Tag Archives: Edward Snowden

Arizona Senator Introduces Legislation To Nullify NSA

By Michael Lotfi,

An Arizona state senator has committed to take on the National Security Agency spy machine.

Sen. Kelli Ward announced Monday that she plans to introduce the Fourth Amendment Protection Act to stop her state from supporting the NSA in its unconstitutional spying.

“While media attention is focused on a possible effort to shut off water to the NSA data center in Utah, I’m introducing the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act to back our neighbors up,” she said. “Just in case the NSA gets any ideas about moving south, I want them to know the NSA isn’t welcome in Arizona unless it follows the Constitution.”

Based on model legislation drafted by the OffNow coalition, the Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act blocks state support for the NSA through four provisions.

  1. Prohibits state and local agencies from providing any material support to the NSA within their jurisdiction. Includes barring government-owned utilities from providing water and electricity.
  2. Makes information gathered without a warrant by the NSA and shared with law enforcement inadmissible in state court.
  3. Blocks public universities from serving as NSA research facilities or recruiting grounds.
  4. Provides sanctions against corporations attempting to fill needs not met in the absence of state cooperation.

Ward called stopping unconstitutional snooping a national security issue.

“I believe the number one priority for national security is defending and protecting the Constitution. Without that, the rest becomes irrelevant. There is no question that the NSA program, as it is now being run, violates the Fourth Amendment. This is a way to stop it.”

Arizona becomes the first state to officially consider the Fourth Amendment Protection Act.  Tenth Amendment Center communications director Mike Maharrey says he expects at least four other states to take up the bill early in the 2014 session.

While the NSA does not currently operate a data or “threat operations” center in Arizona, Maharrey said states around the country need to pass similar legislation to make NSA expansion more difficult.

“We know the NSA is aggressively expanding its physical locations, not just in Utah, but in Texas, Hawaii and other states too,” he said.  “Since the NSA isn’t transparent about its plans, it’s essential to not only address where it is today, but work to get the rest of the country to say, ‘You’re not welcome here either!’”

Two Arizona state universities have partnerships with the NSA.  The Arizona Fourth Amendment Protection Act would address the status of Arizona State University and the University of Arizona, Tucson, as NSA “Centers of Academic Excellence.”

Maharrey said he was thrilled with Ward’s decision to introduce the legislation, noting the OffNow coalition strategy was always multi-state.

“Right now, all the talk is all about denying water to the NSA facility in Utah. That’s important, but we hope every state will stand up and say, ‘No!’ to the NSA,” he said. “In Federalist 46, James Madison told us a single state resisting an unwarrantable act could create ‘serious impediments.’  But when several states work in union, he said it would ‘create obstructions which the federal government would hardly be willing to encounter.’ Arizona is an important piece of the obstruction puzzle.”

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Guardian Newspaper May Face Terrorism Charges For Publishing Snowden Leaks

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By Michael Lotfi,

According to Reuters, British law enforcement agencies are investigating whether Guardian newspaper staff should be investigated for terrorism offenses over their handling of data leaked by Edward Snowden, Britain’s senior counter-terrorism officer said on Tuesday.

Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, was summoned to give evidence at a parliamentary inquiry. He was accused by lawmakers of assisting terrorists by making top secret information public and sharing it with other news organizations.

Several other news sources also published the leaks provided by Edward Snowden, National Security Agency (NSA) contractor.

The leaks also include Britain’s spy agency, GCHQ.

According to law enforcement, data obtained by Snowden contains information on spies, which could put their lives at risk.

Lawmakers told Rusbridger that he had committed an offence under Section 58A of the Terrorism Act. This section makes it a crime to publish or communicate any information about members of the armed forces or intelligence services.

Glen Greenwald is the former Guardian journalist credited with first publishing the Snowden NSA leaks.

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The NSA Is Watching People Watch Porn

By Michael Lotfi,

Good news: There’s no need to take nude selfies for your significant other anymore. Bad news: The NSA has got you covered! If you thought you were safe watching your computer screen in private– think again.

Yes, it’s really getting that creepy. Edward Snowden recently released another report on the NSA’s insatiable appetite for spying. According to documents exclusively obtained by the Huffington Post, the National Security Agency is gathering data on perspective radicalizers‘ pornography habits. The controversial agency is using the data to try and destroy such individuals’ credibility.

According to the report, “The document, provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, identifies six targets, all Muslims, as “exemplars” of how “personal vulnerabilities” can be learned through electronic surveillance, and then exploited to undermine a target’s credibility, reputation and authority.”

Yes, that means exactly what it sounds like. The federal government will leak, or publicly release information on your pornography habits if you cross them.

According to Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), “Wherever you are, the NSA’s databases store information about your political views, your medical history, your intimate relationships and your activities online,” he added. “The NSA says this personal information won’t be abused, but these documents show that the NSA probably defines ‘abuse’ very narrowly.”

Perhaps most of us are okay with the NSA monitoring every move of a potential terrorist. However, the issue strikes a nerve much closer to home when we recall that the NSA has been spying on American ally, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, average American citizens, and has even broken an anti-spying pact with Great Britain to spy on British citizens.

Truth be told, the NSA knows no bounds and does not operate under the rule of law. We already know that the NSA is collecting essentially every email we send to one another. Even worse, the federal government has labeled right-wing political activists and war veterans as possible terrorists.

Brazenly, when confronted about the “right-wing terrorism” report, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano made no apologies and stood by the report.

I guess the only thing left to say is– Enjoy the show mates.

There is a growing movement called #NullifyNSA that seeks to end NSA spying. Click HERE to learn more.

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Ed Snowden Destroys President Obama In One Surprising Poll

PresbombBy Michael Lotfi,

Every year TIME magazine’s editors choose their “Person of the Year”. Last year it was President Obama who took the title. The choice is most always purely political. As so, it should be taken with a grain of salt. However, each year  TIME releases a poll, which asks its audience to choose between many different candidates. Candidates are pitted against one another, and this year President Obama faces NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.

The President’s second term has been little less than a plague of misfortune. Surrounded by scandal, secrecy, a total lack of transparency and failed policy, President Obama’s approval ratings have dropped off a cliff.

In the modern age of such secrecy and corruption, whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden become digital heroes. If you haven’t seen Snowden’s face on a meme or in a headline picture then you clearly aren’t alive to the tech age.

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More than 346k people have voted in the  TIME poll pitting the two against one another. Snowden’s victory is a landslide. However, don’t be surprised if the person of the year award magically goes back to President Obama. As I said, it’s purely politics. 

Snowden even sits at the top of the list across the board. With 23% supporting him as the person of the year, and Obama sitting with a weak 0.5%.

Snod

NOTE: These poll numbers will fluctuate throughout the days ahead. The current screenshot only represents one moment in polling. You can vote in the Snowden v. Obama poll here, and others here.

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More Leaks From Edward Snowden: NSA Spied On Mexican President, Read His Emails

The United States National Security Agency (NSA) is under scrutiny once again for eavesdropping.

This time, however, it is not American citizens that the NSA is accused of spying on.

According to new evidence obtained by Spiegel Online, the NSA hacked into the email of Mexico’s former president, Felipe Calderon. Spiegel claims the information comes from documents leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden.

According to Spiegel, a report from May 2010 claims that by hacking into Calderon’s email, the government agency was able to learn details about “diplomatic, economic and leadership communications which continue to provide insight into Mexico’s political system and internal stability.”

The U.S. also used the information obtained to monitor Mexico’s drug trade and economic status.

Then during the summer of 2012, the NSA “took its activities to new heights as elections took place in Mexico. Despite having access to the presidential computer network, the US knew little about Enrique Peña Nieto, designated successor to Felipe Calderón.”

The U.S. government snooped on 85,489 text messages of Peña Nieto, who is currently Mexico’s president, and those in his “inner circle.”

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The NSA has spied on Brazilian politicians, too, which has caused an outrage in Latin America. Spiegel reports, “According to one internal NSA presentation, the agency investigated “the communication methods and associated selectors of Brazilian President Dilma Rouseff and her key advisers.” It also said it found potential “high-value targets” among her inner circle.”

Spiegel contacted the NSA for a comment on the new bombshell report. In response, the agency released the following statement:

“We are not going to comment publicly on every specific alleged intelligence activity, and as a matter of policy we have made clear that the United States gathers foreign intelligence of the type gathered by all nations. As the President said in his speech at the UN General Assembly, we’ve begun to review the way that we gather intelligence, so that we properly balance the legitimate security concerns of our citizens and allies with the privacy concerns that all people share.”

Some argue that the leaking of information regarding NSA spying is straining our relationships with other countries.

Do you think that such spying is better kept secret, as to not hurt ties with allies? Or do you believe in a more transparent government, where citizens area aware of all government doings?

Then again, that question could be avoided altogether if the U.S. hadn’t spied in the first place.

Ed Snowden Emerges From Hiding To Receive Award, Father Lon Snowden Makes Trip To Russia

A new photo of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has surfaced — it is the first photo released of Snowden since he left the Moscow airport.

Snowden emerged from hiding to receive the Sam Adams Associates Integrity in Intelligence Award. In the photo, the whistleblower appeared to be healthy and happy. He smiled as he stood next to Sarah Harrison, the WikiLeaks journalist who helped him get asylum in Russia.

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At this time, the geographical location where Snowden received the award is unclear, but he was most likely in Moscow.

The Sam Adams Associates Integrity and Intelligence Award is given each year by a group of retired CIA officers. It is given to an individual who takes a stand against abuse of information gathering. Many of the award’s past recipients have been whistleblowers — in fact, the award itself is named after Vietnam whistleblower Samuel A. Adams. Wikileak’s Julian Assange received the award in 2010.

Four former US government officials met with Snowden on the day he received the award — they are the first Americans to have met with the whistleblower since he left the Moscow airport. They claim Snowden was in good spirits and did not regret the leaking of classified documents.

Former NSA official Thomas Drake was one of the four Americans who met Snowden. Drake said, “He spoke about going out and about and getting to understand Russia and its culture and the people. For his own safety it’s best that no one else knows where he actually lives. But I believe he is making the best of his circumstances and is living as normally as possible.”

Jesselyn Radack, a former Justice Department official, was also there. Radack said, “He spoke very openly about a whole range of things, a number of which I won’t get into here, but it certainly didn’t involve any kind of manipulation by the Russian government or anyone else for that matter.”

Snowden’s father, Lon Snowden, went to Russia to visit with Edward on the same day that the photo was released.

Lon thanked Russia and Putin for giving his son asylum. He also commented on his son’s current condition and future plans. He said to Russian media, “I’m not sure that my son will be returning to the U.S. again. He’s safe and he’s free, and that’s a good thing… I love my son.”

Lon said it was his understanding that his son had stopped leaking information, a condition of his asylum.

Some US government officials have said they believe Snowden was under the control of the Russian government. The whistleblower’s interactions with the four Americans seems to debunk this.

Your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.

FBI Attempts To Use Snowden’s Father As “Emotional Tool” To Lure Son Back To America

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s father, Lon Snowden, has spoken out.

And let’s just say he’s not too happy with the US government.

Lon said the FBI denied his request to speak to his son. The government agency has instead pressured him to go to Moscow in person to lure his son back to America.

Edward is currently stuck in a Moscow airport while he seeks asylum in Russia.

Lon told the Washington Post, “I was asked if I would consider flying to Moscow. And I said, ‘Yes, but however, I want to know what the objective is and I want to be able to speak to my son to see if there is value, because I’m not going to fly to Moscow to sit on the tarmac to be an emotional tool for you, for the government.'”

Edward Snowden Father

The whistleblower’s father, a former US Coast Guard, fully backs his son. He insisted that Edward is “wholesome,” “patriotic,” and “brilliant.”

Lon called the US press surrounding his son’s actions “propaganda” and said the US government has been “amateurish” trying to handle the situation. He thinks his son is smart not to come back to America. “Where at this point, unless someone’s been living in a cave without a TV, can my son get a fair trial?” he asked.

As reported by the Daily Mail, “Snowden Jr began working in intelligence in 2003, he told the reporter, under the Bush administration; he saw how things evolved, he told the reporter. With the arrival of the Obama administration he hoped that things would change, but Snowden Sr said rather than getting better, things got worse.”

Lon summed it all up best when he said, “[Edward] has chosen to release information at great peril to himself, to expose that people’s constitutional rights are being violated by the government.” 

He is right.

If you care about government overreach, thank Snowden regardless of where he ends up. Because at the end of the day, there is no Snowden “story” — the only thing that really matters is what government is doing to citizens.