S. lawmakers know how much opposition there is. WordPress.org, Wikipedia, and even WordPress.com VIP I Can Has Cheezburger? will be participating in the blackout to raise awareness and spur you to action.
Here on WordPress.com, we want to participate as well. Freshly Pressed will be blacked out during the strike. Sorry to take away your daily fix of yummy web content, but this bill threatens to do that on a much wider scale. You don’t want that, do you?
More importantly, we are making it possible for you to participate in the protest. There are two options: a “Stop Censorship” ribbon and a full blackout. The blackout portion will be in effect January 18 from 8am to 8pm EST, while the ribbon will be displayed until January 24. Here’s how to join in:
1. Go to Settings → Protest SOPA/PIPA in your dashboard. 2. Select if you want to join the blackout or show a ribbon. 3. If you choose to join the blackout, you can edit the message that will be shown on your site during the blackout. 4. Preview what your protest will look like. 5. Click “Save Changes” button to activate your protest. That’s it! Easy-peasy activism right at your fingertips.
The “Stop Censorship” ribbon will display in the upper corner of your site and links to americancensorship.org. It will display until January 24, 2012 (the Senate vote date).
If you choose to do the blackout in addition to the ribbon, then we will black out your site from 8am to 8pm EST along with the official strike. You can customize the message that will appear on your blacked-out site to tell people why this issue is important to you. Your site will return to just displaying the ribbon after the strike is over.
I hope that a significant number of you on WordPress.com will join in this protest. Publishing freedom is a right we must protect.
And one last pitch: whatever you decide to do about your site, please take a few minutes to head over to americancensorship.org and take action. It only takes a few moments of your time to be an agent of change!
Jane Wells | January 18, 2012 at 1:25 am | Tags: Censorship, laws, PIPA, Senate, SOPA | Categories: Community, Features, Freshly Pressed | URL: http://wp.me/pf2B5-2vn
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