Archives for : NSA

FEDS VERSUS YAHOO IN USER DATA TUG-OF-WAR

Yahoo has released a cache of 1,500 once-secret documents that reveal the US government strong-armed the company into turning over user data. Part of the feds’ coercive tactics was the threat of a $250,000 daily fine if Yahoo didn’t deliver the goods.

Yahoo had to “fight every step of the way” to avoid complying, according to the company’s general counsel—ultimately mounting a unsuccessful legal battle. The company warns that communications by US citizens are now open to NSA seizure…US citizens like you.

Still feel like the NSA is there to protect you? You’ve obviously got your head in the clouds.

Or maybe just in the Cloud.

DIFFERENT GRADES OF HEROISM: ASSANGE, SNOWDEN, MANNING

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has said he’ll leave the Ecuadorean Embassy in London “soon.” He’s been holed up there for two years, primarily to avoid extradition to Sweden for a sexual misconduct charge, but also to avoid extradition to the U.S., where he fears indictment and possible criminal charges. Concurrently, from his self-exile in Russia, Edward Snowden used a cover story in Wiredto once again defend his release of thousands of classified NSA documents. Meanwhile, WikiLeaks whistleblower Chelsea Manning remains in Fort Leavenworth Prison, where she now charges that the U.S. military is denying her gender reassignment treatment.

 

Here at Fawkes Rising, we fervently advocate for transparency over secrecy, disclosure over deception—and the people who reveal what others try to conceal are our champions. But it’s worth noting that when faced with the consequences of having acted on this principle, the three individuals under discussion reacted very differently. One took sanctuary; one took flight…

 

…and one—the one with the most to lose, given the ongoing nature of her gender reassignment, stood her ground and faced her accusers. Maybe it’s due to her military training; but whatever the reason, it marks her out in our eyes as a higher calibre of hero, and her current troubles of more consequence than the much more written-about travails of her two more elusive contemporaries.

SNOWDEN SUCCESSOR LEAKING NEW STATE SECRETS?

Journalist Glenn Greenwald will neither “confirm nor deny” that his online pub, The Intercept, is being fed intel by a new secret source in the intelligence community—starting with an exposé, posted this week, revealing that half the people on the government’s terrorist list have no terrorist ties. But everybody seems to be primed for another Edward Snowden-style data dump. We’ll be watching this one like the proverbial hawk. (Or even better, like the NSA.)

BITCOIN’S BIG KAHUNA UNMASKED

Regular readers of Fawkes Rising know how wary your humble blogger is of Bitcoin, the digital payment system introduced as open-source software in 2009, and whose total transaction volume now exceeds PayPal’s. Well, it looks like my skittishness is right on the money (see what I did there?), given the big reveal about “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the pseudonym used by the Bitcoin Core creator, whose true identity is unknown (because that always inspires confidence).

The new revelation comes on the heels of earlier suggestions that Bitcoin is actually a creation of the U.S. government with the aim of eventually creating a digital, one-world, deflationary currency, and that Satoshi himself (or herself, or themselves) is possibly an agent working under orders from the NSA or DARPA.

Now an intrepid reddit user has presented compelling evidence that Satoshi is actually Tatsuaki Okamoto, an NSA researcher and investgator.

Makes sense, doesn’t it? A digital currency is way easier for the government to monitor than messy, wayward, perishable cash. Especially if the digital currency is the government’s very own invention.

Many of Fawkes Rising’s haters accuse me of being the kind of guy who hides greenbacks in his mattress. In fact, my so-called “paranoia” has always stopped well short of that. But if this keeps up, I’m not making any promises.

BAHAMA BROUHAHA: NSA RIPPING ISLANDERS’ PHONE CALLS

More from the Snowden data dump: looks like the NSA is  cataloging every cell phone call made in the Bahamas. What makes this different from their monitoring of similar calls in countries like Mexico, the Philippines, and Kenya, is that they’re not just recording the time, source, and destination—they’re recording the actual “Hey, mon, what the surfin’ be like” audio.

The agency defends the surveillance (which is part of a super-secret-triple-pinkie-swear system called SOMALGET) as necessary to the war on terror. Funny, then, how their own docs—and their cooperation with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency—put the target square on the backs of narcotics traffickers, not suitcase bombers. War on terror, war on drugs…whatever. It’s all bad guys, right?

Plus, it’s only the Bahamas. It’s not like the NSA’s secretly recording homegrown calls in an effort to nail your ass for illegally downloading the new Black Keys album.

Just keep telling yourself that. And pretty soon SOMALGET will come and get ya.